I have a static non-animated GIF image, is there anyway to extract a line of text and/or its font formatting information from it? I've tried opening it in GIMP, but the whole image appears to be only a single layer.

  • Can you post a link to the image? – Brynn Dec 17 '15 at 17:24
  • @BenHawker I cannot, it is confidential. It is a header for a desktop application, and also can be used for the website, similar to this one I found online: link Are there anyway to split the layers in GIFs, like how Fireworks can split different PNG levels? – Dylan Czenski Dec 17 '15 at 17:30
  • As far as I know Fireworks can only edit layers on Fireworks PNGs. Once a PNG is flattened it can't "peel it apart". Same goes for GIFs. – Brynn Dec 17 '15 at 17:34
  • If your goal is to extract the text portion of a larger image then select the text portion.. – Ryan Dec 17 '15 at 17:53

There are a few techniques I know of for extracting this information from an image.

What the Font

What the font allows you to upload an image of your text and it tries to match the characters to a font. I recommend cropping your image down to just the text before uploading for best results.

Project Naptha

Project Naptha is a Chrome extension which OCR's images and allows you to copy the text. This will get you the text content (more or less) but not the formatting or styling.

Illustrator / Photoshop

Once you've used What the Font (which may give you more than one option) you can try the retyping the text in Illustrator or Photoshop. I often line up the new text over with 50% opacity so I can figure out the weight, kerning, baseline and leading. In Illustrator this is all done using the Character panel (Windows > Type > Character).


I did this recently with the Logo for the National Center for Biomedical Ontology. Here's the original logo (I only had a JPEG).

Original Logo

I didn't know what font it was so I cropped it down to just the big letters for What the Font.

Cropped Logo

Then I uploaded it to What the Font, it got all of the letter except for the "I"'s, which I fixed.

What the Font Analysis

What the Font said it was Arial Narrow so I started trying to fit that to the logo.

Fitting in Progress

I had to tweak the kerning for a few letter to get them lined up. In the it's never going to be exactly the same placement as the original but it's pretty close.

Final Text Fit

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