I am trying to make some text follow a curved path in GIMP. I want it to look similar to the text on the "Galaxy Quest" posters.

I have altered the text, so I can no longer use the 'text to path' function, and I can't alter the text AFTER I make it follow the path due to how I intend it to be altered.

Any thoughts/ideas/advice?

enter image description here
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  • I can't alter the text AFTER I make it follow the path due to how I intend it to be altered. I'm very surprised by this statement. Text is just rendering a path...
    – xenoid
    Apr 7, 2017 at 8:00
  • Welcome on GD.SE, QuantumZD! Have you tried to use the Cage Tool? Apr 7, 2017 at 8:25
  • I CAN use it, but I was looking to use something that would give a smoother, more predictable path or curve.
    – QuantumZD
    Apr 8, 2017 at 1:18

3 Answers 3


I would like to suggest that you don't use GIMP for this. I know you asked for GIMP, but this would be much easier done using the free vector image editor Inkscape, by making use of its Envelope Distort path effect.

Here's an example of what can be achieved. I have tried to show the control paths which show how the distortion works.

enter image description here

Here's how to do it:

  1. Create some text, and click Path > Object to Path. This converts the letters into outlines so that they can be distorted. After this has been done, like in GIMP, the text is no longer editable as text.
  2. Click Path > Path Effect Editor. In the dialog that opens, click on the dropdown under "Apply new effect", and choose the "Envelope Deformation" option. Then click Add.
  3. Select the top blend path "Edit on Canvas" button, and using the "Edit by Nodes" tool, click on the path to bend it or move the nodes. You can click and drag the pathto bend it, and you can adjust the bend of the paths with the Bezier handles.
  4. Do the same for the left, right and bottom paths - and try to position them similar to the above example

Once you have completed this, you can then export the image as a PNG from Inkscape, and use it in GIMP.


If you can work with paths:

  1. SG Warp text can warp your text (in your example, the text is curved but also resized)

  2. To just curve the text, there is the standard "text-along-path" function or the enhanced text-along-path script.

  • I try that now and see how it goes :)
    – QuantumZD
    Apr 8, 2017 at 1:19
  • Ahhh here we go. I was trying to alter it as text as opposed to an object, so I used Filters > Distort > Curve Bend. Silly me! Thanks for your help anyway :)
    – QuantumZD
    Apr 8, 2017 at 2:41

There is a new script that does exactly this:

  • Given a source path which is the path on which you start the script (active path or else) (in red)
  • You provide an envelope path made of two strokes (in blue)
  • The script produces the bent path (in green) by stretching the input path vertically.


The script only deals with the existing path control points and so is very fast.

ofn-bend-path is here, and is discussed/demoed there.

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