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Help with The Gimp ?

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Hi guys !

Maybe some of you, dear visitors (yeah, when I need something, I can be freakingly polite !), would be talented with the Gimp ? There’s something I want to do, for easily filling in speech bubbles, I know photoshop would allow it, but I don’t find how The Gimp could make it…

Simply : first draw (point-to-point or free-hand) the shape of a zone, and then write text inside that zone, having the text adapt itself to fill in the zone, and in that zone only. I don’t mean to follow the external limits of the shape, I just mean the text will adapt to the weird shape and won’t be written in a virtual rectangular box.

If you know how do to it with The Gimp, thank you very much if you share the info in a comment :D

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9 Comments on "Help with The Gimp ?"

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I did a bit of googling and well… You have to do everything by hand. I found a tutorial. It’s for photoshop but can easily be adapted to Gimp.


If you mean for GIMP to vary height/width of text, compressing and expanding it, I don’t think GIMP can do it. If someone verifies this, you should request it.

IF that is what you mean, you might be better with inkscape honestly, it has rather impressive text effects and tools, just pretty much no raster editing.


Yes, you need two programs to achieve better results. One to work with raster graphics (Photoshop, GIMP, etc.) and one for work with vector graphics (CorelDraw, Inkscape, etc.).

Tom Sewell

The GIMP just doesn’t have the ability to manipulate text like that. The way I fit text in is to set for left (or occasionally right) justification and insert spaces to nudge the text line-by-line to fit the balloons. I used to split the pages up so that I could just put the “extra” text outside the panels, but I kept getting complaints from people who wanted the page, the whole page, and nothing but the page. Often I change the size of the text to fit the balloons.

Check out Toritsu Mizushou at Manga Fox to see my efforts.


From my past working with GIMP, which was quite some time ago, you can’t really do it quick and dirty. Actually, you can’t really free-form/transform text that easily in most graphics editors. Someone had the right idea when mentioning vectors. PaintShop Pro will allow you to insert text as a vector overlay/layer, as will Photoshop. If the latest version of GIMP doesn’t provide vector support, or any of the add-ins/plug-ins, you’re pretty much out of luck. However, I believe that if you use the Transform Path(s), along with some practice, you can do what you want to accomplish. It might work best as an overlay/layer, which you can then merge before saving, in order to reduce file size, or to conform to a specific file format.


Something which may or may not be helpful to you, if it will allow you to to create a layer based upon a selected text bubble:

Layer to Selection:

“Select->To Layer” — Creates a new layer which is a duotone version of the selection using the FG and BG colors (default colors result in a grayscale layer that precisely matches the selection channel).

I don’t know why, but I’m thinking you’re running Linux. If not, Paint.Net, with additional plug-ins, should be able to do the text, too.

Good luck!


i work with both software, inkscape and GIMP during my game dev.

in ur case better go for Inkscape, they are easy to use and best at creating pictures from scratch.

GIMP is best at editing picture.

random gd artist

Indesign, can allow you to create a box.. and you can adjust the borders to the bubble and define the margin( borders) .


As other people mentioned, The Gimp can’t do it in any useful way as its not a vector editor, but Inkscape is great for this.

If you’re on Linux you’d also have the option to use draw (not quite that powerful), krita (quite powerful, really), xara xtreme, or just running some windows editor in wine.