Beginner Tutorial: Text Path Manipulation

In this simple beginner tutorial I will show you multiple ways to put text on a path or around in a circle shape and others. Check it out to see many ways to do this method!

The first way I will show you is by using the pen tool to make a curved line and then using the text tool to put text on its path.

So start a new document, I will use the size 560X500px to fit on the website I am making this for.

Grab your pen tool:

Make sure the tool is set on “paths”

Once you make sure your settings are right on the pen tool create a new layer by using the keyboard shortcut shift+ctrl+n or click “New Layer”

In the new layer take your pen tool and click on your canvas toward the left side

This will create an anchor point for the pen tool.

Now hold down shift and click to the right of your first anchor point and while holding down shift drag your mouse diagonal downward toward the right

That will create a slight curve but I want to make it curve up too so I will click one more time to the right of the last anchor point then another off of the screen

That will give you a pretty good squiggly line.

Ok now grab your text tool

Once you get your type tool put your cursor over top of the middle of the curved line you made and you can see the cursor change slightly which is telling you you are ready to put text on the path.

I made my font red but you can use whatever color and font you want since this is only an exercise to show you this works.

Click on the middle of your path and type something along the path.

I just typed some random text on it

Pretty easy huh? Thats just the beginning you can do other things now to modify this text path.

There are a couple tools in photoshop called, “direct selection tool” and “path selection tool” they are located in your tools

Choose the “path selection tool”.

This will allow you to choose certain anchor points and move the text above or below the line. Or it will allow you to move the text from the left or right.

Your cursor changes when you are over top of the path

Once you see that you can move the text left or right. Pull down and your text will be underneath the curve.

Choose the “direct selection” tool next and if you click on the path you can reshape it and move it around…

Personally I wouldn’t want text like in the last image I showed you but that is just showing you what you can do with that tool.

Moving on to the next way to put text on a path is by using the shape tools in photoshop.

I am just going to delete what I showed you in the last steps and show you this new one in the same canvas.

I decided to do this tutorial based off a project I had for a client and they wanted a seal on their ad that had text that curved down on top and text that curved up on the bottom.

So grab your ellipse shape tool

****IMPORTANT STEP***** PLEASE DON’t SKIP IT***!!!*!**!*!!*

Now this shape will use different settings than we used before on the pen tool so make sure you choose this correctly on this step. The setting you need to choose is called, “SHAPE LAYERS”. If you put your mouse over the setting it will say “SHAPE LAYERS”. I cannot capture this in the screencap but you can see clearly what I mean in the next image.

With that chosen create a new layer and while holding down shif create a circle in your canvas.

Get your text tool back out and click on the top center of the circle and type something.

Well what about text on the bottom though? Well now in your layers you should have a blank background layer, shape 1 layer, and your text.

Now since you already typed some text on that circle path duplicate the “shape 1” layer so we can use it to put text on the bottom

Once you do that click on the bottom middle of the newly duplicate circle and type some text.

Well I wanted the text to curve the other way so its not upside down!

Oh thats easy grab your “direct selection tool” and drag the text up!

Now you can hide both circle layers to see the text by itself.

I will show you something else you can do with the shape path.

Before I had you click on the actual path with your text tool, but if you click within the shape you can type text inside and it will fit whatever shape you have.

Now you can hide the shape path and see how the text looks with no border.

One last way I will show you to put text on a path is creating a path from a selection. This could come in handy for a project if you ever have a weird shape you cut out and you want to create a path from it.

Lets say you have a shape of the United States map…

So now hold down ctrl on your keyboard and click on the preview icon on the left of the shape we just made in your layer palette.

That will create a selection around the shape.

With that look for the “Paths” tab in the same area you see your layers.

If you do not see that go to your main menu on photoshop and go to Window>>paths.

Once you click on the paths tab hit the little arrow on the right and click on “make work path”.

Set the tolerance to 1.0 pixels and click ok.

Now you should have a path you can click on when you go back to your layers.

Use your text tool to clck on the path to put text around it.

That is all for this tutorial, I just wanted to show you beginners out there how easy it is to put text on a path. Thanks for reading!

By John Overbee

John Overbee is a graphic designer for the iEntry Network.

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