Adding text on a path is an important technique which designers use to create interesting text effects and it is especially useful with logo design. I’ll show you how to easily create text on a path in Photoshop using both the Pen tool and a Shape tool. You’ll see how to create text on an open curvy line, on the outside of a shape and on the inside of a shape.
Adding Text To An Open Curved Path
If you’re new to the Pen Tool in Photoshop and haven’t used it before, read my tutorial on how to create curves with the Pen Tool. Otherwise, follow along below.
1. Create a new Photoshop document. I made mine 1000 px x 1000 px at 72 ppi.
2. Select the Pen tool in the toolbox, or press P as the keyboard shortcut.
3. In the Options Bar at the top of the screen, you can choose either Shape or Path from the first drop down. If you choose Shape, choose any colour for the Stroke, BUT make sure that the Fill colour is set to none. Otherwise, Photoshop will start to colour-in your curve as you draw it and it can be a bit confusing. If you choose Path, there will be no colours involved and you will simply draw a path.
3. Draw a simple curved path with the Pen Tool.
4 Select the Text tool in the Tools panel or press T on the keyboard as a shortcut.
5 In the Options bar (below), choose options such as font and alignment before you type. You can always change options settings after you’ve typed the text. As you are putting text down on a white background, make sure to change your Font Colour to something other than white, otherwise, you won’t be able to see it.
6 If you chose a left text alignment, which is the default alignment, click near the left side of the path with the Text tool, then start typing. If you chose a centered text alignment, click near the center of the path you drew, then start typing. Notice how the Text tool cursor changes to an I-Beam with a path through it.
As you type you’ll see that your text follows the direction of the path.
7. When you’re finished typing, click the checkmark icon on the Options bar to commit the text (or any changes you made) and to deselect the text.
Now the path you originally drew has disappeared and your text is floating beautifully along an invisible path.
Editing Text on a path
Editing text on a path is the same as editing “normal” text in Photoshop. To change the font face, font size, or font colour of existing text, first use the Text tool to select the text by clicking and dragging to highlight the piece of text, then change the settings.
Reposition text on a path
Often your text won’t appear exactly where you want it on the path, so you can move it along the path you’ve drawn by using the Path Selection Tool (black arrow).
1. Make sure your text layer is selected, then choose the Path Selection tool.
2. Hover the cursor near the beginning of the text. Notice that the cursor changes to what’s known as an I-beam-and-triangle. This indicates that you can now drag the text along the path.
3. Drag the text along the path. It will almost feel like you’re pushing it. You’ll see the text move along and follow the curves you drew.
Adding Text Around A Shape In Photoshop
Again this is another technique frequently used by designers, particularly in logo design. Let’s take a look at how to add text around a shape. In this case, I’m adding text around the outside of a circle, but you can do this with ANY vector shape.
1. Create a new document in Photoshop. I made mine 1000 x 1000 px at 72ppi.
2. Select the Ellipse Shape Tool.
It is hidden under the Rectangle Shape Tool, so click and hold on the Rectangle Tool in the toolbar and the hidden tools will appear. Choose the Ellipse.
3. Click and drag out a circle on your document.
Tip: Hold down Shift to get a perfect circle as you drag.
4. Select the Text tool in the Tools panel or press T on the keyboard as a shortcut. Choose your text settings as before.
5. Move your Text Tool cursor over the circle shape and notice how it changes to indicate Type On A Path. Start typing.
6. As we saw previously with Text On A Path, you can select the Path Selection tool and move the text along the path.
Move type to the inside of a shape
We’ve seen how to add text to the outside of the path. But how do we set the text inside the shape? Here’s how:
1. Start with some text on a path, as above and move the text to the position you want.
2. Drag the Text tool across the text on a path to select it.
3. On the Character panel, go to the Baseline Shift field, and enter a negative number. In my case, I found that -35 moved the text down and across the path into a position I wanted. Lower the Baseline Shift until you are happy with the alignment of the text with the inside of the shape.
4. You might find that after reducing the Baseline Shift, the letters are now very close together. You can adjust the space between letters by adjusting the value in the Tracking field on the Character Panel.
5. Deselect the text. If you can still see the ellipse shape, go to the Layers panel and turn off the visibility on the ellipse shape layer. Your text should now look something like this:
Move text to the inside bottom of a circle shape
We’ve seen how to add text to the outside of the circle and how to move inside the circle. How do we put text on the inside at the bottom of the circle? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s how:
1. Create your circle vector shape as before and add some text to the outside.
2. Select the Path Selection tool in the Tools panel and position the cursor over the text.
3. When the cursor changes to an I-beam with double arrows, click and drag the text downward until it flips upside down.
Sometimes when you flip the text over, you might find the text runs away from you and starts sliding around the circle.
