How to Insert Symbols Into Your Text in GIMP

By David Wayne

Text editors display special characters by reading their Unicode values. Enter these values directly into GIMP's text editor or copy them from another source and paste them into your GIMP project. To directly enter a Unicode character in GIMP, use the Text tool's editing window. If your font doesn't support the full range of Unicode characters, it may display a symbol as a place holder.

Select a Compatible Font

Select the “Text” tool and click an area of the layer in which you want to add a symbol. Choose a font by clicking the “Font” menu and selecting a font. Most system fonts, General Public License fonts and commercial fonts support the full range of characters.

Type a Unicode Value in the Text Editor

Select “Use Editor” in the GIMP toolbox to display the text editor and then press “Ctrl,” “Shift” and “U” to enable direct Unicode entry. The text editor displays a “u” to represent a Unicode character. Insert the symbol by typing its Unicode value in the window and pressing “Enter.” For example, type "2665" without quotes to insert a heart symbol or type "03C0" to insert a pi character. For a complete list of Unicode symbols and their values, visit a website such as Unicode Table, UTF-8 Chartable or JR Graphix.

Paste a Symbol Into Your Project

You can paste characters from the clipboard directly into your GIMP project. To copy special characters to the clipboard, select them from any source and press “Ctrl-C.” Select the “Text” tool in Gimp, click an area of the project and press “Ctrl-V” to paste the symbol. Change the font, size or color by selecting values for these parameters from the toolbox menu.