There are many things you can do to vary the appearance of text beyond
just rendering it with different fonts or different colors. By
converting a text item to a selection or a path, you can fill it, stroke
the outlines, transform it, or generallly apply the whole panoply of
GIMP tools to get interesting effects. As a demonstration of some of the
possibilities, try out the "logo" scripts in the Toolbox menu, at
sections should help you get started. Of course, you don't need
Script-Fu to create these sorts of effects, only to automate them.
-> -> .
Each of these scripts allows you to enter some text, and then creates
a new image showing a logo constructed out of that text. If you would
like to modify one of these scripts, or construct a logo script of your
For the most authoritative and up-to-date information on fonts
in GIMP, consult the Fonts in GIMP 2.0
page at the GIMP web site. This section attempts to give you a
GIMP uses the FreeType 2 font engine to render fonts, and a system
called Fontconfig to manage them. GIMP will let you use any font in
Fontconfig's font path; it will also let you use any font it finds in
GIMP's font search path, which is set on the
page of the Preferences dialog. By default, the font search path
includes a system GIMP-fonts folder (which you should not alter, even
though it is actually empty), and a
folder inside your personal GIMP directory. You can add new folders to
the font search path if it is more convenient for you.
FreeType 2 is a very powerful and flexible system. By default, it
supports the following font file formats:
TrueType fonts (and collections)
Type 1 fonts
CID-keyed Type 1 fonts
OpenType fonts (both TrueType and CFF variants)
SFNT-based bitmap fonts
X11 PCF fonts
Windows FNT fonts
BDF fonts (including anti-aliased ones)
Type42 fonts (limited support)
You can also add modules to support other types of font files. See
for more information.
On a Linux system, if the Fontconfig utility is set up as usual, all
you need to do to add a new font is to place the file in the directory
This will make the font available not only to GIMP, but to any other
program that uses Fontconfig. If for some reason you want the font to
be available to GIMP only, you can place it in the
subdirectory of your personal GIMP directory, or some other location
in your font search path. Doing either will cause the font to show up
the next time you start GIMP. If you want to use it in an already
running GIMP, press the Refresh
button in the Fonts dialog.
The easiest way to install a font is to drag the file onto the
Fonts directory and let the shell do its magic. Unless you've done
something creative, it's probably in its default location of
C:\winnt\fonts. Sometimes double-clicking on
a font will install it as well as display it; sometimes it only
displays it. This method will make the font available not only to
GIMP, but also to other Windows applications.
To install a Type 1 file, you need both the
files. Drag the one that gets an icon into the fonts folder.
The other one doesn't strictly need to be in the same directory
when you drag the file, since it uses some kind of search
algorithm to find it if it's not, but in any case putting it in
the same directory does no harm.
In principle, GIMP can use any type of font on Windows that FreeType can
handle; however, for fonts that Windows can't handle natively, you
should install them by placing the font files in the
folder of your personal GIMP directory, or some other location in your
font search path. The support Windows has varies by version. All that
GIMP runs on support at least TrueType, Windows FON, and Windows FNT.
Windows 2000 and later support Type 1 and OpenType. Windows ME supports
OpenType and possibly Type 1 (but the most widely used Windows GIMP
installer does not officially support Windows ME, although it may work
GIMP uses Fontconfig to manage fonts on Windows as well as Linux.
The instructions above work because Fontconfig by default uses the
Windows fonts directory, i. e., the same fonts that Windows uses
itself. If for some reason your Fontconfig is set up differently,
you will have to figure out where to put fonts so that GIMP can
find them: in any case, the
fonts folder of
your personal GIMP directory should work.
Problems with fonts have probably been responsible for more GIMP 2 bug
reports than any other single cause, although they have become much less
frequent in the most recent releases in the 2.0 series. In most cases
they have been caused by malformed font files giving trouble to
Fontconfig. If you experience crashes at startup when GIMP scans your
font directories, the best solution is to upgrade to a version of
Fontconfig newer than 2.2.0. As a quick workaround you can start gimp
command-line option, but then you will not be able to use the text tool.
Another known problem is that Pango 1.2 cannot load fonts that don't
provide an Unicode character mapping. (Pango is the text layout library
used by GIMP.) A lot of symbol fonts fall into this category. On some
systems, using such a font can cause GIMP to crash. Updating to Pango
1.4 will fix this problem and makes symbol fonts available in GIMP.
A frequent source of confusion occurs on Windows systems, when GIMP
encounters a malformed font file and generates an error message: this
causes a console window to pop up so that you can see the message.
Do not close that console window. It is harmless, and closing it will
shut down GIMP.
When this happens, it often seems to users that GIMP has crashed. It
hasn't: closing the console window causes Windows to shut GIMP down.
Unfortunately, this annoying situation is caused by an interaction
between Windows and the libraries that GIMP links to: it cannot be fixed
within GIMP. All you need to do, though, if this happens, is minimize
the console window and ignore it.