I have a bunch of digital photographs on which someone has typed (or auto-inserted using some utility) timestamps using a huge ugly font (with opaque background to boot!) that's obscuring a big strip at the bottom right.

Luckily I found another set of the exact same snaps, but these have been modified as well with location names etc. inserted at the top left.

I would like to combine each pair such that the final result approximates the originals and has no text anywhere. Manually cutting strips from an image and pasting in another is what I tried, but it's slow and I have to be really careful to make sure it's accurate. I'm guessing there has to be a better way, possibly something to do with layers, but I haven't been able to quite figure it out yet.

I don't have Photoshop, so how can I do this quickly and easily using either Paint.NET or the GIMP on Windows?

  • Healing brush or Clone stamp in Gimp or Photoshop will do this very easily. Gimp is open source and free, Photoshop is not.
    – dpollitt
    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:42
  • Contact the photographer and ask about licensing the images to you? Is removing watermarks from someone elses photos something we want to encourage? Would it be something we'd be happy people do to our own work?
    – TZHX
    Nov 28, 2012 at 13:56
  • @TZHX: they're not necessarily someone else's photos; they could very well be work for hire. Additionally, in many jurisdictions it's completely legal to do such manipulation for your own use even if the photos were someone else's work. The morality of that is a complicated question and probably belongs on another site.
    – mattdm
    Nov 28, 2012 at 14:37
  • 3
    Umm, guys, these are family digital photos collected from a bunch of cameras after an event some time back. No pros involved, so I don't see any legal hang-ups here. The originals for one set of photos has been lost however, and the copies I received through 2 separate sources has text inserted at different places. That's why I wanted to know how I can combine pairs to arrive at a single "clean" image that has both sets of text removed from it.
    – Karan
    Nov 28, 2012 at 15:33
  • Right, or that. :) In any case, it seems like a completely fine question to me.
    – mattdm
    Nov 28, 2012 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


If both image have exactly the same size, this is pretty easy.

Using an image editing program supporting layers (Paint.Net, Gimp, Photoshop), you can load each image on a different layer, one on top of the other.

Then, carefully select the area you want to remove from the top image (make sure you are working on its layer) and remove the selected area. The removed area should appear as transparent in the layer thumbnail and be replaced by the content of the image in the layer below in your image itself.

If their sizes differ, you will have to manipulate the images before.

  • 1
    If the images are otherwise exactly the same, you shouldn't even have to be careful.
    – mattdm
    Nov 28, 2012 at 16:41
  • Excellent, it's so simple when you know how. :) Thanks a lot!
    – Karan
    Nov 28, 2012 at 17:03

You can remove watermarks using Inpaint, here is good tutorial

  • 1
    Not free, but I guess it might work if only the watermarked image is available. However, as with all tools of this nature I wonder how well it can reconstruct the missing/obscured pixels by guessing based on the surrounding area? Probably it'll work well with some images and not at all with others, depending on the complexity of the obscured portion.
    – Karan
    Nov 29, 2012 at 17:06

Here is another solution to remove watermarks - Photo Stamp Remover - it works better than Inpaint.

  • 1
    Can you provide more than a link? Have you used it, is it freeware? a plugin/standalone?
    – MikeW
    Mar 2, 2013 at 1:51

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