How to add a caption to a photo on Instagram

Instagram often comes across photos with captions. The text can be used for different purposes: to focus on the topic of the post, indicate the price, designate the place where the photo was taken. Unfortunately, the application itself does not yet have a function that allows you to overlay text on a photo.

Only in Stories can you add text and stickers. But everyone uses them, and the function itself is limited – you won’t be able to stand out from the rest. There are third-party services and programs to add beautiful and unique captions to photos.

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In the article we will analyze in which cases it makes sense to add text to a photo and what tools to use for this.

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Why add text to photos

Why do you need text on Instagram photos at all? Let’s look at some examples of use:

1. Title of the article or collection

An example is the inscription “TOP useful services”, it is immediately clear what the post is about. Open it and see the text with the selection. By the way, such posts are often bookmarked.

You can also create slides with a summary of the post.

Parasite – a service for working with Instagram: creating stories, deferred posting, direct communication and analytics.

2. Announcement of a game or competition

You can announce the launch of a competition or game. Below is a typical example of a like-time game for those who want to get free likes, comments and subscribers.

Game or competition announcement

3. Emphasize a uniform profile style

Business profiles are made in the same style to distinguish them from other Instagram accounts. To do this, use text, shapes, certain colors in the photo. An example is a marketer account, the text on each photo reflects the topic of the post below it.

Emphasize a consistent profile style

4. Quotes, memes or anecdotes

Choose a beautiful photo and add text over it with a quote, anecdote or a meme. But you need to be careful – Instagram has begun to treat such content negatively, so you don’t need to make an account only from quotes or memes. Better to dilute. For example, if you run a travel blog, you can take a photo of a beautiful landscape or a photo with you and add a quote to show your subscribers your mood. Below is an example – the writer Oleg Roy, who periodically posts his quotes or excerpts from his books.

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4. Quotes, memes or anecdotes

5. Prices, product characteristics

So that customers do not burst into direct with a question about prices, you can immediately add this information to the photo.

Prices, product characteristics

6. Mood

For posts about love, depression, happiness. You can make it clear to your subscribers that you are sad or, on the contrary, happy.

7. Reviews

If you have feedback from grateful customers, show them to your subscribers. Previously, it was customary to upload screenshots of correspondence, but such photos look ugly. It is better to add a neat inscription, and write the review itself in a post.


8. Advertising

Advertise your business with beautiful text. Different options are possible here.


9. Animated banners

Can be attributed to the previous point, but we decided to make it separate. Most often, these banners are placed as videos.

Animated banners

10. Sale, promotion, new product

Sale, promotion, new product

Show the most important information in the photo – the size of the discount, when the sale will take place and where. Everything else can be clarified in the post.

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When you shouldn’t add text to a photo

1. When is the profile login in the photo

Some add their login to the photo. This does not make sense, because if the user likes the photos, they will go to your profile and subscribe.

When is the profile login in the photo

2. When the text doesn’t match the photo

Sometimes you can ruin a beautiful photo with mediocre superimposed text. I would like to scroll through this post faster.

When the text doesn't match the photo

3. When it’s not clear what the text and photos are about

When viewing such a photo in the feed, it is not clear what this is about. And the reason may be not only in the bad text, but also in the photo.

When it's not clear what the text and photos are about

Topic article: How to make beautiful text on Instagram

How to make an inscription on a photo on Instagram

Image size and text placement

Below we have posted a cheat sheet with the current dimensions and aspect ratio for posts on Instagram.

Image size and text placement

The location of the text depends on many factors. For example, in posts with quotes, the text often takes up the entire photo. But if you have a commercial account, then you need to maintain a balance between the amount / size of text and the rest of the elements in the photo.

Important: Instagram reduces the number of advertising impressions for posts where the text takes up more than 20% of the image.

How to add an inscription on your phone

There are several applications for your phone with which you can write on a photo, for example:

  • TextArt
  • Social Media Post Maker
  • Social Post
  • Social media post builder
  • PostPlus
  • Canva – a mobile app for an online service

For stories:

  • Mojito
  • StoryArt
  • Story Maker
  • InstaStroy
  • Mostory

Let’s take a photo with text using the example of the Social Post application.

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How to add an inscription to an Instagram photo on your phone

We go into the application, the free version contains ads. You can buy the paid version or click “back” every time an ad pops up. If we want to create a post from scratch, click “Create post”, if from a ready-made template, click “Readymade post”. We chose ready-made.

