The Best (and Worst) Free Apps for Adding Text to Photos

If your Instagram feed is anything like mine, it’s full of incredible semi-pro photographers with great taste in furniture, people who somehow always have a brunch budget and of course dogs (which obviously there can never be enough of).

Another thing you’ll notice if your Instagram feed is anything like mine is an abundance of motivational quotes on top of sunset photos. Instagram philosophers and Pinterest motivational coaches can be helpful – sometimes I really do need to be reminded of this undeniable fact:

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You are a pink starburst.

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But how do people add text to their images? What are the different kinds of photo text editors? If you want to start making your own inspirational Instagram posts, we tried out a few of the free app photo editors that let you add text to images without photoshop.


Quick was the first mobile app I tried out from the app store that had a solid rating. The app boasted 16 free fonts and after sizing my image and picking a quote from our very own Sue Bryce, I started sliding between them to select the perfect one. The first thing I noticed, being the social media expert I am, is the rather sizeable logo that I could only remove if I paid for the app. Overall the fonts were great, it was easy to navigate between them to see which fit the quote/image, and making basic adjustments to like placement and color was simple.

Rating: 4 out 5

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Upon first opening, I was really impressed with Photo-Lettering. It gives the option to snap a photo vs only insert a saved image AND it allows you to select your size. While I was confined to a square in Quick, in Photo-Lettering I wasn’t pigeonholed and it offered plenty of editing tools, too.

My excitement was short-lived though once I got into the meat of the process. Sure, with Photo-Lettering the logo isn’t automatically in the photo and you can change the text color easily. But what was disappointing was that the app itself only offers 4 font styles (although you can purchase additional font styles for a price).

Rating: 3 out of 5

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After Photos

No logo! Lots of free font styles! Easy to use! This might be the holy grail of photo editing apps for inspirational Instagram posts. It’s also available on ios and android so you can use on iphone, droid and ipad, too!

Rating: 5 out of 5! Perfect!



First things first: This app gives you the option of using a single photo OR a collage so you’ve got extra options here. That being said, this app was reminiscent of Quick – there’s still a logo but to counter that negative there’s a TON of great different fonts to pick from. In fact, PicLab had the best variety of on trend fonts I saw during my test (and removing the watermark will only cost you $1).

Rating:4 out of 4=5



I hate this app. Not only were there very few font choices but also when I’d tap one of the words it would randomly change color. Coupled with the fact there’s also an obnoxious logo, this app was not worthy of the Sue Bryce nugget of wisdom I used because it did not in fact give me whatever I wanted.

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Rating: 1 out of 5. 0 if I could.


Font Candy

After the frustration and disappointment that was InstaQuote, I was cautiously optimistic about Font Candy. While there were the same old annoyances I’d learned to live with through this exercise (so many ads for video games I’d never heard of), the app itself was easy to use and had a handy text box to help you add different fonts. The logo was discreet enough in the image I chose that it’s hardly noticeable, and there were different fonts (not just Helvetica) to chose from that fit the mood of my inspirational Sue Bryce quote perfectly. Solid app, would totally use again.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Not all free apps are created equally, but most are pretty great at getting your message across. Find one that offers font styles, background colors and design elements that fit your taste, then go forth and start editing your inspirational quotes today!

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Lindsey Bluher FOLLOW >

Lindsey Bluher is the Social Media Specialist at CreativeLive. Enjoy pictures of her dog by following her on twitter or Instagram @lindseyblue