IN THIS CHAPTER
Knowing the benefits of text
Using the Text tool
Understanding how text layers work
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that doesn't necessarily dictate that they'll be the best or most appropriate words for communicating any given subject matter. Sometimes you don't need a thousand words; you just need one or two properly chosen ones. Enter GIMP's text editing features. If you're working with digital images, somewhere along the line you're probably going to need to mix text with those images. This chapter gives you the rundown on exactly how you do that in GIMP. GIMP isn't necessarily a typesetting or layout tool, but its text features are extensive enough for you to do everything from labeling photos to using that text as a design element.
Another thing to note is that, along with paths, GIMP handles text as vector image data. This gives you the ability to edit, move, resize, and drastically modify your text over and over again, non-destructively. If you save your image in GIMP's native XCF format or the Photoshop PSD format, the text vector information is retained so you can continue to edit in future sessions. However, if you save in a pure raster format like JPEG or PNG, the text layers are rasterized and merged with the other layers in the image.
You can find countless uses for text in your images. Perhaps you've taken a photograph of an engine and you need to label its parts. Or maybe you're producing ...