How to Create Curve Text in GIMP in 5 Simple Steps

Using the 'text along path' feature, you can bend text in GIMP. Here's a screenshot tutorial to show you the steps for creating curve text in GIMP.
Warp Terminal

When you are working on a badge, poster or any other composition in GIMP and you need to bend or curve some text. The versatile GIMP tool offers several ways to create curved text. Depending on how you will use it and the curvature you want to give to your text, some methods are better than others.

In this GIMP tutorial, I’ll show you my preferred way of creating curve texts.

How to create curve text in GIMP

Please make sure that you have GIMP installed on your system already.

Step 1: Create a path that matches the type of curve you want

Create a new image or open an existing one. Select the paths tool and then having in mind roughly the position of the curved text, create your path by clicking once for the start and then for the end of path point.

Create a path in GIMP for adding cruved text
Create a path

Then give to your path a curvature. First drag the line in the middle either up or down, and fine tune by moving the adjusting points. This will give it an arch.

Add curvature in GIMP for adding cruved text
Curving the path

Step 2: Create the text you want to curve

When you are satisfied with your curved path, you can move to the next step and create your text.

You may want to change the font and the font size. My selections are for demonstration purpose only.

Add the text you want to curve in GIMP
Create a text

Step 3: Create a new layer

I strongly suggest separating each different element of a GIMP image in different layers, in order to manipulate them easily like move, turn on/off an element etc.

Following this rule our curved text will be placed at a new layer. It is recommended to name your new layer like “Curved Text” or something similar to easily identify it.

Create new layer in GIMP
Create a new layer for the curved text

Step 4: Curve the text

Now you need to click on the layer that your text is and right click on it and then click on “Text along path” to bend your text. The curved text will be placed at the newly created layer.

Use Text Along Path feature to add curved text in GIMP
Text Along Path

You just curved the text! Let’s make the text more presentable by filling it with colour.

Step 5: Final touches and export

Click on the curved text layer and then go to the path tab to select the text boundaries.

Use Path To Selection in GIMP
Path To Selection

Finally, select the bucket tool, a color of your choice and apply your selection as per below.

Add color in curved text in GIMP

As the last step, turn the visibility of the layers that you don’t want and keep only the curved text. Then you are ready to export your file as your preferred image format.

Turn off the visibility for layerts

Bonus Tip: Create shade effect

I have an additional step as an exercise/challenge if you want to go the extra mile. Let’s create a shade effect to the curved text by outlining the text in GIMP.

I will give you some hints:

  • Turn all the layers back on
  • Click on the curved text layer and the use the move tool to move the text away
  • Create another layer and repeat the bucket fill procedure with a black colour
  • Overlay the layers in a way that they mimic a shaded position (you may need to change the layers order)
  • Turn off the auxiliary layers

The final result!

Curved text in GIMP

Let me know in the comments below your thoughts about this GIMP tutorial and how many of you tried the bonus step.

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About the author


Dimitrios is an MSc Mechanical Engineer but a Linux enthusiast in heart. His machines are powered by Arch Linux but curiosity drives him to constantly test other distros. Challenge is part of his per

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