How To Curve Text In Photoshop

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



Ever wonder how to curve text with Photoshop? Today, I’m going to show you how to add text on a curved path in Photoshop.

First, you’ll learn how to create a path with your Pen tool. Then, I’ll show you how easy it is to add text to that (curved) path via the 6 steps! Let’s do it…

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: Create a New Document

create a new document

The first step for this text project includes creating a new document in Photoshop.

There are a few different ways to create a new document. Choose your favorite and size your canvas as follows; 1920 x 1080 @ 300ppi.

Step 2: Create a Path For Your Text

create a path

There is more than one way to create a path in Photoshop. For this design, we’re going to use the Pen tool (P). If you’ve never used the Pen, no worries. Using the pen tool is easy!

With your Pen selected, go to the tool options and change the type from Shape to Path.

Let’s create the starting point of our path by clicking on the left side of the canvas. This will leave behind an anchor point. Every time you click, you’ll add another anchor point, and it will be joined with the previous point. This is the path!

You can bend the path by clicking and dragging your mouse. As you do, you’ll see two handles on the anchor. These handles can be used to alter the curve based on your creative vision. However, to grab a handle, you’ll need to hold down your Alt or Option key.

Go ahead and add 3 to 5 anchors spanning the width of your canvas. Curve as you wish.

Step 3: Transfer Your Text To the Path

put text on path

Grab your Text tool (T), so you can begin adding text to the curved path. The font type I’m using is a free Google font called Fugaz One. For the font size, let’s set it to 36, and for the color, I’m going with black.

The key to adding your text on the curved line is placing your Text tool near the path. Once it’s close enough, you’ll notice the Text tool icon changes. Notice the curved line on the icon?

This is the visual cue that you can begin typing on the path. As you do, the text will start stretching across it.

Step 4: Manage Text Your On the Path

manage text on path

At some point, as you add additional text, you’ll notice that some of the words disappear at the end. If the text length is longer than your path, there isn’t enough room to display it all.

To fix this, you’ll need to either change the font family, the font size, increase the path length, or reduce the amount of text.

To change the content, double-click on the text to select it. Then, make adjustments as needed for all the text to fit on it.

Step 5: Align Your Text

align the text

Aligning your text is easy. Navigate to your Paragraph panel to make a selection; right-aligned, centered, or left-aligned.

But, what if you want to change where the text begins?

This can be achieved by adjusting the starting point of the text. You can also change the endpoint.

Let’s say when you initially clicked on the path, you did so more towards the middle. That leaves a lot of empty space to the left of your text. To move the text to the first anchor, you’ll need your Path Selection tool (A).

As with the Type tool, the icon will change when you’re near the path. This time you’ll see one of three different versions. Each will include an arrow(s) depending on where you hover over the path.

A right-pointing arrow represents the start of the text, and a left-pointing arrow is the endpoint. And the third includes two arrows (left/right) for the center or middle.

Note: You’re only going to see the double arrows when you’ve selected your text to be centered (via the Character panel).

To change the start point; click near the beginning of the path. Your text is auto moved to the left! You can do the same by clicking on the right side of the path to change the endpoint.

If it’s easier, you can also click and drag along the path to adjust the start or endpoints. However, this can cause your text to flip upside down if you go too far. Check out the next step to fix it.

Step 6: Fix Upside Down Text

Fix upside down text

As you grab your start or endpoints, there’s a chance you end up with text that is upside down. It’s an easy fix.

Once you reach a point that the text is flipped, drag your mouse up to fix it!
The reason why the text flips is due to the Type tool being dragged below the path.

BONUS Step: Style Your Background With a Radial Gradient

add a radial gradient

The featured image (top of post) shows a yellow to orange Radial Gradient. Curious to know how I created that? Awesome! Let me show you…

Before you apply the Gradient, let’s find the exact center of our canvas. Go to View > New Guide Layout. Clear out the gutter and add in “2” for both the “number” for the columns and rows.

This will add several guides. Where the horizontal and vertical guides intersect is the center!

Grab your Gradient tool (G). Either located it via the toolbar or press Shift + G until selected. Next, in the tool options, make sure you have the Radial style chosen.

Change your foreground and background colors as follows: #fffe00 + #ff6e02. Or choose the colors you prefer.

Next, create a new layer named “Gradient.” Now, click in the center and drag out your gradient!

Style Your Text

style text

Let’s finish off the design by adding a stroke and drop shadow to the text. Double-click on the text layer to reveal the Layer Styles panel.

Click on “Stroke” and set the Size to 9. For the position, I’ve selected “Outside” and reduced the Opacity to 58%.

Next, click on “Drop Shadow.” My selections include black for the color, Opacity at 25%, the angle at 90, Distance at 9px, Spread @ 9%, and the Size is at 7. Click ok.

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s now time to take your knowledge and practice what you’ve learned! Once you’ve mastered this text effect, you can share it in our private Facebook group.

It’s a great place to ask questions about designing in Adobe Photoshop, get feedback on your designs, and more.

Would you like to see how to create this text effect with a free Photoshop alternative? Check out this video tutorial that will show you how to curve text in GIMP.

How about 20+ more text effects for Photoshop? Check out my text effects playlist here.

Please share this Photoshop tutorial!

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

One Response

  1. Many thanks!! You save me a lot of time compared to attempting to figure things out independently since you are so simple to follow and offer excellent guidance. I’m certain I’ll watch more of your lessons in the future.

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