4. Your text is inside the circle, but it’s upside down and at the top. To get the text to the bottom of the circle and the right way around, continue to drag the text down the side of the shape, all the way to the bottom of the circle. It will automatically appear upright.
Again, if necessary, turn off the visibility of the Ellipse layer to hide the path. Your final text should look something like this:
I hope you found this article on creating text on a path in Photoshop useful. I would be really grateful if you would share it. Thank you! 🙂
The Pen Tool is often avoided by new Photoshop users because it can be a little tricky to use at the beginning. It is, however, a really important tool to have in your design arsenal for both drawing vectors and for making selections.
In the last part of this guide, we looked at how to draw straight lines using the Pen Tool, but in this lesson, we’ll look at how to draw curves. You’ll learn how to draw
- a gently curving open path (easy peasy)
- a close circle path (easy)
- a complex path made from curves and straight points (a bit more tricky, but an essential skill)
Once you’ve gained an understanding of how the curves work, combined with some practice, you’ll soon find yourself becoming a Pen Tool Master!
How curved paths are created
Unlike straight paths, which are simply a matter of clicking once, then picking where you want your next point and clicking again, curved paths are created by clicking and dragging out direction handles. The first time you click and drag, you set a starting point for the curved path and importantly, you also determine the direction and size of the curve. As you continue to add a point and drag, a curved path is drawn between the previous point and the current point.
Two things happen when you click and drag with the Pen tool.
1. An anchor point is placed on the artboard when you click.
2. Direction lines and direction points are drawn when you drag.
We use the direction lines and points to determine the direction and shape of the curved path we’re drawing.
Drawing Curved Vector Paths With The Pen.
Let’s start by drawing a gentle curving line.
1. Select the Pen tool (P) from the toolbar.
2. Choose Path mode in the Options bar at the top of the screen. Note that we could use Shape mode here, but in that mode, Photoshop fills the path with colour when you start drawing and it can become confusing as to where your anchor points are. I’ll talk about drawing shapes in another post.
3. Click once to put down your first anchor point.
4. Move your pointer to the right of your first anchor point, then click again and drag up and to the right. This creates a slight curve in the path and as you can see, two handles appear either side of the second anchor point. These are the direction handles and the control the direction of the curve and the size of the curve.
5. Add another point farther to the right and click and drag in a downward direction. You should now be seeing a nice gentle wave-like path.
6. Add one more point to the right and drag out horizontally.
7.To finish drawing your path, just Ctrl + Click (Windows) / Cmd + Click (Mac). Notice how the Pen Tool cursor changes and a small asterisk appears. This indicates that when you start to draw again, you will be starting a new path.
How to draw a closed circle path with the Pen Tool
A closed vector path is simply a path where the first anchor point is the same as the last vector point, for example, a circle, a rectangle, a star. We’ll draw a circle.
1. Select the Pen tool (P) from the toolbar.
2. Choose Path mode in the Options bar at the top of the screen.
3. Click and hold and drag the pen tool pointer upwards. In this example, we’re creating an upward curve.
An anchor point appears where you first clicked and two direction lines extend above and below the anchor point.
4. Continue the curve, by clicking to add a new anchor point and holding and dragging downwards.
If you make a mistake while you’re drawing, choose Edit > Undo New Anchor Point or press Ctrl +Z (Windows) or Cmd + Z (Mac) to undo the last point you drew, and try again.
5. Move your pointer over your first anchor point and notice how a small circle appears below the pen tool cursor. This indicates that if you click on the first point, you will close the path. So go ahead and click on the point.
Your path is now closed and you should have a near perfect circle, or at least a reasonable elipse shaped path.
Remember you want to use as few anchor points as possible to get smooth curves when drawing with the Pen Tool.
Tip: If you hold down Shift as you click and drag, you constrain the slope of the directional line to 45° increments.
Combining curved and straight path segments with the Pen Tool.
Now we’ll draw paths that combine straight corner points with curved or smooth points. Curved anchor points have directional lines that are opposite each other, 180° apart. Corner points either have no directional lines, only one directional line, or two directional lines that are at an angle that is not 180°. ( A little bit confusing, I know!)
Probably the most difficult part of drawing with the Pen Tool in Photoshop is joining up two curves on a corner point. If you can do this, then you can do any type of drawing with the Pen. For his exercise we’re going to draw the path below.
1. Select the Pen tool.
2. We’re starting with a straight segment, which is dead easy, so click once for your starting point (don’t drag) and then click again to put down your second anchor.
