Can Midjourney generate text? Yes, to an extent

Here's everything you need to know about generating text in the image-to-text AI Midjourney

Can Midjourney generate text? Yes, to an extent. Image is a screen capture from the Midjourney website showing 'Midjourney' surrounded by random letters on a dark blue background.

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AI-generated images have quickly become a mainstream way of creating artwork these past few months, with fewer and fewer signs giving them away as created by artificial intelligence. However, the sometimes comedic generation of text by these models is still one of the main signs that they were made by a computer. Can Midjourney generate text?

Can Midjourney generate text? Yes, here’s how

Yes, Midjourney can generate text. Midjourney v6 was released on December 21st, 2023, and the latest model is a substantial upgrade from the last. Here are some examples we’ve created ourselves:

A neon street with "Generated by Midjourney" on a sign.
A neon street generated by Midjourney v6

Really, Midjourney is not an LLM at all, and it has little to no understanding of language processing or the meanings of words. However, you can instruct the Midjourney bot to ‘write’ short amounts of text. Midjourney V5.2 was the first AI image generator to handle this with reasonable results – some of the time. The consistency wasn’t there. This changed with Midjourney v6, which provides better results in terms of legibility, and the accurate understanding of detailed prompts.

A cinematic computer screen displaying a computer program generated by Midjourney Alpha v6.
A cinematic computer screen generated by Midjourney v6

If you haven’t heard of Midjourney before, high-quality text-to-image generation is its forte. March saw the release of the fifth version of Midjourney, which presents its most realistic visuals and advanced image generation yet. After ideating in a grid of 4 possible choices, the software upscales your chosen image(s) to a usable relation. You can even define your aspect ratio, so there’s no need to crop afterward, as with another AI art generator. Here’s what we know so far about using Midjourney to generate text.

Midjourney can create text in images

You can command Midjourney to ‘write’ a particular text, and putting the words you want in quotations in your text prompt can help Midjourney understand that you need to use that word as text in your generated image. Keeping the text you want short, and adding the name of a font after the word you have entered can further help Midjourney understand that you want text on your image. This will also help make the text creation as accurate as possible.

Overall, Midjourney understands letters in quite an abstract way, and therefore getting it to generate text can be quite a time-consuming process. It is not guaranteed that Midjourney will be able to generate the text you want accurately straight away. To refine the accuracy of your image, you can continue to make further variations and generate new images of your prompt. You could also edit any problems with the text using Photoshop or another photo editing software.

The previous versions of Midjourney were not very good at it, but we have seen huge improvements in Midjourney V5 vs Midjoureny v6.

Image-to-text prompts

A new feature of image-to-text prompts was added last year. The command ‘/describe’ is a simple concept that gives you 4 optional ideas for prompts based on an image you have uploaded. The ‘/describe’ function is a separate machine that analyzes the image and gives you a detailed text description and prompts to play around with. Ultimately, it gives you more creative possibilities for prompt design and makes using images as your inspiration easier by providing keywords.

If you are looking for where to start with Midjourney prompts, we’ve laid out a guide to Midjourney prompts for art.

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Final thoughts

No matter how good your Midjourney prompts are, the current parameters of the software mean that its generation of text in its images is still quite limited. However, Midjourney V6 has made visible strides in natural language processing and execution. The Midjourney website will soon be in beta, but with Midjourney web alpha still only accessible to users with 10K+ generations to their account, the Midjourney Discord is where you’ll access v6.

If you’re looking for a text-to-image ai tool that can smartly integrate text into its generations, DeepFloyd IF from Stability AI is an example of AI that actually can generate clean text. However, with image prompts becoming a lot more popular in generative AI art, it doesn’t look like it will be too long before we see artificial intelligence that can successfully create artwork with lengthy text.