How to make an inscription on a photo on Instagram

The templates are divided into categories – business, fashion, new, summer, commercial, and so on. To open the category, click “See more”.

Application for adding an inscription to a photo on Instagram

We select a specific template, and we are transferred to the editor. Here you can add text, stickers, pictures, effects and change the background. The order of layers is configurable.

Template with an inscription on pictures in Instagram

Press 2 times on the text to replace it with your own. Next, click the “Add” button.

How to add a caption to a picture on Instagram

The text can be expanded, moved, skewed. We remove the excess. The text has many settings – font, color, transparency, position, shadow. You can make your text bold, italicized, or underlined.

How to add a caption to a photo on Instagram

When finished with the text, you can replace the background – choose from the gallery or download from the stock.

Background for text on Instagram

To save the post, click “Save” in the upper right corner. It can be immediately posted on social networks, and it is also automatically saved in the phone gallery.

Post with text on photo

What was missing in this application was the ability to edit the background – make it more contrasting or black and white. The finished filters are rather weak. There are few templates. But there are many settings for the text.

Topic article: Video makers for social networks

On the computer

On a computer, the easiest way is to overlay text on a photo for Instagram. You can do this in a designer like Canva or Photoshop.


Go to the Canva website under your account, in the “Create Design” or “All Designs” section, select “Social Networks” or “Animation for Social Networks” if you want to create an animated post. We will select the first section.

How to add text to a photo on Instagram from a computer online

We are thrown into the editor, where you can immediately select a ready-made template and start redoing it for yourself. Patterns can be selected by scrolling down or typing in the desired word in the search.

Instagram photo editor

Choose a ready-made template and start editing. The great thing about Canva is that you can change any template here beyond recognition. You can replace the picture with your own, add shapes, masks or animation. In terms of editing text, there are also a lot of possibilities here – you can change the font (there are fonts in Russian), size, color of the text, highlight it in bold, italic or use underscore. You can make a bulleted list, adjust the line and letter spacing, adjust the alignment of the text relative to the image and transparency, insert a link.

Instagram text post

The finished post must be downloaded in jpg or png format if you need a static photo and save in mp4 format if you made an animated post. To do this, press “Publish” and “Download”, then select the format. In the Pro version, you can resize the finished post.

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Photo with text caption

You can also make a post from scratch. To do this, set up the background in one of three ways – upload the finished picture through the “Downloads” section, make a colored background using the “Background” section, or upload photos from free stocks through the “Photos” section.

Image caption for Instagram from scratch

Then you can add additional elements to the post – shapes, collage grids, frames, stickers, diagrams, gradients, lines, ornaments, ready-made drawings. For example, you can use shapes to make a nice inscription in a circle.

Photo with caption in a circle on Instagram

Next, to add text, click on the “Text” section and select a regular text field or a stylized one. Save the result as described above.

How to make text in a circle on Instagram

Ready-made signature photo templates for Photoshop

These templates look more professional than Canva templates and are more suitable for commercial accounts. They can be found on sites like Graphicriver and other similar graphic marketplaces. You can search the internet for free templates.

Ready-made Instagram photo templates for Photoshop

Instagram templates for Photoshop are usually made in psd (for Adobe Photoshop) or ai (for Adobe Illustrator) format. We will not describe in detail how to edit them, there are many tutorials on this topic on Youtube. And template sellers usually attach instructions in the form of a PDF cheat sheet or video tutorial. But if you are a complete beginner, then it is better to work with Photoshop, it is lighter than Illustrator – you just need to replace the text, picture and colors with your own.

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If you decide to take a photo with text for Instagram, then here are some recommendations:

  1. Maintain a consistent posting style… This applies to all types of accounts, but especially commercial ones. Come up with your own style or find suitable templates. You should have a specific font, specific colors, you shouldn’t post posts that don’t match each other.
  2. Account style should be a continuation of the company’s corporate identity… That is, if your colors are, for example, blue and black, then they should be present in posts. Your Instagram account should be associated with your business.
  3. Break your posts into categories using color design and make templates in advance for different types of posts. Write a welcome post or make an engaging post.
  4. Highlight the most important text large, for example, calls to action, information about discounts, company name, heading name – what people should pay attention to first.
  5. Watch your competitors – how their color scheme is maintained, how the text looks relative to the photo, what posts their subscribers respond to better.
  6. Take quality photos and add text where appropriate! On Instagram, you often come across low quality photos, the text does not match the photo, the font and colors are incorrectly selected, everything is blurry – in general, do not make other people’s mistakes.

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