Saturday, July 12, 2008

Text on a Path

Ever wonder how people get their text to be in the shape of a circle, or a swirly, or a flower? Me too!!! hahahaha! I don't do this very often, so I had to actually look this one up in my Photoshop book and reallllllly practice with it. We will mainly go over the basics here, but it should be enough to get you started and to a place where you can experiment. Maybe I can do a more advance tutorial once I get a little more familiar with its possibilites. For now... we will start here... with this layout... and then do a few more examples to follow.

1.) Once you're ready to add your text circles, choose your Ellipse Tool from your tools palette as shown below. (If your Rectangle Tool is showing by default like mine was, simply right click on that icon to pull down your list of options and choose Ellipse Tool.)

2.) Once you have chosen your Ellipse Tool, refer to the top of your screen for your shape options. You will want to choose select the Paths icon as shown below:

3.) Now... if you want an oval, you will simply click and drag your mouse diagonally down to draw your shape. If you want a perfect circle (as I did), simply hold down your Shift key while you click and drag your mouse diagonally down.

4.) Once your path is drawn, choose your Text Tool from your tools palette (or type "T" on your keyboard... this also activates your text tool.)

5.) Now (after choosing your desired font and size), place your cursor somewhere on the path you just drew. (Your cursor should change from a regular text cursor to the text cursor with a sort of squiggly line through the bottom of it). Now click. A blinking cursor should appear with a small dot underneath... this is where your text will begin. (Don't worry... you can move it around when you're done if needed.)

6.) Now simply begin typing. Your text will follow the circle! Sooo cool... well... to me anyway. :)

7.) Now... in order to move your text around, you can do a couple of things here. Since this is a circle we are working with, you can simply choose you move tool and then place your cursor right outside the little box that appears around it, click, hold and turn to rotate it to where you want the text placed:

8.) Or... you can choose your Direct Selection tool from your tools palette (or type "A" on your keyboard, this will also activate the Direct Selection tool.)

9.) Now... you can place your cursor where your text begins until your cursor changes to a text-like cursor with a small thick black arrow next to it. When you see it change, click and drag in your desired direction. Couple of things here... 1.) If you drag your mouse inward toward the center of your circle, it will move your text to the inside. 2.) If you start moving your mouse along the outside of your circle, some of your text will disappear as you move your mouse. Don't panic. You should see an "x" where your text starts and a little circle with an "x" inside of it where your text ends. Once you get your text to "start" where you want it to, you can move your cursor to the end of your text and drag it out until the rest of your text become visible again.

10.) That's it. Once you have your text where you like it, simply click somewhere outside of the layout and move on. Again... here is our finished layout.

Now... to get your text inside a circle and actually make your journaling in the shape of one big circle (or any other shape)...

Start out the same way you did before, choose your Ellipse Tool and then up top, choose your Paths icon. Hold your shift key down to draw a perfect circle and then choose your Text tool. Place your cursor inside your circle and begin typing. Here's a layout I created using this method:

Now... last thing for now on text and paths. Let's actually "create" a path in the shape of an element or a brush. For instance... let's use this heart stamp:

1.) Stamp your brush onto a new layer. Now, hold down your CTRL key and click on the thumbnail part of your heart layer. (You should see marching ants around your heart now.)

2.) Now, there should be a tab called "Paths" at the top of your layers palette. (If there isn't, simply go to Window and choose "Paths" to show your options box.) Once you are inside your Paths tab, choose the icon as shown below which will allow you to create a path from your selection.

3.) Once you click that icon, you will see a layer appear in your Paths tab called "Work Path" and your marching ants around your shape will turn to a solid line.

4.) Now, choose your text tool and place your cursor somewhere on your heart and begin typing. Your text will type out in the shape of your heart.

5. Now... to get rid of the heart and just have your text show, right click on your Work Path layer and choose delete path (or choose the little trash can at the bottom of your layers palette to delete that layer). Then, return to your layers tab and either click on the little eye to make it invisible or delete it. (I chose to just make it invisible.... just in case.)

There you have it. Text in the shape of a heart.

I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments.

