The Warp tool lets you distort into a wide variety of shapes, such as a wave, a fisheye or a bulge. The cool thing about it is the text is still editable after you apply the warp. The warp style you select is an attribute of the type layer – you can change a layer’s warp style at any time to change the overall shape of the warp. Let’s take a very simple example of how to use the tool.
1. Open up an image that you want to add some text to, or just create a new document if you’re making a text only image. I’m using a stock image of a runner’s leg.
2. Select the Horizontal Type tool (), and in the Character palette set your type options. I chose Century as the typeface, 72 pt as the size and white as the color.
3. Click anywhere on the upper left side of the image to add some text. I typed “Running”. Then click the Commit Any Current Edits button () on the tool options bar to finish the text.
The words appear on the image and a new layer, Running appears in the Layers palette.
Select the Horizontal Type tool again and type “Away” in the lower right corner of the image. Then commit the type.
4. Click on the Running layer in the Layers palette to make sure it is selected and then click on the Create Warp Text button on the options bar at the top of the screen.
The Warp Text dialog box opens.
5. In the Warp Text dialog box, choose Style > Flag and click the Horizontal radio button. For Bend, specify +25%. Then click OK.
The words “Running” will appear to ruffle like a flag in the wind.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the “Away” layer.
And there you have it, very simple and fast. Like many effects in Photoshop, moderation is the key, but this is a handy little tool if you want to distort text while still keeping it editable.