Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 47 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2015 11:51 AM by Old Toad Branched to a new discussion.
nheacock Level 1 Level 1
So I was helping someone add text to their picture and was SHOCKED to see that iPhoto still won't let you do it (what an oversight for a program that's on version 9 for crying out loud).

Anyway, without having to download or install anything, I set up Preview as an external editor for them. With preview you can do "text annotations" and because it's linked as the external editor when you edit a photo it instantly and seamlessly loads Preview and when you save the file it's instantly saved in iPhoto.

Granted there are much better editors out there the Preview, but this was quick and easy and the person was pleased as punch. This little tip may help you if you're looking for an easy way to add text with the tools already available on your Mac.


17" i7 MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10
    Well I hope you recover from your SHOCK really soon. Perhaps, if you'd not been so shocked, you'd have noticed that iPhoto isn't a Photo Editor, and that's why it doesn't add content to photos.


  • nheacock Level 1 Level 1
    Yeah, that's true... except no it isn't. You can only EDIT your photos by clicking the EDIT button.

    I suppose it doesn't qualify as an editor since it only:
    Rotates, crops, straightens, retouches, has effects like sepia tone, vignetting, adjusts exposure, levels, contrast, saturation, tweaks highlights, shadows, has sharpening, and de-noising, color adjustment, red eye removal, and various magical enhancements... but yeah.. it's not a photo editor. It only allows you to EDIT your photos in the things that most basic folks are concerned about.

    Sheesh... so, yeah.. I'm still shocked it doesn't allow you to add text as it has editing capabilities. I'm not sure why so many folks say "it's not an editor". Umm... yes it is; albeit a basic one.

  • nheacock Level 1 Level 1
    Besides, hey... Preview is far less of a "Photo Editor" then iPhoto and it can do it. Come on Apple, give folks the basic annotation feature of Preview in iPhoto please.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10
    Yes it has the ability to post process the output of a shoot. It can fix things in a photograph. But, unlike an Image Editor, it does not and cannot add content: you can't composite, you can't add text, you can't cut and paste. For those you use an Image Editor. I hope you don't fall down with fright when you discover that Aperture and Lightroom can't do it either. Oh, yes, that's because they're not Image Editors.

    For feature requests: iPhoto menu -> Provide iPhoto Feedback


  • nheacock Level 1 Level 1
    Wow. Is this the normal conversation for this site? I've not posted here for years, but I certainly didn't anticipate this kind of response.

    I was simply adding a tip because of a common problem raised frequently enough to warrant .5 million Google hits.

    For your argument, people with Aperture and Lightroom are almost certain to have Photoshop (like myself), and not be newbies to the Mac. But that's not going to be the case for the Apple Ad iLife marketed person like I was helping who can add text to a picture with Picassa on their XP machine, but can't in iPhoto now that they've been convinced to switch to a Mac.

    The common solution to this problem is to recommend purchasing Adobe PS Elements or download some clunky shareware image editor. It's a bit ridiculous for Apple to leave it out when the functionality is already in Preview. But I suppose you don't agree since, what, Preview is a proper Image Editor because it can add something to an image? As if that's the qualifier... whatever man...

    Anyway, the tip still stands to use Preview as an external editor for a decent, quick, no download, no additional install, solution to quickly and easily add text to images from iPhoto until Apple decides to add the functionality directly.

  • Mateus109 Level 1 Level 1
    There appears to be a gap in the Mac market for someone to develop a simple app that lets you print photos with text/annotations. I have to use Canon PhotoRecord in Windows - a simple but powerful app that lets you drag photos onto a canvas, it auto aligns/resizes images and all you need to do is add text your text (it's free too!). The only solution on the Mac seems to be the likes of Posterino or InDesign.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10

    Portraits and Prints :





  • Mateus109 Level 1 Level 1
    Preview - Yes Preview can add text to images but it's very basic.

    *Portraits and Prints* - This looks very interesting. Will definitely give it a go. Thanks TD!

