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Creating Text Within A Shape: A Photoshop Tutorial: Part 2

Filed in: Tutorials

Long, Long ago, like back in January I think, I wrote a tutorial on creating Text on a path. I wrote the tutorial as a two parter, thinking that I would add the second part of it a few weeks later.   Alas, the fair maiden of this story (that would be me)…totally forgot! SOOO, at the nudging of one of our wonderful readers, I am back today with part two of the text path tutorials.

In part one of the tutorial, you learned to create a path for your text to follow using the pen tool in your  Photoshop program. This is a great way to give your text some fun shapes on your layout! You can make your text have just about any form that you yourself can draw!  Sometimes, however, you may want to add text to your layout that is in a shape that may compliment your page; like a star or a Christmas tree, or even a heart! Using your pen tool to create these shapes can be VERY time consuming and a bit more difficult! When you want to add text to your page in a SHAPE, the best place to start is the Custom Shape Tool (keyboard shortcut U) in your Photoshop program! Photoshop comes already loaded with a lot of shapes, but if you are wanting more, a quick search of the internet will find you a ton more!

To begin adding Text in a shape, select the Custom Shape Tool (U) in your toolbox panel.

In the tool options bar at the top of the workstation, click on the Shapes drop down menu and select the shape that you want your text to appear.   I chose the heart shape for my page, but you can select any shape that you want. If you can’t find the shape you want in your drop down menu, try clicking on the arrow at the top right corner and choosing ALL or Load Shapes from the drop down menu. By selecting ALL, you can see every brush that Photoshop has installed on your computer OR you can choose Load Shapes and load any new shapes you may have downloaded or purchased.

Once your shape selected, draw it out by holding down the Shift key to constrain the proportions and pulling out on your mouse to get it the size you wish to draw;

If your shape is flooded with color, set the fill to 0% on the new shape layer. Your new shape will now be transparent.

Once you have drawn the shape, it is ready for you to add the text inside of  it!   Select the Type Tool (keyboard shortcut T), click on Horizontal Type Tool form the fly-out menu and click inside the new shape once to begin typing. Your text will stay inside the shape you’ve drawn.

There are times when you may not be able to add enough text to fill the shape or, there are spaces in the text that are not pleasing. When this happens, you can get better results with your text by making some changes to the Paragraph justification or in the Character justification or through a combination of both!  To do this, first open the Paragraph palette (Window>Paragraph) and choose Justify All or Center Justified.  I will play with both of these to see which one looks best with my shape. Then, if you are still having problems with gaps, try working with the Character justification (Window>Character) Select your font and then change the type size. Use the type size and the Leading size (the space between your sentences)  together to create a flow in your type and to help eliminate any unwanted spaces.

When you are finished, You can switch to another layer to see what your text shape looks like with no text path box.

At this point, you are ready to add the new custom shape text onto your layout!  Make sure that all your words are spelled correctly and that your journaling is just how you want it! Right click on the bottom layer in the layers palette and select Merge Visible.

Now your newly created text shape can be added to your layout for all to see! Hope that you enjoyed the tutorial today and I will see you back here next week!!! Have a fabulous week ahead!!


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  1. Creating Text Within A Shape: A Photoshop Tutorial: Part 2 | Photoshop |

    June 18th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    […] read the rest: HERE fun-shapes, great-way, layout, part-one, photoshop, text-some, the-pen, tutorial, […]

  2. Robin

    June 18th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I need all the help I can get!!

  3. Jan in Alberta

    June 18th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks so much for this tut, Mye. I just played around with it a bit in Elements 10 and it worked for me with only a little tweaking. Elements doesn’t have the “fill” adjustment option so I reduced the opacity of the custom shape layer to 0% and that gave me the results I wanted. To adjust kerning in Elements it’s necessary to use the “Asian text” options menu. But overall, it’s very workable. Now I can’t wait to try it for real on a layout. Guess what I’ll be doing today instead of laundry??

  4. CraftCrave | Blog | Scrapbooking Tutorials (large): Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012

    June 19th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    […] Creating Text Within A Shape: A Photoshop Tutorial: Part 2 – 1 freebie(s)? […]

  5. Berniek

    June 19th, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Thanks Tamara! I’ve read several of these tutorials but I never seem to get it working for me. I will try this out on my next scrapping day!

  6. Franghurst

    June 19th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial. Your toots are always explained so nice and easy. I really appreciate them.

  7. Lori Garrett

    June 24th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge–can’t wait to try!!

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