Take the image below showing a page from an old baptism register, how can I change the image with a custom text or change some names (using GIMP on macOS preferably) while fitting/matching the overall appearance/handwritting of the text?

This is part of a project to create a collage for a background image.

How hard would you say is it to do this work for a novice in this matter?

enter image description here

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    So basically you're asking "how do I redo this image"? Because it's not an editable file, so there's no way to just "change the text": you have to erase parts of it and rewrite. – Luciano Apr 1 '19 at 13:13
  • I am a novice, I could’ve as you said. Erase some text and rewrite some parts of the text with a similar looking font/appearance... – Til Hund Apr 1 '19 at 13:15
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    What I mean is: you have to select parts of the image and paint a new background, re-write on top of it. There's no magic trick. If you want it to look better you should find a similar font and rewrite the whole page. You should look into learning selection / text tools in gimp. – Luciano Apr 1 '19 at 13:19
  • Yes, Luciano, I understand. If I were to rewrite the text without a font but by imitating the handwriting I would need to have a trackpad with a pencil, needn’t I? – Til Hund Apr 1 '19 at 13:21

Rewriting some texts of a 270 years old handwritten document - that's a difficult task for a beginner if the result must look authentic in a high resolution photo. But if you fight your way through it succesfully, nobody will say you a beginner.

You need no special equipment, only paper and a suitable pen for this style- maybe a quill or one with steel nib. And a good camera + the skills to take a fitting photo.

In addition you need a massive amount of serious practicing to learn to write in the same way. It's well possible you will never develop the needed penmanship to write plausible replacement texts. The original writer can have practiced for ex. 20 years. It was his job.

If you are lucky you can find elsewhere from the same book usable snippets. If you place them to a new layer, someone can get fooled. Seamless insertion is complex. You must fit also those texts which are faintly seen through the paper.

If one had a piece of dark paper behind the photographed page, the backside could be faded from the image.

If you plan to rewrite a part of the texts in a computer, do not expect any existing computer font do the job. A genius is needed to program one for you.

My suggestion: Check, if rewriting whole spread or page is acceptable. Then you have a bigger possiblity to get it done with consistent style. If you cannot lift your handwriting ability to a plausible level, you possibly can find one with the needed skills.

If the book isn't the main subject in the work, rewriting all texts with a rich enough computer font can be acceptable. The task is still complex because manipulating the text to seem to be handwritten onto curved, partially transparent pages is a must. But that's another technical problem.

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