---- GIMP Tips, Tricks, Tutorials and Techniques ----

Aligning Text in GIMP


You would think that aligning text within the GIMP would be a simple task. Go to the "Text Tool" add your text and use the controls there to align "Left justified", "Right justified", "Centered" or "Filled".  While that works fine but it may not be what you are looking for (you may not even notice any change if you only have a small amount of text. 

Using this method will align the text within the boundaries of the new text layer that you added to the image.  It won't align the text relative to the image.


To align the text relative to the image (like with many other tasks within the GIMP) there are different ways that you can do things.  Using the "Alignment Tool" is probably the easiest method of aligning text relative to your image or layer. 

When using this tool you will need to ensure that you have selected the text that you wish to centre, otherwise the controls will be grayed out (as seen in the picture below) and unusable.

From within the "Alignment Tool" you have several alignment choices .  You can align relative to:

  • First item
  • Image
  • Selection
  • Active Layer
  • Active channel
  • Active path

These should cater for most situations.


anything wrong with this approach?

I usually just expand the text frame to the same size as my image. Then the justify buttons work as expected. Haven't given the alignment tool a shot yet, though. Thanks for the tip!

Another tip...

I wasn't quite clear on what you meant by 'ensure that you have selected the text that you wish to centre'.

After trying a few things I realized that you must use the alignment tool in the main window to 'select' the text.

  • Just make sure the text layer is active in the Layers Dialogue.
  • Then click the text in the Main Window. Then you can use the alignment options in the Tool Options Dialogue.

Works like a charm, thanks!


Um.... I keep finding that it wants to select the base image even though I have the txt layer selected. SOOOOOOOO FRUSTRATING!


Um..... I keep finding that alignment select tool wants to select the whole base layer image rather than the text that I want to align. I've definitely got the txt layer selected.

Gimp for Mac

And how to do that on MAC????

align, NOT!

same problems as luke mentioned

align solved

OK.....i got it luke..
Put the layer in question as the top layer and then it will align.
Whoo hoo! *drinks coke*

Yes. You can't center id

Yes. You can't center id vertically then.

What Kat said worked; it

What Kat said worked; it wasn't all that clear what the original author meant so it still wasn't working for me, but Kat is right.

Text alignment

Installed 2.8.4.
When I enter text I do not get the selections shown. I get; font, size.some text styles,baseline change, kerning and font colour.
Very frustrating when I have 4 lines of text that need to be centered in the layer.

thank u very much

thank u very much

I am experiencing the same

I am experiencing the same too. I can't seem to get it right.


This really works!


Center Text

This is no longer the screen format for GIMP. I cannot find the justify tool. Please someone publish the update info. THanks

Centre text in Gimp 2.8

Just figured out how to do this in Gimp 2.8.

"Normally, tool options are displayed in a window attached under the Toolbox as soon as you activate a tool. If they are not, you can access them from the image menu bar through Windows → Dockable Windows → Tool Options which opens the option window of the selected tool."