Stable Diffusion Prompt Editing

As an AI artist, learning how to properly edit prompts in Stable Diffusion is an essential skill. Prompt editing allows you to guide the image generation process and achieve more consistent, high-quality results. In this article, I will share my personal insights and expertise on the topic to help fellow artists unlock the full potential of this amazing tool.

Basic Prompt Editing Syntax


The basic syntax for prompt editing is simple:

[new keywords:<step number>]

This inserts the new keywords at the specified step number. For example:

[by Picasso:25]

This would insert “by Picasso” at step 25. The image generation will follow the original prompt up until step 25, then switch to follow the edited prompt for the remaining steps.

Controlling the Strength

You can control the strength of the inserted keywords by adding a number from 0 to 1, like this:

[by Picasso:25:0.5]

Here, “by Picasso” will only be applied at 50% strength. Play around with different strengths to fine-tune the impact.

Advanced Techniques


Beyond the basics, there are some powerful techniques you can use:

Prompt Masking

Masking allows you to completely remove certain keywords after a number of steps:


This would remove all masks at step 50. Useful for removing undesirable elements that crept in early on.

Image Insertion

You can literally insert an image to guide the later steps:


This seamlessly merges your image at step 75. Almost like starting a new prompt!

Alternating Keywords

For a cool glitch effect, alternate between keywords:

[by Picasso:25][by Dali:50][by Picasso:75]

This will smoothly transition between the Picasso and Dali styles.

Prompt Editing in Practice


Here is an example prompt edit that demonstrates some of these techniques in action:

A beautiful oil painting portrait of an alien princess with purple skin, by Greg Rutkowski [wearing an emerald crown:25] [made of gold and jewels:50][-alien:-50][by van Gogh:75]

Let’s break this down:

  • Original prompt describes an alien princess portrait by Greg Rutkowski
  • At step 25, add she is wearing an emerald crown
  • At step 50, clarify the crown is made of gold and jewels
  • At step 50, remove the word “alien” to make her more human
  • At step 75, switch the artist to van Gogh

This shows how you can evolve an image over the course of the diffusion process.

Creative Prompt Editing Ideas


Here are some creative ideas to apply prompt editing:

Style Transfer

Start with a photo and transition to a painting style


Show the seasons changing or city evolving over years

Glitch Art

Alternate between surreal styles for a glitchy look


Reveal a surprise or plot twist later on

The possibilities are endless!



Mastering prompt editing unlocks new levels of control and creativity with Stable Diffusion. Start simple, and incorporate advanced techniques over time. Experiment relentlessly as you develop your personal prompt editing style. The AI medium bends to your artistic will when you fluently speak the language of prompts. Just remember to boldly explore new frontiers while responsibly honoring ethical norms. This symbiosis of human creativity and AI will only continue to astonish and delight us in the years ahead.

Useful Resources