In this tutorial, I’ll be showing you a tried-and-true method for putting text on a curve in GIMP. It’s super simple, beginner-friendly, and requires only a few basic steps. You can watch the video version directly below, or skip over it for the article version. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Step 1: Create a New Image

For starters, you’ll want to create a new image. You can do this by using the ctrl+n shortcut key (cmd+m on a MAC) or by going to File>New.

In the “New Image” dialogue box that pops up, set the width and height for your image (outlined in green in the above photo) and click OK to create the new document (red arrow).

Step 2: Add and Customize Your Text

With the new document created, grab the Text tool from the toolbox by clicking on its icon (red arrow in the image above) or using the “T” shortcut key. Click on your composition with the Text tool and type out your text (green arrow in the image above). In my case, I typed “Put Text on a Curve.”

To change the font of your text, select all the text inside your text box either with your mouse or by using the ctrl+a shortcut key (cmd+a on a MAC). Then, navigate to the Fonts tab (red arrow in the image above) and find the font you want to use. Click on the font once you’ve found it to apply it to your selected text (green arrow).

While your text is still selected, you can also change the size of the font inside the Text editor (red arrow in the image above) by manually typing a new value. I increased the font size to 150.

Step 3: Align Your Text

The last adjustment I’ll make before putting the text on the curve is I’ll align the text to the image canvas. To do this, I’ll grab the alignment tool from the toolbox (red arrow in the image above) and click on the text with the alignment tool to select it (blue arrow). I’ll then make sure the “Relative to:” dropdown box is set to “Image” (yellow arrow in the image above). Finally, I’ll click the “align center of target” and “align middle of target” buttons (outlined in green) to align the text to the middle of the image.

Step 4: Draw a Curve with the Paths Tool

Now that our text is set up, we can put the text on a curve. To do this, I’ll grab the Paths tool from my toolbox by clicking its icon (yellow arrow in the above image) or using the “B” shortcut key. With the Paths tool active, I’ll click on my composition to create the first point of my path – called a “Node” (green arrow). Then, I’ll move my mouse over to the right and click-and-drag my mouse to create a second node (red arrows). By dragging my mouse, I am creating a handle – which is then used to create a curve in my path.

To complete the curve, I’ll click and drag my mouse one more time towards the far right side of my composition. This will create another node with handles, and I can once again move the handles around to adjust the curve. You’ll notice that I made the curve about the same length as my overall text box.

Step 5: Place Text Along the Path

Now that we have our text and our curve, all I need to do to put the text on the curve is right click on the text layer (red arrow in the above image) and select the “Text along Path” option (green arrow).

The result of this action will be your text converted to a path and then place along the curve (red arrow in the image above). We are quite done yet, as we now need to add style/color back to our text!

Step 6: Style the Curved Text

The first step to style our text is to create a new layer – which I can do by clicking the “New Layer” icon in the Layer’s panel (yellow arrow in the image above). Then, I’ll name by new layer “Curved Text” (red arrow) and click OK (green arrow).

On my newly created “Curved Text” layer, and with my Paths tool still active, I’ll click on the “Fill Path” button in the Tool Options for the Paths tool (yellow arrow). In the “Fill Path” dialogue that pops up, I’ll choose “Solid Color” and click “Fill.” This will fill my text with whatever my current foreground color is set to (in this case, black).

Step 7: Center Align the Curved Text

Now that my text is displaying along my curve, I’ll crop the “Curved Text” layer (red arrow) to this curved text so we can align the text to the image. To do this, I’ll make sure the Curved Text layer is active and go to Layer>Crop to Content (green arrow).

Finally, I’ll grab the Align tool from my toolbox (red arrow – click and hold the tool group to show the Align tool). I’ll then click on my Curved Text layer to select it for alignment (green arrow). Making sure “Relative to” is set to “Image” in the Tool Options (yellow arrow), I’ll then click “align center of target” and “align middle of target” to horizontally and vertically align the text to my image (green outline).

That’s it! You now have text on a curve, with everything nice and center-aligned on your image.

If you liked this tutorial, you can check out my other GIMP Video Tutorials, GIMP Help Articles, or get more content by becoming a DMD Premium Member!