I wish it was as simple as the title... But it isn't.

What I want is to add Japanese text with right orientation (up to down, right to left), and if there's such a thing, furigana as well.

Gimp fails at it, and I've read "there's better programs to do that" but they didn't remember to add "like insert name"...

Krita has a way of getting in my nerves, as it sometimes crashes after entering editing mode (as soon as it opens or creates a file). And it's moody, when Ubuntu restarts, it sometimes works, it sometimes goes back to crashing. I'm not sure if it has or not this feature, but since there's this problem, I'd like another.

Random image out of google as example: http://ginsaji-blog.img.jugem.jp/20120713_70049.jpg

So that's it I guess. Hope someone can help me. :)


One possible option is Inkscape. You can import your image with File/Import..., then add your text with the Text tool. Vertical orientation is available through the dropdown at the right end of the toolbar (Orientation/Vertical).

You can of course add furigana using the same method, by shrinking the text and aligning it appropriately. It can be a bit tedious for a bunch of text though, so another idea I had was to use the formatting available in latex, build a pdf and then import that into Inkscape. Here is an example file:


\usepackage{CJK, CJKvert}
\usepackage[CJK, overlap]{ruby}





This can be built into a pdf with pdflatex, though it is going to require at least the latex-cjk-japanese package. The pdf can then be imported with File/Import... in Inkscape.

  • 1
    Works great, thanks! Inkscape didn't cross my mind, but I'm glad it didn't or I'd have to put all furigana manually... Anyone out there looking for the same thing, Texworks is available in the Software Center, and it's a good idea to Format -> Font before exporting, as in Inkscape you can only format one character at the same time (or I just didn't figure how format the whole text, which is likely). You can Object -> Fill and Stroke to add border and change colour to all text.
    – theL
    Aug 1 '13 at 14:02

Copy and paste the Image in a slide of Libre Impress. Insert a text box and add your text. You can add as many as you want. Select all the elements in the slide, right click and click on 'Save Image'; to get the image that has the text on the image. If the 'Save Image' doesn't turn up, go to convert->bitmap, and then again right click to find 'Save Image'.

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