How to Type on a Path in Photoshop

In this practical guide, we've shared how to type on a path, Photoshop style. Whether you need wrap-around text for a graphic design, or a horizontal title that stretches across the bottom of an image, there are plenty of reasons for creating paths in Photoshop. 

Using the Ellipse and Rectangle Tools

Depending on the project, you can build a path using Photoshop's shape tools like the Ellipse and Rectangle. For example, you might want to create text that wraps around in a circle, or follows a vertical or horizontal line. Any shape tool can be used to make paths, including the Custom Shape tool, but for this tutorial, we're just going to focus on the Ellipse and Rectangle. You'll find these shape tools in the main toolbar. 

Choosing the Right Mode

Once you've selected a shape tool, you'll need to change it to "Path" mode before drawing anything. The Mode settings can be found on the left side of the options bar, and it should be set to "Shape" by default. 

Drawing a Path

Now we're ready to draw! As a general rule of thumb, you should click the mouse in the center of the area where you'd like to create a path, and then drag outward while holding down the Alt/Option key. If you'd like to create a perfect circle or square, you can hold down the Shift key at the same time. Once your path exceeds the area you want to type around, release the keys and then release the mouse button. 

Typing Your Text

Next, select the Type tool (the "T" icon) from the main toolbar. Before typing on the path, we recommend adjusting the font, style, size, color, and other type settings on the options bar. Place the Type cursor over your new path, and you should see the cursor change to an I-beam with a wavy line going through it. Click anywhere on the path that you'd like the text to start, and then begin typing. By default, your text will follow the path's direction. 

Tweaking Text Placement

When you've finished typing, click on the check mark icon located on the right side of the options bar to save the text to your path. After saving, it's easy to adjust where the text begins and ends on the path, using the Path Selection tool. Just select the tool from your main toolbar, and then click and drag on your text to move it around the path. If you move the text too far, it may exceed the visible area and get cut off, but you can drag the text area (it looks like a tiny circle) farther down the path until your text is visible again. 

Hiding the Path 

Lastly, go to the Layers panel and select your Background layer to hide the line representing your new path. Now, only your text will be visible. Feel free to save your project, because you can always go back and adjust the path or text placement at any time.  

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