(For layout credits, simply click on the above images of each layout. The heart stamp is from my From the Heart Brushes and Stamps set.)

If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at

I would also love to hear what type of tutorials YOU would like to see! While your here, drop a note in the SUGGESSTIONS box! If I don't know how to do what you are asking, I will find out! Then we can learn something new together!!!

You can find a PRINTABLE version of this tutorial (and all of my others) in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!


Tali said...

Oh Amanda!!!! If this works in Elements (I'm trying it asap tomorrow morning) I'm gonna track you down and give you a big fat hug!

SuzyQ said...

Amanda, this is so AWESOME. (BTW, this DOES NOT work in paths option.) I've been wanting to know how to do this. I'll have to try it out in PSCS2. (It'd be so nice if you could do this in Elements... The only way is if you have a png or template that someone created in PS with paths. Then you can just use your text tool to type over the default text.)

Thanks for writing such awesome tutorials. I can totally follow along, imagining in my head, without jumping to PS right away. It's great. And I LOVE the screenshots you include. So awesome!

BTW, what Photoshop book do you use?

pjseiler said...

Sweet! Thanks for a great tutorial, Amanda! The path options open up soooo many possibilities for creating cool stuff! Your tutorials are very well written and the screen shots help a ton!

My Website

Cat said...

You know what you need to do, package up texts on a path and sell them girl. Especially for us PSE users!!

Maybe I should just get my butt into gear and conquer this fear over PSCS2, I have installed it, uninstalled it, installed it again, and have uninstalled it again!!

Becca said...

Thank you!! This is something I have wanted to do, but didn't know how. I love your tutorials, they are so helpful. The screen shots help a ton.

Paths are still a mystery to me, so I'm excited to see more options with it.

RebaMc said...

Thank you so much - I can't wait to get playing with this one!

Irene said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I wanted to use it on a lay-out but never got round to it, because I didn't know how. And didn't try to find out myself. Lazy me. Thank you so very much!

Angel with a Vengeance said...

Thanks for the tut. I want to print out the page, but can't find it in the Oscraps index. Any direct link to the page?

Anonymous said...

Any chance of getting this tutorial for PSP please?? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is the best tutorial for this I have read... I have been searching for this since I upgraded to CS3 from Elements. I can not thank you enough for making it so easy!

Liz said...

Thank you so much for your awesome tutorials! I love this one. I knew the basics, but your tip on the direct path selection tool is the best -- I could never figure that out and was ready to give up.
I look forward to all your tutorials and they make my scrapping much more fun! Thanks

ellen_s said...

You're amazing, Amanda! This was so easy to follow, and it WORKED! Now I'm off to play with all the ideas this has opened up.Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

this is excellent, thanks so much sharing.

Donna Espiritu said...

thanks for this! will try this first thing tomorrow :) you are awesome, as always!

tconlan said...

Thank you! Thank you!! I just switched to CS3 from Elements and paths is one reason. I had no idea where to start though - so this tutorial couldn't have come at a better time! You're the best, thank you for sharing with us! :)

MariaT said...

I have always wanted to know how to do that! The three ways you showed us will definitely come in handy, and I love how all the tutorials are indexed on the side so I can refer to them whenever! Thanks so much!!!

Stefani said...

Ohhhh how I wish I could do this in elements! If you know of anyone who is selling or giving away freebies of text paths I would love the link! Thanks!

braydensmom said...

Hello! :o) It does not work in PSE. However, if you create them in Photoshop, you can open them in PSE. I make them for my friend all the time and she drags them into her PSE and she can edit the text that way (and resize them but not edit the path).

I'm new btw... found you thru the Shutterfly blog, thru Paisley... landed here! I like it! :o)

Betsy said...

Really great tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I love the images of the Photoshop screen with the arrows pointing.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I just posted my lo at the gallery:
Hope you like it!

marking said...

Thank you! I will have to try this later.

Valorie said...

I have been using PSE to scrap with for a few years now. I also have PS CS2 which I use to design. The only way I can do the text paths in PSE is to create them in PS CS2 and save as a PSD then open it in PSE and then I can edit the text in the path to say whatever. ITA with CAT, honey. Create some in PS CS3 and sell them. ALOT of scrappers use PSE and would totally appreciate a good selection of text paths. Thanks Amanda for a great tutorial!!