3. Now we’re going into a curve. Move the pointer over the second anchor point and hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac), the cursor changes to show what looks like an upside down “v”. This indicates that you are going to convert the point from being a straight point to a curved point.
4. Click on the same point and drag upwards in one motion to start the curve.
5. Then click and drag downwards to create your next anchor point and finish the curve you started.
Now we need another curve. However, you will find that if you simply click and drag a new point, the curve is going down.
6. To prevent this happening and have our curve go up again, we need to start a new curve by holding down Alt / Option + Clicking on the last anchor point.You will again see the little upside down “v”. This basically resets the curved point to a straight point.
7. Click on the anchor point again and drag upwards to create a second curve going up. It will look as though you have dragged the new handle over the previous handle.
8. Add a new anchor point and drag down to finish the second curve.
9. Repeat step 6, 7 and 8 to create a third “upwards” curve.
10. To finish up, we need to convert from a curved point to a straight point. Once again, hold down Alt / Option and click once on your last anchor point.
11. Click again to put down your last anchor point. You should now have made a path that looks like this;
12. Ctrl / Cmd + click anywhere to complete the path.
You’ve no successfully joined straight and curved segments in a path drawn with the Pen Tool. This is the hardest part of drawing with the Pen Tool and the one you need to get the most practice with.
There is, of course, lots more to learn about the Pen tool, but at this stage, lots of practice combining straight segments and curves will turn you into a Pen-jockey really quickly.
A really good way to practice combining curves and straight points with the pen tool is to try drawing the outlines of letters. Start with easy ones like I and Z, then try lowercase T, S, P and so on. This is an exercise I give to my classes and they find it useful.
I hope you’ve found this tutorial on how to draw curves with the Pen Tool in Photoshop useful. There are more Pen Tool tutorials coming!
I’d be really grateful if you would share this post. Thank you! 🙂
This is the second post of my guide to using the Pen Tool in Photoshop. Previously I wrote about WHY should we learn how to use the Pen tool. Now we’re going to get into the nitty gritty and actually start using it.
The Pen Tool & Straight Lines
It is super easy to draw straight lines with the pen tool, so that’s where we’ll start. Straight paths are created by simply clicking the mouse button. The first time you click, you set a starting point for a path. Each time you click after that, a straight line is drawn between the previous point and the current point.
Before we use the Pen tool, whether for making a selection or for drawing shapes, we need to configure the settings on the Options Bar.
1. Open a new blank document in Photoshop. I’ve created one at 1000 x 1000 pixels with a resolution of 72ppi.
2. In the toolbar, select the Pen Tool.
The shortcut is to hit P on the keyboard.
3. In the Options bar at the top of the screen;
- Choose Path from the first dropdown option.
- Click the arrow for Geometry Options and make sure that the Rubber Band check box is not selected in the Path Options pop-up palette.
- Make sure that the Auto Add/Delete option is selected.
- Select the Combine Paths option.
Note: If you’re outlining a subject for selection, or for drawing a path to add pixels to afterwards, choose the Path option. If you wanted to draw a vector shape with the Pen tool, you would choose Shape. It’s not the end of the world if you choose the wrong one, but it saves a few steps if you pick the right one before you start.
When you first select the pen tool, before you draw any points, a small x will appear beside the cursor. The x means that you are about to start drawing a new path.
It’s important to pay attention to the small symbols which appear beside the Pen tool cursor because it tells you how the Pen will behave.
2. Click once on the document where you want the straight line segment to begin. Do not drag.
3. Click again where you want to add the next point. The points that connect paths are called anchor points.
Note: If direction lines appear (they look like extra lines coming out of an anchor point), you’ve accidentally dragged the Pen tool and you will draw a curve rather than a straight line. If that happens, choose Ctrl + Z (Windows) or Cmd + Z (Mac) to undo, and click again.
Notice that the first anchor point you created when you clicked the first time is now hollow, while the last anchor point is a solid square. A solid anchor point means that it is currently selected.
4. To continue creating your straight line segments, just keep clicking on the document where you want to put an anchor point and Photoshop will create the path in between.
Tip: If you want to constrain the angle of the segment to a multiple of 45° hold down the Shift key as you click.
The path you see above is called an Open Path. That means the starting point and the end point are different, they do not join. You do not have to create closed paths every time you draw. Open paths are perfect for drawing all types of lines.
If you want to fill an area with colour though, it’s a good idea to close the path. To close a path, simply click back to the first point you created. You will see a small circle appears next to the Pen tool pointer indicating that the path will close correctly.
Once you close a path, the cursor will immediately change to indicate that the next time you click on the document you will be starting a brand new path.
