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Creating Type On A Path In Photoshop

Jennifer Farley

Photoshop lets you add horizontal and vertical text easily to your images. One of the most exciting ways to use type is to wrap it around a path. You can add the type to an open or closed path you’ve drawn with the Pen tool or to a shape such as the rectangle, ellipse or polygon and the Custom Shape tool offers literally hundreds of vector shapes to play with. When you attach text to a path, both the
text and the path remain editable, so you can reshape the path and resize or recolor the text as you want. Here’s how to do it.

Here’s how to attach text to a custom shape:

1. Draw a path using the Pen tool. The direction you draw the path determines which direction the text will flow.


2. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the toolbox and then hover your cursor above the path edge. You’ll see a wavy line appear beneath the I-beam cursor. This tells you that it recognizes the path you’re about to attach the text to. Click once and then start typing.


3. You can use any of the alignment buttons in the Options bar or Character panel to align the text on the path.



4. You can slide the text back and forth along the path, or flip it from the top of the path to the bottom, using the Path Selection tool (the black arrow below the Type tool) to select it.


When a tiny, right-facing arrow appears next to your cursor, drag to the left or right to move the text. To flip the text to the opposite side of the path drag your cursor below the path.

If your text disappears, that means the space between the start and end points is too small to hold all of your text. You can fix this by adjusting one of the points or change the text size to make it fit.
Just switch back to the Type tool or double-click the Type layer’s thumbnail in the Layers panel and then make a selection.

5. Sometimes the letters will appear too close together and you may need to adjust the Kerning of individual letters or the Tracking of all letters in the Character panel to stop them colliding in tight spaces.


6. To make the text sit above or below the path rather than directly on it, adjust the baseline shift in the Character palette.

7. The Custom Shape tool offers tons of shapes to play around with. Select the Custom Shape tool from the toolbox. It is hidden under the Rectangle shape tool. On the tool options bar, set the Custom Shape option to Path and on the Shape drop down box, choose a Star shape. If you can’t see a Star shape choose Shapes from the Context Sensitive menu (small triangle).


8. Drag out the Star shape, then use the Horizontal Type tool to add some type. I used Pristina, size 28 set in red.


9. When you’re finished, you can hide the path by clicking anywhere on the grey area of the Paths palette. Now all you’ll see is your text appearing in a star shape.