Adjusting Lines and Spacing in GIMP

  1. Adjusting Text in GIMP
  2. Working with GIMP Text Tools
  3. Adjust line spacing
  4. Letter spacing adjustment

Adjusting Text in GIMP

GIMP is a popular free and open source image editing application, but the text tool is not designed for a lot of text work. This should come as no surprise since GIMP is designed for image editing. However, some users prefer to work with text in GIMP. If you are one of those users, GIMP Text Tools offers a fair amount of control for working with text in the software.

Working with GIMP Text Tools

Open Text tool by clicking on the menu bar Tools and choose Text . Click on the document and draw a text box. If desired, go to the toolbar and select the capital letter A to create a new layer type. When it’s selected, you can simply click on the image to set the point at which you start typing, or drag to draw a text box that will enclose the text. Whatever you do, the GIMP Toolbar Tools opens below the toolbar.
Use the floating palette that appears in your document above the text you entered to change the font, size, or style. You can make the same formatting changes and more in the Tool Options panel. Also in the tool options you can change the color of the text and set the alignment.

Adjust line spacing

When you set the amount of text in a fixed space, it may not quite fit. The most obvious way to adjust multiple lines of text is to change the font size. However, this may not be the best option, especially if this action reduces the size of the text and makes it difficult to read.

GIMP provides text spacing options that you can use to customize how text is displayed on a page. The first of these is the leading, also known as line spacing. Increasing the spacing between lines of text can improve readability and have a positive aesthetic benefit. However, in some cases, due to space constraints, you don’t have this option and you have to shrink the lead a bit to make it fit. If you decide to reduce the leader, don’t overdo it. If lines of text are too close together, they become a solid block that is difficult to read.

To adjust line spacing, select a block of text on the page and use the left-most drop-down menu on the floating palette to enter a new start value, or use the up and down arrows to adjust the start value. You see the changes you make in real time.

Letter spacing adjustment

GIMP offers another tool that can also be used to adjust the display of multiple lines of text. It changes the spacing between individual letters.
Just as you can adjust the line spacing for aesthetic reasons, you can also change the letter spacing for more appealing results. The most common letter spacing can be increased for a lighter effect and to make several lines of text less compact, although this feature should be used with caution. If you increase the letter spacing too much, the spaces between words become blurred and the body text begins to look like a word search puzzle instead of a block of text.
You can reduce the letter spacing as another way to fit text in tight spaces. Don’t shorten the letter spacing too much, otherwise the letters may work together. However, using this setting along with line spacing and changing the actual font size often yields the clearest compromise.

To change the letter spacing, select a block of text on the page and use the right-most drop-down menu on the floating palette to enter additional letter space, or use the up and down arrows to make changes. As with line spacing, you’ll see the changes you’ve made in real time.

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