For purposes of the exercise, create a blue background.
1. Create your text, using white for the font color (just for this tutorial). From the tool options, click the ‘Path from Text’ button. (This creates a path that outlines the text.
2. Create a new transparent layer called ‘Outline’.
3. From the menu bar, choose ‘Select… From Path’. (This selects an outline of the text on the new ‘Outline’ layer.)
4. From the menu bar, choose ‘Select… Grow’. Set the growth to 3 pixels. (This expands the selection in all directions by 3 pixels. Adjust as you see fit.)
5. Using the Fill tool, with black as the color, fill in the selection on the transparent ‘Outline’ layer.
6. Move the ‘Outline’ layer behind your text layer. Choose ‘Select… None’. Then you can anchor the text layer down onto the outline.
You’re done! Congrats!
Now that you have the basic concept, you can expand on it. Try varying the colors, the growth amount. Try using the GIMP quickmask after step 4 to modify the selection border to give different effects to text outline.
Now you know how to use Gimp to outline text!