I have an old .xcf file that contains several text layers. When I created the file, I edited and changed the text multiple times without issue.

Now, several months later, on a new OS and new version of GIMP, when I select the text layer, it lets me edit it without asking for confirmation, however the font shows up in red as "Standard Symbols". As soon as I make any change, e.g. type in one extra letter, the whole text layer changes to look completely different.

I don't remember if I used a specific font back then that I no longer have installed. Is this the problem here? If so, can I find out which font the text is supposed to use?

  • 1
    Welcome on GD.SE, Krateng. Perhaps this answer on SO could help you (see also here)? Jul 13, 2021 at 17:18
  • That did in fact help and I found the correct font. I wasn't aware of this python integration. Thank you! Do you want to add it as an answer so I can mark it as solved?
    – Krateng
    Jul 13, 2021 at 17:41
  • The answer on Stack Overflow was written by @xenoid, who should get the credits. You can also write by yourself the answer with your experience, and mark it as solved. Jul 13, 2021 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


Thanks to the comment above and the linked answer by @xenoid, I found the font and installing it solved the issue.

The Python Console is accessible under Filters/Python-Fu, where the object representing the open image can be found with img = gimp.image_list()[0] (0 of course being the index of the open image).

From there, one can select the text layer (layer = img.layers[*index*], sublayers can be accessed by chaining this attribute).

The raw text of this layer can then be accessed with layer.parasite_find('gimp-text-layer').data, which contains font information.

This was done on GIMP 2.10.24 on Pop!OS.


Here are some bug reports for it:

Related: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1320373/gimp-ctrl-a-selection-change-my-font-into-weird-symbols

I observed this on Ubuntu 22.10, GIMP 2.10.32 when opening some .xcf files created on an older GIMP version (don't remember which). It might also only affect text fields that contain non-ASCII character, but not 100% sure about that.

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