How to Curve Text in Photoshop

Learning how to curve text in Photoshop can make you a more adaptable designer. Words can curve around shapes, fit into confined spaces, or emulate natural handwriting, adding style and complexity to your work. There are two main ways to achieve this: curving and warping. Curved text follows a predetermined path, but the letters themselves are not changed. On the other hand, warped text can inflate, squeeze, and arc into very specific shapes, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for straightforward applications. Below, we’ve outlined how to curve text in Photoshop using the Pen tool and the Warp Text tool.


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Curving Text

  1. First, open the image file you want to work with in Photoshop. If you only want to create text, then start a new file by clicking Ctrl+N. 

  2. Next, choose the Pen tool on the main toolbar (or press P). Once it’s selected, the top toolbar will change to reveal a series of Pen-related icons. Select the Paths icon — it looks like a Pen tool surrounded by a box. This option allows you to set starting and endpoints for the text. 

  3. To create a starting point, click anywhere on the main image. Then, click where you want the endpoint to be, and Photoshop will draw a straight line between the two points. From here, you can left-click anywhere on the line to create an “anchor point”, which dictates how the curved text will look. 

  4. If you Ctrl-click and drag on the anchor point, the line will start to curve according to the anchor point’s placement. You can add more than one anchor point for more complex curves. Once you’ve created the desired curve, you can add text. Select the Text tool (or press T) and then click where you want to start typing on the curve. 

  5. Finally, type in your text. Curved text has the same functionality as straight text, so you can choose from the same assortment of colors, fonts, and sizes.


Warping Text

  1. In certain situations, warped text is a better choice than curved text. To get started, select the Horizontal Type tool by right-clicking on the Text tool and choosing it from the list. Then, create a new text box on your image. 

  2. Before warping, you should type out the text and choose an appropriate font size for your project. When you finish typing, you’ll need to click the green checkmark at the top right corner of your screen to accept the text. This will confirm the font size and style, but you can always go back and change it by double-clicking on the text. 

  3. Next, select the Warp Text tool from the top toolbar. It looks like a “T” with a curved line below it. A new “Warp Text” box will appear, with a list of style settings. Choose how you want your text to warp; you’ll see a small visual representation of each warping style. Then, you can tweak the Bend, Horizontal Distortion, and Vertical Distortion percentages for more extreme warping. Click OK, and the warp settings will be applied. 

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