I have various text layers in GIMP, all with different formatting (boldness, size, font). If I write additional text in the middle/end of any of them, it keeps the original formatting that layer has. But if I delete/select the whole text inside the box, and write something, it replaces the formatting with the formatting of the previous text box. Or with the default. Or sometimes it still keeps the formatting.

What is going on? How is GIMP's mechanism working? It is super annoying to always check because I never get the behaviour I would expect. I would prefer that each text box keeps it's formatting, even if I delete the whole text.

1 Answer 1


It might seem random, but it's not.

There are two distinct ways to set a font in GIMP, either in the Tool Options for the Text tool, or in the Text Toolbox.

Both settings are different and have different behaviours.

If you set a font in the Tool Options for the Text Tool, GIMP remembers that setting per text layer. Different text layers have their own font setting, which GIMP remembers. You can think of it like the default setting for that particular text layer.

Example of the Text Tool Options:

Text Tool Options

If you set a font in the Text Toolbox, it applies only to the selected text. In this way you can actually have different fonts within the same text box. However this does not change the font set in the Text Tool Options (i.e the default font for that specific text layer). GIMP still remembers that original font setting for the text layer, even if you changed the font setting for all the text in the Text Toolbox

Example of the Text Toolbox

Text Toolbox

If you replace all the text in the text box, GIMP reverts to the choice of font made in the Tool Options (i.e. the default font set for that layer).

If you type some new text in the middle of the line, the font matches the adjacent characters and doesn't change.

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    If anyone wonders, we do consider this to be a bug: bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=631934 Mar 14, 2018 at 17:17
  • @MichaelSchumacher opened ten years ago, activity: None, assignees: 0. That's GNOME for you.
    – bipll
    Nov 26, 2020 at 12:44
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    @bipll the link to the old GNOME Bugzilla may be misleading, GNOME is using GitLab now, and the bug has been migrated to issue gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gimp/-/issues/344 . As you can see, there is some recent discussion going on there, though it is yet inconclusive (mostly because I do not get what exactly Gregory is asking for in addition to my last comment). Nov 30, 2020 at 16:30
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    I love gimp and I've been using it for ...decades? But this has always driven me absolutely nuts. There are two different text option dialogues for the same thing, one of which scrolls with the image and gets lost if it goes off screen, etc. The software is absolutely phenomenal but the UI is atrocious. If you change baseline or kerning on the one text options box, the other one doesn't even seem to have it, just defaults to zero on both. /whine
    – Brandon
    Jul 10, 2021 at 14:33

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