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Quickies: How To Add Words to Photos

By Han | 14th Jun 2016 | Posted in Quickies

We’ve created a series of bite-sized blog posts just long enough to give you the downlow on all kinds of digital wizardry, because we love sharing our knowledge and know-how. Get tips for improving your social media efforts, discover powerful PR tricks, and learn all kinds of hacks to make your work life easier. Here is our super quick tip of the week.


This is a straightforward one. Did you ever wonder how you can quickly add your own text overlays and effects to your photos? For free? We’ve got three solutions that you can try – without having to download any software.


With the rise in image-led social media networks, being able to do some basic photo editing – and in particular add your own custom text to images – is becoming an increasingly useful skill. Photoshop is the go-to application for many professionals, but with the hefty price tag and a bit of a learning curve, it’s definitely overkill for many peoples’ needs.

Luckily, there are plenty of solutions to fit a range of needs.



Canva is great for creating images especially for different social channels, as it gives you around 50 blank templates, from cover images and sharing posts to email headers, and a whole host more, and you can use it online without having to download any software. You can upload your own images, and there is a library of stock photos and backgrounds you can search too – although many of these you have to pay a small amount for, so you may be better off sourcing your own royalty-free images.

When it comes to the text, there are some ready-made typographic compositions you can edit and use for inspiration, and plenty of typefaces available for creating your own from scratch.


Pablo is similar to Canva, but a little more stripped back. There are three templates available, which should be plenty for most peoples’ needs: they cover sharing images for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Once you’ve chosen one, you can select a background image from their extensive free collection (or upload your own), apply a blur or colour filter, and add up to three lines of text. You also have the option to add a company logo to your composition if you want.

This is a great option if you’re short on time and don’t need too many bells and whistles.


If, on the other hand, you’re all about the features, then Pixlr offers a lot. It’s much more closely modelled on Photoshop, so if you’re already a bit familiar with layer styles, tools, and the history panel, then you might find this web app much more satisfying.

Pixlr can also be downloaded as an app to use offline, which gives you the added advantage of being able to use all the typefaces you have installed on your computer already – a major drawback of the previous two options.

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Jon Buchan
Hannah Brown
Jenny Longmuir
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Asher Baker
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Aida Staskeviciute
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Dipak Hemraj
Jess Collett
Gemma MacNaught
Laila Khan
Gary Buchan
James Hackney
Stuart Lawrence

Jon Buchan Chief Executive Officer
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