Really, don’t add text to your photos (tacky tacky tacky), but if you must, there’s Phonto

I had no choice. Well, you always have a choice. But anyway. The only reason I went looking for an app that would add text to pictures was to publish a final pic on Instagram to tell people I’d moved to Starmatic. I didn’t spend much time searching, but Phonto quickly stood out. It looked like it had the potential not to be tacky because it offers 200 fonts. And a classy font can make all the difference (or at least it can minimize the tacky factor). Phonto also has plain message backgrounds if you don’t want to write on your photos. Most of these backgrounds are not tacky. Bottom line, you get a lot more flexibility for creating a text-centric image (for whatever reason you might want to do so) than you do with Boldomatic, which I reviewed not long ago.

However, the app is annoying as hell to use. I only persevered because I was goal oriented. It’s probably worth the effort if you’re into this kind of thing, but the learning curve and time/effort to get it to work right exceeded what I usually allow for an app.

Click the camera icon at the bottom to open or take a picture, or to choose a background image. You can’t use all the background images (they want you to pay). You can change the color of the free background images, but I couldn’t figure out how to save the color I’d chosen. Fail!

Once you actually get some text on your image, you realize that you should have hit hard returns throughout the message. If you don’t, your text is all on one line that runs off the page and you have to start over. Then you have to guess where to make the hard returns. Three times I did this. Also, the text box is randomly placed over the image. But there’s a Move button! And then you have to click the little arrows twenty-five thousand times to move your text box a pixel at a time.

You can change the color and size of the font, add text effects like outline and stroke. No need to go into more detail. Only you know your own pain threshhold. Phonto seems to do pretty much anything you’d need it to do if you’re determined, but it makes you suffer for it. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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Devices: iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Phonto on the App Store
Phonto on Google Play

About Pam

Pamela Poole put on her red cowboy boots and moved from San Diego to Paris in 2006. She's a translator and tech blogger who believes the Internet is the fountain of youth.

29. December 2012 by Pam
Categories: Artsy, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Hello, I recently downloaded phonto to my droid. After I upload a photo, there is a little pencil next to the little image in the upper right hand corner. after adding the text there is no way to save. How did you get all the options above? I would really love to use this app. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Add text to your baby pics or LOLCat or photonovel with the classy TitleFX | Cowgirl App!

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