Add a Text Watermark to a Photo in GIMP

Protect your creative efforts

What to Know

  • Go to Tools > Text. Click the image to open the text editor box.
  • Type the watermark text and assign a font, size, and color. Then, in the Tool Options palette, select Size to enlarge.
  • Go to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Layers. Click the text layer and move the Opacity slider.

This article explains how to apply a text watermark to photos in GIMP.

How to Make a Text Watermark in GIMP

Applying text watermarks in GIMP to your photos is a simple way to help protect the images you post online against theft. It isn't foolproof, but it will deter casual viewers from stealing your photos.

  1. Open a photo in GIMP. Select Tools > Text.

    A screenshot of GIMP with the Text option under the Tools menu highlighted
  2. Click on the image to open the GIMP text editor box. Type the desired text into the editor to add it to a new layer.

    GIMP text tool dialog for watermark
  3. Change the font, size, and color as desired. Black or white is best, depending upon the part of the image where you will place your watermark.

To type a © symbol in Windows, type Ctrl+Alt+C or Alt+0169. In macOS, type Option+C.

Making Your Text Watermark Semi-Transparent

A semi-transparent watermark allows you to use larger text in a more prominent position without obscuring the image. Removing this type of copyright notice without adversely affecting the image is much more difficult for would-be copyright violators.

  1. Increase the size of the text using the Size control in the Tool Options palette.

    A screenshot of GIMP's text palette with the text size highlighted
  2. To make the Layers palette visible, go to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Layers.

    A screenshot of GIMP with the Layers option under the Windows menu highlighted
  3. Click on your text layer to ensure it is active.

    GIMP active layer
  4. Slide the Opacity slider to the left to reduce the opacity. The image below shows how your text watermark varies depending on text color and image section.

    A screenshot of GIMP with a layer's opacity slider highlighted

Applications specifically designed for adding watermarks to digital images are available; however, GIMP makes the process very easy, and the program is free.

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