This post explores ways to add text to an image. It is a final one in a series on Images and Blogs, part of preparation for an upcoming talk at the Highland Park Public Library in New Jersey.
See posts on Images and Blogs:
- Pixel? My Image has Pixels?
- Resize or Crop an Image with Pixlr
- Create Photo Gallery with WP Native Gallery (for those with self-hosted WordPress)
- Float that Image (for those brave enough to learn CSS code to handle images)
Possible Tools for Creating Image Titles
There are many photo editors out there – of the free ones, I’ve been happiest with Pixlr. I recently downloaded Picasa. An advantage to Picasa is that you don’t need internet access once you have it on your computer. So if you want to work offline with a photo editor, you can try Picasa. I did find Pixlr had layers, the ability to add shapes and a setting for opacity, none of which I found in Picasa. Briefly, I did try MS Paint, and I HATED it. I did the top image for this post using Photoshop, my favorite image editor of all. But one has to pay a pretty penny for Photoshop. You can see if Photoshop Elements is in your budget if you want a good editor.
Adding Text on an Image with Picasa
Since I haven’t talked about Picasa yet, let’s use it first for an example.
Above is the image I created with Picasa. To start, one needs to download the software. Picasa is now owned by Google – it takes a little while to set up. It seemed to scan all my folders and add all the image to an index. It sort of feels like Google is spying on me by giving me free software and doing all this scanning. So you might think twice before trying it out, especially since I can’t say it is all that great.
Once I opened the image with Picasa, it was rather confusing to save it to where I wanted with the name I wanted. There is no option for layers, and I couldn’t add a shape under the text of the image or move the text of the image once I created it. But it wasn’t too hard to get a basic image title created.
One weird note about Picasa – to resize a photo, you have to export it. That seemed like a rather hidden way of doing a resize.
Adding Text on an Image with Pixlr
I was able to do a little more with Pixlr. Below is my final image:
I will demonstrate how I added that lightweight whitish box under the text. First, upload the image into Pixlr. Then click on the text tool. You can see options for choosing a font size, color and font family.
I got this far, then realized it might be better to resize the photo first. So I started again and used the resize tool to get the image down in size to what I would use on my post.
Back to the text tool, if you click on the color box in the text tool, you get lots of nice options for setting the color of the text.
Look to the right in Pixlr, and you will see some useful boxes. One gives you the option to add new layers or to select a layer you have already created.
The way I added the white box to my image was creating a new layer (there’s a little icon at the bottom of the layer tool) and using the drawing tool (orangish yellow with a circle on a rectangle) on the left to create a rectangle. I set the fill of the rectangle to white.
Then I clicked on layer on the right that held my new white box. Under the layer, there is a little icon that let’s you set opacity (says Toggle Layer Settings). You can also set opacity on the top of Pixlr when using the Drawing Tool.
Finally, if your layer is on top of your text, you can use the Layers to move it underneath the text.
Don’t forget to save your new image with text title to your computer!
There are options in Pixlr that look useful within layers: Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Bevel, Outer Glow, Inner Glow.
Experiment and Headache with MS Paint
My short experiment with MS Paint told me don’t use this unless you are just playing around or you have one quick thing you can do. Here is my image title created with Paint:
My main issue with Paint was once I did something, it seemed done – very little editing available.
Finally, a Word about Photoshop
After many years of working with Photoshop, I quickly produced the top image with Photoshop. I was able to put a stroke on the text, set the stroke to only 1 pixel, set the color of the stroke, and go in and edit anything I had done.
What Photo Editors have You Used?
What is your experience with photo editors? There are certainly many that I did not cover, such as Canva, PicMonkey, iPhoto (Mac), or GIMP.