How to Add Text to Photos {Easy and Free!}

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When I first started blogging, I searched out ways to add text to photos or images.  The best way that I have found is using a website called Ribbet. is a photo editing website that provides all the services I want for FREE.  All you have to do is register.  I also suggest linking to your Facebook account, if you have one, because it lets you use photos from your Facebook page, as well as your friends' pages.

After you have registered, you can start uploading and editing photos.  So here is...

I.  Upload photo

At the Ribbet homepage, you can upload an image from your computer.  You can also click the Library tab and retrieve images from your computer, Facebook, Picasa, Google+, or Flickr.

I uploaded this photo of my dad and I during the Father-Daughter dance at my wedding. 

II.  Do basic edits

When you upload your photo, you will automatically be on the Basic Edits tab.  Here you can crop, sharpen, and brighten/darken your photo.  

If you are adding words, you may not want to do much cropping, as having extra free space will make it easier to fit text.  If you're not sure what to do, leave your photo alone because you can always go back later and do more edits.

My original photo was a little dark, so I went to the Exposure section, and messed around with the settings a little to lighten it up.

3.  Cool effects

Next, go to the Effects tab.  This is where all the fun photo effects are, just like with Instagram.  Some are free, others require a Premium subscription (which will be shown by the word premium on the right side of the effect's box).  I only use the free options and have found them to be all that I need.  Scroll down to see your options.  I usually opt for the Filters section or black and white.  

I wanted to focus on my dad and I, so I chose black and white.  Then, I used the effect painting to put color on us and on the Maryland flag window.  

4.  Add text

The next step is to add text to your photo, so click on the Text tab (pretty obvious, right?).  You simply type your text into the empty text box on the left side of the screen, choose the font, and click the Add button below the text box.  There are a wide array of fonts to choose from, but you can also upload your own fonts if you find any cool ones online to download.  

Your text will automatically show up white, but you can change the color, as well as the size, fade, blend modes, etc. on the pop up of text properties.  If you want to match colors in your photo, click the box to the right of the color choices to use the color sampling tool (it looks like an eyedropper).  You can drag it across different parts of your photo and click to choose the color displayed.

If you are finding that your text doesn't fit well or you want different fonts for different words, try entering the text as separate text boxes. 

I found a nice father quote to add.  Each line you see was added as a separate text box.  I searched for some contrasting fonts that would work and moved them to various places on the photo to see what would work best.  My method is just guess and test (you know, like 1st grade scientific method).  

5.  Make your text show up

Sometimes it can be difficult to read text depending on the colors or patterns in a photo.  If this is the case, I typically add a shape as a background behind the text.  To do this, go to the Stickers tab.  Scroll down to Geometric and choose a basic shape.  I've found that rectangles and ovals work best.  
Stretch and move your shape to cover the text you want.  Then, right click and go to Send to Back.  This will put your shape behind the text and bring your text back to the front so you can read it.  

Fiddle with the Sticker Properties to change color, size, and fade.  

I didn't really need to use a sticker on my photo because my text showed up just fine with the black and white background.  But to show you how it can be done, here is an example where I added a rectangle, moved it back, and faded it.


6.   Add a border

If you want to add a border to your photo, simply go to the Frames tab.  There are not a lot of free choices, but the basic Border option turns out pretty nice.  You can also change the colors and thickness.  

I added a basic frame and matched the color to the Maryland flag window using the color sampling tool (the eyedropper).n the Maryland flag window.

7.  Save it!

You probably don't need me to tell you this, but when you are all done editing your photo, you will want to click save!  

Here is my finished image.  I think it turned out pretty nice, and it just might be part of my Father's Day present to my dad. :)

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