If you want to leave a path open but then start another new path, Ctrl + Click (Windows) or Cmd + Click (Mac) anywhere away from the path you drew. Alternatively, you can finish a path by clicking on any other tool in the toolbox.
Adding and Deleting Anchor Points
There will, of course, be times when you want to add extra anchor points to your lines or delete existing anchor points that you don’t need. A good rule of thumb when working with vector graphics is to use as few anchor points as possible to achieve smooth lines. This is particularly true when drawing curved paths with the pen tool, which you’ll see in the next post.
Deleting an anchor point to a path
1. Select the Delete Anchor Point tool from the toolbox (hidden under the Pen tool).
2. Click on the point you want to delete.
Adding an anchor point to a path
1. Select the Add Anchor Point tool in the toolbar.
2. Click anywhere along a line segment using the Add Anchor Point tool.
Often the path shape may not look very different after you add a point to a straight segment, but when you edit the point (we’ll come to that in a future post) then you’ll see the difference.
Pen Tool Practice!
So that’s how to draw straight line segments, very easy and nothing to be frightened of there. The key to using the Pen tool is practice, practice, practice.
- Try drawing open paths of Zig Zags.
- Try drawing closed paths of triangles, rectangles, squares, polygons, stars and other random shapes where the first anchor point becomes the end point.
- Get a feel for finishing paths and starting new ones. Have a go at drawing all of the shapes below. It will help you get a feel for using the pen tool
The next part of this guide will show you how to draw curves with the pen tool in Photoshop.
I hope you’re finding this guide useful and would be super grateful if you would share it. Thank you! 🙂
I recently wrote an introduction to Camera Raw in Photoshop, briefly outlining what Camera Raw is, and what the raw file format is. In this follow-up, we’ll take a look at how to open up images in the Camera Raw plug-in. We can work with Raw, JPEG and TIFF files.
You can open a raw file in Photoshop, in much the same way as you would open any other type of image file. The difference is, the raw file opens in the Camera Raw window instead of the main Photoshop workspace.
Open Raw Files From The File Browser
To open a raw file from your Windows File Explorer, or Mac Finder, you can:
- Double-click the file’s icon. If Photoshop isn’t already running, your computer will launch it and then open the Camera Raw window.
- Ctrl + Click (Mac) or Right-Click (Windows) on the file and then choose Open With > Adobe Photoshop CC. This will open Photoshop if it’s not already open and then open the Camera Raw window.
As Camera Raw was originally made to process photos taken in raw format, if you double-click on a raw image on your computer it SHOULD automatically launch Photoshop and open the image within Camera Raw. If the raw file doesn’t open, check that you have the latest version of Camera Raw from Adobe’s Creative Cloud if you’re using Photoshop CC. Or check the Adobe website for updates if you’re using an older version of Photoshop.
Open Raw Images in Camera Raw From Bridge
It’s simple to open Raw, JPEG and TIFF files from Adobe Bridge. Here are three different ways to get your photo from Bridge to Camera Raw:
- Double-click a raw file in the Content panel. The image opens in Camera Raw.
- Click once on any image – Raw, JPEG or TIFF, then press Ctrl + R (Windows) or Cmd + R (Mac).
- Activate an image in the Content panel and then choose File > “Open in Camera Raw.”
Open JPEG or TIFF images in Camera Raw
You can open JPEG or TIFF files from Bridge (as mentioned above). You can also open a JPEG or TIFF from Photoshop, directly into Camera Raw, by doing the following:
- In Windows: From Photoshop’s File menu, choose Open As. Browse through your folders to find the JPEG or TIFF image you want. Click on the file you’re interested in, then change the pop-up menu at the bottom right to Camera Raw, then click Open.
- On a Mac: From Photoshop’s File menu, choose Open. The Open dialog appears. Browse through your folders to find the JPEG or TIFF image you want. Click on the file you want. In the Format pop-up menu at the bottom it will say JPEG (or TIFF if you chose a TIFF file), now click on that menu, then choose Camera Raw. Then click the Open button and your image will open in Camera Raw.
How to Make JPEGs and TIFFs Always Open In Camera Raw
If you’d like to set up so that every time you open a JPEG or TIFF, it opens directly in Camera Raw, you can do that in the Camera Raw preferences. I would recommend this for photographers, but I don’t recommend it for designers.
1. Go to Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw (Windows)
2. At the bottom of the Camera Raw Preferences dialog, under JPEG and TIFF Handling, set both JPEG and TIFF to Automatically Open All Supported JPEGs and Automatically Open all Supported TIFFs, respectively.
