How To Create Text In a Circle with Photoshop

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Prefer watching tutorials? Check out the above video from my Youtube channel.



One of the most asked questions I receive from designers new to Photoshop is adding text to a path. A circle, to be more precise.

In this tutorial, I’ll share with you step by step how to add text on a circular path in Photoshop. Plus, you’ll learn how to manage that text and align it within the circle shape based on your creative vision.

Although various tools are required for placing text in a circle, it’s easy with a little practice. At the end of this Photoshop tutorial, I’ll share a (free) place where you can post your finished design for feedback!

Table of Contents

Note: the (above) video tutorial was created with Photoshop beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Step 1: Open Provided PSD File

open the included PSD file

For this tutorial, I’ve included a PSD file you can use to practice what you learn. Open the file in Photoshop, and let’s get started…

Step 2: Add Guides

add guides to find the center

Option 1

First, go to View > Rulers to display a ruler on the canvas’s left and top. Also, go back to View > Snap to “snap” them into place.

Now, click on the top rule and drag it down. This will create a horizontal guide, and it will snap into position once you’re near the center. Do the same with the vertical ruler.

Where the two guides intersect is the dead center!

Option 2

Another method of adding guides is via View > New Guide. For the position, type in 50%. Repeat for the Vertical orientation.

Option 3

This next option is new to the latest version of Photoshop (CC 2020) and is my new favorite method of adding guides. Again, go to View > New Guide Layout.

From here, select both the Columns and Rows. Then, type in 2 for the number for both and remove the gutter. This auto adds both the vertical and horizontal guides instantly!

Step 3: Create a Circular Path

create a path for the text

Creating a circle in Photoshop is easy with the right shape tool. The shape tool for the job is the Ellipse tool (U). You may have to use Shift + U to filter through the different shapes. In the shape tool options bar, switch the kind from Shape to Path.

Click in the center of your document and drag it out. Hold down your mouse button! To create a perfect circle with Photoshop and to center it, use the following…

Mac: Hold down the Shift key + Alt
PC: Hold down the Shift key + Option

Size the path to around 600px. A box with W + H should be visible on the interface showing the size of the path in pixels.

Step 4: Type Text On Your Path

add some text

Use any font style you’d like. For this tutorial, I’m using a free Google font called Fugaz One. And for the color, I’ve set it to white with a size of 20.

To type text in your circle path, hover over it with your type tool. You’ll see your text tool icon switch with a curved line through it. This is your visual cue that when you click, you can begin typing. Try it!

Type in the circle anything you want.

Pro Tip:

Does text appear to be in a foreign language when you begin typing text? If so, you can turn off this feature in Preferences (Command or Ctrl + K).

Navigate to the “Type” tab and locate “Fill new type layers with placeholder text.” Uncheck that option to disable the feature.

Also, did you know this “foreign text” is known as Lorem Ipsum text? It’s also known as filler text. It’s used in the graphic design world to be used as a filler when the actual text isn’t available at the time of the design.

Lorem Ipsum is recommended for web designs. It is said that clients will better focus on the design vs. having the actual content.

Step 5: Rotate Text Method 1

free transform rotate

To center the text, you could use the Free Transform Path tool (Command or Ctrl + T) to achieve this. Once activated, rotate the content as needed. The only problem is, it’s not 100% accurate and will take a little time to get it just right.

Plus, if you add or remove from the content, you have to manually recenter it. That’s why I recommend the following method…

Step 6: Rotate Text Method 2 {Recommended}

recommended method for rotating text

This method gives you more precision, control, and accuracy vs. the Free Transform Path tool. Once you have this setup, Photoshop will automatically recenter your content when the text is adjusted.

This includes when new words are added/removed, font size is changed, font type is changed, etc. Best of all, this method will save you time!

Here’s how it works. When you put in the text along a circular path or any path for that matter, it has a beginning and ending point. Oh, and a middle too. All these points can be adjusted according to your needs.

Then, Photoshop will automatically manage your text’s placement based on the locations of these points. Try it now. Center the text. It’s now centered between the beginning and endpoints.

How To Adjust the Points & Center the Text

At first, this might be a little tricky. Once you do it a few times, it gets easier, though. First, you’ll need to grab your Path Selection tool (A). When you hover over your path, you’ll see one of three icons.

If there’s a black arrow pointing to the right, that will be the start point. An arrow to the left is the endpoint. And if there are two arrows, this represents the middle.

Note: double arrows are only visible when you have the paragraph settings set to center.

Clicking on the path will change the point based on the direction of the arrow.

Let’s say you want the text centered at the top. Click and drag down (near the first letter) until it reaches the horizontal guide. Do the same for the endpoint.

Once both points are adjusted, the text will be centered between the two. However, if you have more text then can fit in-between, then some of the content will disappear.

To fix it, either adjust the text’s size smaller, change the font type, or re-write the content to fit.

Step 7: Create Text For the Bottom Of Your Design

add a second row of text

Let’s say your design requires text on the bottom too. Real easy to do.

First, duplicate (Command or Ctrl + J) the existing text layer. Next, turn off the visibility of the original text layer. Let’s adjust the content by grabbing the Text tool (T) and double-clicking on the content (to select the text).

Type out something new. Activate the Path tool (A) and move the start + endpoint, so they are opposite of where they are now.

Now that the text is centered on the bottom, you have one problem… it’s upside down! No worries. I’ll show you how to fix that in the next step.

Step 8: Fix Upside Down Text

fix updside down text

Is upside-down text giving you the blues? Let’s fix it. With your Path tool (A), click on either endpoint and drag inward. Boom! It’s now right-side up.

Although it’s right-side-up, it’s positioned on the inside of the circle. The fix requires doing a Baseline Shift. This can either be done in the Character panel or the Properties panel.

Either one provides access to the Baseline Shift adjustment. Locate it and adjust it, so the number is negative to move it down. A positive number will move it up.

At this point, it’s hard to tell where to place it since the path is no longer visible. You’ll need to select the path to make it visible. Go to Window > Paths to open the Paths panel.

Click on the Paths layer that contains your content located at the bottom. The path should now be visible. You can now go back to the Baseline Shift to move it into a position to match the text above.

Practice Makes Perfect

Creating text on a circle path with Photoshop is easier than other software like GIMP. Although it will take time and practice until you’re comfortable using these techniques.

Practice with the provided PSD file. Or create your own design to practice with. Either way, when you’re done, I’d love to see your finished artwork.

If you’d like to share it, get feedback, or ask questions, I invite you to join our private Facebook group.

Looking for more Photoshop text effect tutorials? Check out this playlist that includes over 20 text effects you can create today!

Would you like to see how to add text to a circular path with a free Photoshop alternative?  Here’s how to add text to a circle path with GIMP.

F.Y.I.; the second most asked question I get about Photoshop is how to deselect.

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A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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