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Tutorial: Cool glowing text

Written by · Created on May 18, 2007, last updated almost 12 years ago CC BY-NC License
Cool glowing text


In this tutorial I'll show you how to get this pretty nice glowing text effect using GIMP. In my opinion glowing text looks much better if you have text with a rounded font. Take a look at the rounded corners-tutorial if you want your special font to be rounded off.

Tutorial details

  1. 1

    New file: 500×200px.
    - Fill the background with black color.
    - Take the text-tool and write any text you want onto a new layer. Use a font size of 60 for this at least.
    - Layer / Layer to picture size. Now your text-layer should be renderend and have the same size as the whole picture.

  2. 2

    The next step is to create a strong outer glow.

    - Click the layer with your right mouse button in the layers dialog menu. Choose “Selection from Alpha”.
    - Select / Grow: 3px
    - Add a new layer, name it “schein nach aussen” (which measn outer glow in German ;)).
    - Fill the selection on this layer with #007eff
    - In the layers dialog move the layer behind the text-layer

  3. 3

    - Select / None (CTRL SHIFT A)
    - Filter / Blur / Gaussian: 45px.
    - Duplicate the layer and apply a gaussian blur again: 30px.

  4. 4

    My layers look like this now:

  5. 5

    Click the glowing text-layer in the layers dialog to activate it.
    - duplicate it
    - on the duplicate apply another gaussian blur. Take a value of 15.
    - Set the layers mode (found in the layers dialog at the very top above the opacity) to “Dodge”.

  6. 6

    - Duplicate the “schein nach außen” / “other glow”-layer.
    - in the layers dialog move it to the top of all layers, so thats it is above all the other layers. Set the layers mode to “Dodge” again. This step makes the glow effect even stronger ;)

    Thats it. Have fun with your own glowing text!


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over 5 years ago

Glow Effect Script has been moved to:
We just moved to a different host for faster speed.

over 5 years ago

Cool enough to turn into a script ->

elilucas member for about 6 years elilucas 1 comment rated this topic with 1/5
over 5 years ago

This tutorial is six years old. Some of the steps do not apply / are replaced with newer techniques. Will you please edit for the new version of Gimp?

over 9 years ago

hi i just tried out the tutorial. very nice, was wondering is there a way i can animate this?

almost 10 years ago

I don't understand number 2 at all. I have gimp 2.6.11. Is there anyway, you could explain this in pictures instead of words. I don't know where selection from Alpha is, much less the grow part. Great effect. I just wish it was explained in better terms.

about 12 years ago

I did try erasing the glow at the sides I didnt want the glow but wasnt very satisfied with the result. maybe I need to work on it more. I used a very 'loopy' font which makes it harder, I guess. I will try with the layer mask.
I've seen people use the motion blur that follows a path - might that be an option?

devvv member for over 16 years devvv 1475 comments
about 12 years ago

apply a layer mask to the glowing layers, there you paint the parts you don't want to have in black which removes them from the glow. maybe that helps!

about 12 years ago

Hello, great Tut. worked well.
i have 1 question tho.. can i make the glow to one side only so it rather looks like the text is glwoing into one directions like a light would?

minamoto.kazuya rated this topic with 3/5
over 12 years ago

i don't understand the part where you said "Selection From Alpha" where can i find that? all i read is Alpha Selection, i mean, Alpha to Logo.

gimp_erin member for over 12 years gimp_erin 2 comments rated this topic with 5/5
over 12 years ago

Awesome tutorial! Tried it out and I understand everything perfectly!

over 12 years ago

How do i move the layer behind the text layer????
(end of step 2)

over 12 years ago

hey I did the technique for a gimp brush
and it worked so just make sure the backround is transparent

over 13 years ago

Another great tutorial, thanks Bernhard!

over 13 years ago

ooh thanks! it came out amazing!

over 13 years ago

What is #007 effect?

over 13 years ago

I can not get this to work for the life of me

almost 14 years ago

I have Gimp 2.6.3, and this doesn't work too well :(

about 14 years ago

A really nice tutorial, thanks a bunch.

Alec W
about 14 years ago

nice effect, cheers :)

over 14 years ago

Okay, cool tutorial, but I've got Gimp 2, which is fine, I can translate. But I add the new layer with a new color, put it behind the text, and I get white text on top of my colored layer...not with a colored border on black. What am I doing wrong?

Torbjorn member for over 14 years Torbjorn 4 comments
over 14 years ago

Go to File --> Dialogues --> Layers, in the main window of Gimp, or hit the shortcut Ctrl + L.

over 14 years ago

I can't find the layers dialog box!

over 14 years ago

Thanks this rocks!

devvv member for over 16 years devvv 1475 comments
over 14 years ago

its not a special font - any sans serif font will be fine - i did the rounded corners technique (under "Techniques" at the tutorial overview page) to get it look like this

over 14 years ago

Thanx, I have one more question.. What font did you use?

devvv member for over 16 years devvv 1475 comments
over 14 years ago

look in menu Selection / Grow

over 14 years ago

Where can i find Grow?

devvv member for over 16 years devvv 1475 comments
over 14 years ago

make a new seperate layer atop all, the fill it with the color of your choice. set the layers mode to "color", the it should be the color of your choice.

over 14 years ago

Okay, I follow this step by step, and it comes out alright, not good, but not to bad. Anyway, how do I change the glow's color? Instead of it being the color of the words, I want it to be a different color.

devvv member for over 16 years devvv 1475 comments
over 14 years ago

that is a hex-color code! you can set the color when you click the foreground/background-color - to the right you can set this color.

over 14 years ago

I'm doing good so far, but whats #007eff???

over 14 years ago


over 14 years ago

Thanks alot, great job.

almost 15 years ago

I can do that a different way in 39 seconds exactly but that is what i started with. Thanks!

almost 15 years ago

thanks its cool

almost 15 years ago

great tutorial thanks!

la queen
about 15 years ago

datz hot

over 15 years ago

I couldn't find anything from 2. Where's it?

over 15 years ago

Awesome shizzle! I love it! :D

over 15 years ago

This is pretty cool.

devvv member for over 16 years devvv 1475 comments
over 15 years ago

yes lightdreamer, thats a fact of nature - all things have better glow on dark background ;)

over 15 years ago

Doesn't look good on a white background. Somehow, when I use the gaussian blur, it goes gray.

Hey you
over 15 years ago

Hey you, yes, you with the avy and siggy!
Don't touch my mossy or I will send you back to lumby.

I love bunnies

over 15 years ago

nice tuts very nice.
imma use it for my next sig or avi.