Adding a Background to the Text

We'll now add a background to the text to emphasize it a bit more. Add a new layer (if in doubt, add a new layer - you can merge layers easily, but separating them is difficult to impossible) in the Layers dialogue by clicking on the single sheet of paper. You'll get a new dialogue box for "New Layer Options." The defaults should be good, but make sure that "Layer Fill Type" is set to "Transparent." With your new layer selected, use the arrow keys in the Layers dialogue to move the new layer down the layer stack until it's under the two text layers.

In the main GIMP panel, select the "Select Rectangular regions" tool (the dashed square). Put the pointer over the image and select a box slightly larger and centered around the text:

To blur the edges of the selection, use the "Select -> Feather ..." dialogue, using a 10 pixel feather. Select the bucket fill tool from the main panel (it's easy to spot - it's a bucket). By default, bucket fill uses the foreground colour - that's the colour in the lower left corner of the main panel. The upper, "dominant" colour (usually black by default) is the "foreground" colour. Reverse the foreground and background colours by pressing the double-ended arrow by the colours:

Click inside the selected area in the image. This should bucket fill the selected area in your new layer with white. Again, subtlety is good: reduce the visibility of the layer to about 30 (what looks good will depend on the colour of the image you're working above). To get a good look at your new creation, use "Select -> None" to get rid of the marching ants.