    Pages - Agreed, Pages is fairly good (especially with its aligning tools) but it's still too clunky.

    Word - ROFL! No way! Sorry but Word is a complete disaster when it comes to page layout, etc (even with Word 2011)

    The ideal application would display a simple canvas with grid lines and just three options: place photos, place text and print.

    If you've ever used a CAD package, you place your images on a canvas before sending to the plotter. This is the sort of application required.

    Thanks again for the heads up on Portraits and Prints.

  • mari-method Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks!  This is the perfect, quick-fix I was looking for. Thanks for posting

  • jraby Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you. Neil. My wife has the same problem with adding titles to her iPhoto slides shows and nominating Preview as the (external) editor in preferences has certainly solved a problem that I was trying to solve for her using the Open Office Draw program (and failing). I wish I could award you 10 points for the tip. This not only works but is easy and all my wife needs to know is how to switch back to iPhoto as an editor if she wants to crop or adjust the colours, etc.. I couldn't agree more that by iPhoto 9 this feature should have been added to allow you to mark your photo with a copyright line and/or add a title.


    I will certainly be using this tip myself to add a copyright line before posting any more pics on my website or elsewhere online.



  • Casa De Trevino Level 1 Level 1

    It would be nice to see this kind of feature in iPhoto.


    Have you tried Skitch?  Just drag your photo from iPhoto onto the Skitch icon and add text or graphics real easy.


    The nice thing is that Skitch is now FREE from the Appstore!


    Have fun!

  • rmaxie Level 1 Level 1

    Yes there is. 


    The older version used to allow you to add text right underneath the photo.  In the newer version here is the simple method I have found.


    When selecting the photo, select the i for information in the right lower corner of the photo and type in the area where the image number is ex: IMG_0319 what you want for the text.


    Then when you go to print, select Contact Sheet and there you can choose how large the photo is and how large the font is.


    The text doesn't show up when you are viewing your photos though like it used to.


    This seems much harder than how the old version was.  Good Luck.

  • ronw52 Level 1 Level 1

    I found these specific directions from help:  They worked!

    To edit photos in another application:

    • Choose iPhoto > Preferences, click Advanced, and choose “In application” from the “Edit photo” pop-up menu.
    • In the Open dialog, select the application you want to use to edit photos, and then click Open.
    • In iPhoto, select a photo and click the Edit button.
      The photo opens in the application you selected.
    • Edit the photo and save it. Don’t change the photo’s filename or file format.
      You see your changes the next time you open the photo in iPhoto.
  • pharmarep Level 1 Level 1

    You CAN add text to IPhoto 08. I just did it based on a post. Here is how to do it step by step;

    • Take your photo
    • drag your photo out of IPhoto onto your desktop(I have the 08 version-To see your version of IPhoto- Open IPhoto, then look at the top left corner of your Mac screen next to black Apple logo, click on "Iphoto", click on "About Iphoto" then window that pops up tells you your version in the title).
    • You drag the photo by going to the photos section of IPhoto-left click on the photo once until it's highlighted with a yellow border-left click again and HOLD DOWN your left click and drag the photo to you desktop (while dragging you will see a red and green button appear.
    • Once on the des top look up at the top of your screen for the menu bar again for the "TOOLS" menu.
    • Scroll down for the "ANNOTATE" option and Choose TEXT
    • Your cursor will now change to a + sign. put your cursor over the area of photo you want to add text to and LEFT CLICK and then DRAG your + sign left to right to open your text box.
    • Once you have your rectangle text box open-You will see directly above the photo an "A" Click on the A to open your font menu to choose size/type of font. Type your font!
    • You can also change the color of your font by left clicking and holding your left mouse button and scrolling over your typed (this is called highlighting your text. Then choose the color of font you want. I chose white for my text as it was easiest to see.
    • Click on file and then click SAVE
    • NOTE: Once your done with your text BE SURE it's all EXACTLY correct because I haven't found a way to edit my text after it's saved!
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