3. Click OK. Note that this change won’t kick in until the next time you start Photoshop.
Opening more than one file at a time in Camera Raw
You can open multiple files in Camera Raw from either Bridge or Photoshop, and you can apply the same edits to multiple files simultaneously. This can be really handy if you have a pile of images that were all taken in the same environment and require the same sort of adjustments, such as creating more contrast or removing colour casts.
To open multiple files from Bridge, into Camera Raw, do the following:
1. In Bridge, open the folder holding your photos.
2. Shift + Click all of the images you want.
3. Choose File > Open In Camera Raw.
Your files open inside Camera Raw. Notice the film strip along the left side. Choose any photo to edit by simply clicking on the thumbnail.
And that’s how you can open in Camera Raw. Now you can start to have fun editing your Raw, JPEG and TIFF files.
I hope you found this post helpful. Please share it. Thank you! 🙂
What Is Adobe Camera Raw And Why Should I Use It?
Adobe Camera Raw is a plug-in piece of software in Adobe Photoshop. It is sometimes ignored (or feared) by new Photoshop learners because at first glance it looks a little confusing. The nice thing about it is, though, it’s actually pretty simple to use once you figure out which bits do what.
If you want to learn how to successfully and efficiently edit photographs, you need to know how to use it. And I’m here to help you with that 🙂
Why Should I Use Camera Raw To Edit Photos?
Camera Raw allows us to edit and enhance raw files from our digital cameras. We can also edit JPEG and TIFF files in Adobe Camera Raw.
Let’s quickly clarify what raw and Adobe Camera Raw actually are.
- A raw file contains unprocessed picture data from your digital camera’s image sensor.
- Adobe Camera Raw is the plugin we use to edit Raw files. We can use it to apply sharpening, set white balance, adjust contrast, colour and tonal range, and much much more.
One of the main advantages of editing photos in Camera Raw as opposed to editing in Photoshop, is that Camera Raw does not change or damage your original photograph. This is known as non-destructive editing. Camera Raw also includes some editing features that aren’t in Photoshop.
As we edit our photos in Camera Raw, the changes we make are a set of instructions that are applied to our photo and we see a live preview as we work. We can also go back and make changes as often as we want, or we can completely reset our changes without ever harming a single pixel. It is wonderful! 🙂
The other good news is, although Adobe Camera Raw was originally created to process photos taken in your camera’s raw format, you can also use it to process your JPEG and TIFF photos too.
If you’ve used Adobe Lightroom before, Camera Raw will look very familiar because they are essentially the same thing. They share the same image-processing technology.
File Formats and Camera Raw
Although Photoshop Camera Raw software can open and edit a raw image file, it cannot save an image in a camera raw format. You can save the image in other image formats, such as Digital Negative (DNG), JPEG, TIFF, or Photoshop (PSD) formats.
Adobe update Camera Raw fairly frequently. If you’re using Creative Cloud, make sure to keep your versions up to date.
Different camera models save camera raw images in many different formats, and the data must be interpreted differently for these formats. Camera Raw includes support for many camera models, and it can interpret many camera raw formats.
Raw File Extensions
When you download your pictures from your camera for the first time, you might notice some strange file extension that you haven’t seen before. Here are the raw file extensions from some of the biggest camera manufacturers)
- .NEF – Nikon
- .CRW – Canon
- .ARW .SRF .SR2 – Sony
- .PEF – Pentax
- .ORF – Olympus
- .3FR – Hasslebad
- .RW2 – Panasonic
There are, of course, many more camera makers and Adobe regularly put out updates to Camera Raw to support new cameras that have come on the market.
Now that you know what Camera Raw is, the next step is to actually get your photographs into it. Click here to read how to open images in Camera Raw.
If you found this helpful, please share it 🙂
The New Document dialog
If you’ve updated Photoshop to CC 2017, you will have noticed a fairly big change in the New Document dialog box. (You can learn how to create new Photoshop documents with the new Start Screen here).
Some long-time Photoshop users are finding the new New Document dialog box to be a bit clunky and would prefer to get back to the streamlined “old school” version where you just type in the dimensions and resolution you want, without wading through presets and templates.
Here’s how you can change back to the more familiar dialog box.
- On the mac, choose Photoshop CC > Preferences > General (shortcut is Cmd + K)
On the pc, choose Edit > Preferences > General (shortcut is Ctrl + K)
- Click in the checkbox beside Use Legacy “New Document” Interface to enable it.
- Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box and next time you create a new document, you’ll see the more familiar legacy New Document dialog box.
- If you decide at a later time that you would like the new New document dialog back again, just go back into the same option in Preferences and uncheck it.
Hope you find that useful 🙂
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