How to Add Text to a Picture (Easy Guide for Authors)

POSTED ON Sep 1, 2021

Gloria Russell

Written by Gloria Russell

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If you’re a self-published author, you may already know that writing is only one part of the gig. There’s a conception that writers don’t need to have any technical no-how—after all, people have been writing novels long before the invention of the computer, right? However, there are a ton of tech-based skills that can help you on your path to self-published stardom. Among these is knowing how to put together a graphic. 

Putting together a graphic will help you make more appealing promotional images and social media posts, which are a huge tool in helping you get your book out there.

And one of the most fundamental skills for creating a compelling graphic is knowing how to put text on a photo image. 

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How to Add Text to a Picture

If you’re brand-new to the world of graphic design, here are a few easy ways to layer text on photo images to make your next graphic quickly and easily! 

1. Adding Text With an iPhone or Android 

Before we go buying any fancy graphic design software, let’s use something almost everyone has in their pocket: their smartphone. iPhones and Androids both come with photo editing built in, which is a great place to start experimenting with layering text. 

For iPhone users: go to your Photos app and select the image you want to layer text onto. Hit Edit, then look in the upper right hand corner for three little dots. Hit those, then select Markup. There should be a ribbon at the bottom of the screen with different tools, and on the far right, you should see a plus sign. Hit that, and select the Text option! 

For Android users: open Google Photos and select the photo you’d like to edit. You’re looking for Edit at the bottom of the photo. Select that, then Markup, then hit the Text tool. 

Both of these options allow you to tinker with font type, size, and color. 

2. Microsoft Paint 

If you’ve got a Microsoft computer, you’ve probably also got Microsoft Paint! 

To layer text on an image in MS Paint, you’ll first need to open the program. Then, you’ll hit File—>Open and select your desired image. Once the image is loaded onto the screen, hit the Text tool in the ribbon at the top of the screen to add a text box. This box can be adjusted and moved wherever you need it, plus you can tinker with the font, font size, and color. 

3. Canva 

Canva is a free graphic design site, and while it’s absolutely loaded with graphic design bells and whistles (especially if you pay extra for premium), it’s also great for basics, like layering text onto a photo. 

Start a new design on Canva first. You might pick from one of their existing templates (many of which are sized for social media posts for your convenience), or just start a new design from scratch. Once you’re on the design page, look at the tools on the left hand sign and hit ‘Upload’ to upload your image. When your image is uploaded, hit ‘Text’ to add a text box. 

Canva has separate text boxes for headings, subheadings, and body text. This is helpful if you’re making a flyer with lots of text on it and need the information neatly organized, since it sets the sizes for you. However, they’re all customizable text boxes which do, functionally, the same exact thing. 

A quick note: don’t forget to save and export your Canva image when you’re done! Do a quick Google search to see which file formats are supported wherever you’re posting—Canva allows you to save as a few different ones, and both .jpeg and .png are usually safe bets. 

4. imgflip’s Meme Generator 

Look, I know some writers don’t want to hear it, but making a solid meme can really up your social media game. And thankfully, we have the technology we need to do it without any fuss. Welcome, imgflip! Imgflip;s Meme Generator is intended for making and customizing memes, but you can use its text-on-photo function for whatever your heart desires. 

When you’ve got the site loaded, you’ve got a few options. You can work with the meme it’s given you or select from the ‘hot memes’ posted below (although, word to the wise: these memes are not always super duper up to date, so proceed with caution). Pick your meme and add whatever text you desire, and it should give you your own personal meme. 

If you want to use your own image, find “Add Image” above the working photo. Upload the photo you’d like to use, then proceed with arranging your text. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for adding text to a photo? Have you used any of the sites or softwares listed here? Let us know in the comments! 

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Gloria Russell

Written by
Gloria Russell

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