Bettina Groh said...

Yes... please package up text paths for PSE users. When someone has it in a template you can replace her text with one's own.
Currently I'm on a laptop on piggybacked wifi... but when I get home I'm gong to give this a try!

Janet said...

Oh, I so wish this worked in PSE...if Adobe ever adds this to PSE I think they would see a lot of upgrades! One of my favorite things to see on templates is text on a path, because when it is already there, PSE users can add their own text.

Mary Ellen said...

You make everything so easy and simple to follow!!! Thank you so much. I have followed and loved many of your tutorials.

Lissete said...

FANTASTIC! I am a total newbie and am definitely bookmarking your blog. I will learn how to use CS3 if it's the last thing I do!

Thanks for the tut!

Sharon said...

Absolutely wonderful tute Amanda...I just switched from PSE6 to CS3 last week and there's so much more you can do in it. I can't wait to have a go with these things you've shown us! Big hugs and thank you thank you thank you!!!

Katrina said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! I read it on your blog awhile ago and of course forgot how to use it but remembered tonight when I wanted to use it and came to find it! Thanks so much

Luciana said...

Amanda, I just LOVED all your tutorials. You making it so easy. Your tip on the direct path selection tool is the best. Thank you so much:))))

Anke said...

This is the best tut ever!!! I just purchased CS3 not too long ago and I really wanted to learn how to do this. Thanks so much, it is totally awesome!!!

Penny said...

Thanks for the tut. I've been wanting to learn this but just never had time to learn it on my own. Your tut makes it so simple.

Anonymous said...

SUPER!!! Thank You :-)

Cindy Welch said...

I just got CS4, for this reason as in elements you cannot make text paths. So loved the tuitorial. Keep up the good work

Bekah_E said...

Love this tutorial Amanda! I'm a total psc4 newbie and this tut. helped so much! :) I also wanted to let you know (not sure if anybody posted this yet) a work around for circular text in pse6 - open your page > type out your text > go to filter > distort > polar coordinates > click ok to simply layer > choose rectangular to polar. And there you go! text in a circle :) - * note- if your text comes out oval shaped... choose your move to and hold down the shift key and drag to re-shape into a circle..

Dani said...

This was so helpful, thank you! It would be great if it were possible to save a .pdf version of your tutorials. I have bookmarked them but I'm always worried about the links changing and not being able to find the page later.

KarrieLyne said...

Hi Amanda!! I just found your blog tonight (through the Oscraps email featuring your sunny disposition kit) and I can't stop looking around at all the wonderful things you have posted!! Your tutorials are amazing and easy to follow! I think I have bookmarked each one for ease of finding later!! My favourites being this one and the mosaic layout! Thank you sooo much for all your hard work and inspiration!! I can't wait to see whats to come!

Brandi said...

So awesome. And so EASY!! Very well documented. Thank you so much!

orachel said...

Perfect, perfect, perfect! I was just hunting for a way to make journaling in shape of old fashioned cross thingie..gonna go try this right now. If it works out well, I'll let you know. But uber easy to follow tut, and that's essential for me.

Question...I'm having ALL KINDS of difficulty with elaborate extractions. I've followed a number of tuts on ways to do them, from masking to channels to basic extract filter with cleanup afterward, and they just NEVER come out quite right, even when I go pixel by pixel. I'm working w very elaborate images, such as trying to extract woman and mirror from a Soulacroix painting (Vanitas). I'm spending hours upon hours, and result is never close to perfect..always slightly jaggy edged (even w feather). Any suggestions as to how to accomplish detailed fine art extractions? Much harder than with photos for some reason, brushstrokes, maybe? I got inspired to this kick by this amazing extraction/recolor here to give you an idea what I mean. This is another Soulacroix work. This is what I'm trying to learn, and having little luck with huge amounts of hard work. Any ideas? Suggestions?

I appreciate anything you come up with. I'm officially in the "beating head against wall cursing photoshop gods stage". Thanks for all your shares!

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