Jan 02

This is really cool, I found it on a youtube video. You can place text on your images right in Leopard using Textedit and Preview. Here’s how:

Open Textedit, type a suitable label or string of text. Set the font as you desire (cmd+t), go to “File -> Print” and choose “Open PDF in Preview”.


Now using the “Select Tool” select the text (draw a box around it) and press (cmd+k) to crop. Save the cropped PDF as a PNG image (File -> Save As)

Now with the saved PNG image, hold the mouse button on the select tool until the drop down menu appears, and choose “Instant Alpha”. The image will now let you select the background portions to remove. Click on each white area until they are all grey and then press “Enter”. Now, “File -> Save As” a PNG again, this time you will notice the “Alpha” tickbox is checked. Overwrite the existing PNG file.


Now, with the saved image, press “cmd+a” to select all, then “cmd+c” to copy the item. Go across to your target image and press “cmd+v” to paste the text in. You can drag the text anywhere you like on the image!


Enjoy! * I took this picture whilst on holiday in Margaret River, Western Australia

written by James \\ tags: , ,

10 Responses to “Add text to images with Preview”

  1. Jon T Says:

    You can do this much more easily, just got to Tools.. Annotate.. and select Add Note… and you can create the text directly in preview. Format the text, resize the text box, re-edit etc.

    Well done Apple with Preview.

    By the way, you can’t do the same trick with a PDF file… with a PDF it creates a note to the left of the page..

  2. Charles Marker Says:

    I managed the hard way but the easier way from Jon T: neither I nor my Apple one-to-one guy could get the selections, including Add Note under Tools..Annotate to become “live.” Tried on a jpg opened in preview.

  3. Guy Says:

    I can’t do it with the menu options either – they remain greyed out. But if you customise the toolbar and add the Annotate group, you can select Add Note from the icon and do what Jon T says.

  4. chkdg8 Says:

    I was going nuts trying to figure out this method but I found a youtube video showcasing this. Just search for ‘Annotate Images in Leopard’s Preview.’ Jon T, when you say “format the text” are you referring to chosing the font? If so, I can’t seem to figure that part out.

  5. michelle Says:

    i cant seem to add a note onto my photo :( it wont allow me to

  6. ami Says:

    when i save this image after adding the text (either within preview with annotate text or using PNG copy and past of text) – it’s just a blank white screen. anyone else having this problem?

  7. dave Says:

    doesn’t work, copy and paste into jpeg file in preview simply doesn’t do it

  8. Upload Images Says:

    Hello very cool website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also?I am satisfied to seek out so many helpful info right here in the put up, we want work out more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  9. Paze Says:

    I got it to work the way Jon T described but you do have to add “Annotate” to the tool bar the way Guy is saying

  10. chelsea Says:

    i’m trying to do this, but holding down the annotate button doesn’t bring up the instant alpha menu. help?

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