How to Add Date Stamps to Photos Using GIMP

by Marie Cartwright
Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

If you'd like to give your photos that "straight from the camera" look, adding a digital date stamp only takes a minute. The open-source image editing program GIMP provides all the tools you need to give your picture a chronological label. Though you can use whatever font appeals to your aesthetic sensibilities, if you want to emulate a digital camera date stamp, try using a custom font (see Resources). Otherwise, any of the sans serif fonts already installed on your computer (such as Arial or Futura) will be easiest to read.

Step 1

Open the "File" menu. Select "Open." Browse your local files for your photo. Click the "Open" button.

Step 2

Select the Text tool from the Toolbox panel. The Text tool is marked by a bold, black letter "T." Click the cursor onto the photo to open a text box. The GIMP text editor will open in a separate window. Don't worry if you don't get the text box in the right location at first. You can always move it later by clicking and dragging with the Move tool.

Type the date into the Text Editor. If you need to adjust the font or text color, click the associated icons on the Toolbox panel. Once your text is complete, click "Close" on the Text Editor. Open the "File" menu. Click "Save." The text layer will be merged into the original photo.


  • If you do not know the date that the picture was taken, this information may be stored in the photo's metadata. Enabling GIMP to view a photo's metadata requires installing the "Exif Viewer" plugin. Installing GIMP plugins can be a complicated process, and is only recommended for those with software building experience. The Exif Viewer plugin is available for both Windows and Linux users. Installation instructions can be found in the Resources section.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Marie Cartwright began writing in 2010. Her work has appeared on various websites. Having held office jobs in copywriting and editing, Cartwright now works from her home in Northern California. She also maintains an events website geared toward the science and technology community.

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