Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Gimp 2.8 Text Tool

In this video, I will demonstrate the new features of the Gimp 2.8 text tool. At first glance, the text tool in 2.8 looks exactly like the text tool in 2.6, but actually there’s a lot of new features, many of which would have been much more complicated in Gimp 2.6, that are under the hood. To illustrate this, I’m in Gimp 2.8, in single-window mode. I will create a new image canvas by selecting File-New, and accepting the default of 640 x 400 pixels. You can use any image dimension that you want.

As in Gimp 2.6, you select the Text Tool from the Toolbox by clicking on the bold faced A icon. In the Tool Options, the options for the text you want to enter can be set. I’ll change the font to Tahoma, a commonly usede sans serif font useful for displaying text on the Web, by clicking on the Select Font icon (the one with the Capital A and small A), and scrolling down to the font. The big and little A change as a preview of what the A would look in that particular font. The font size defaults to 18 pixels. You can change both the font size, and the type of units. Gimp supports pixels, inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, and a variety of other types. I’ll change the text size to 50 pixels.

Once we start to add text, the differences between the 2.8 and 2.6 text tool will become clearer. To add text, click on the area of the canvas where you want to enter text, draw a rectangle which roughly is the area you want the text to occupy, and start typing the text. I’ll type “Red, Green, and Blue”. As in 2.6, the text displays in Tahoma, with a size of 50 pixels, in black. The text is also left justified. The justification can be changed to right, center, and filled, by clicking on the Justify icons, also as in Gimp 2.6. I’ll click on the Center icon. All of these settings affect the entire text.

So far, nothing appears to be new as far as editing the text goes. However, there is one thing that catches our eye, and that’s the on-canvas editing area, directly above the rectangle we created, with some new buttons and thingies. What are they?
The reason they are there is that in the new text tool, you can change parts of the text.