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All About Photoshop type tool tutorial

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Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures

“All About Photoshop type tool tutorial” is part of my Photoshop book “Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures”, which is more revised and covers more concepts than the online tutorials, feel free to check out the book by visiting my Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures Book Page.

This is the last post in this series for this year. The next post will most likely come out in 2015. So I will use this chance to tell you guys Happy New Year :3

Photoshop Type Tool

There are 4 Photoshop Type Tools, each of them adds text to pictures in a different way:-

  • The Horizontal Type Tool Horizontal-Text-Tool Adds a horizontal text to the picture. This is the most commonly used type tool
  • The Vertical Type Tool Vertical-Type-Tool Adds a vertical text instead of a horizontal one. Similar to what you see in Japanese text
  • Horizontal Type Mask Tool Horizontal-Type-Mask-Tool Makes you create a selection from a horizontal text you type.
  • Vertical Type Mask Tool Vertical-Type-Mask-Tool Makes you create a selection from a vertical text you type.

How to add text to pictures in Photoshop. Using the Horizontal Type Tool

If you read my resizing pictured in Photoshop. You pretty much won’t have to read this section of the tutorial. As I will just reexplain how to add text to pictures in Photoshop. Right now, we are going to add some text to the following elephant picture. To do that, follow these steps:-


  • Select the Horizontal Text Tool Horizontal-Text-Tool from the tools panel
  • Click on the picture where you want the text to start. A blinking line similar to word-processing programs will appear.
  • Type the text you want. Keep in mind that pressing Enter while you are at that starts a new line of the text.
  • Once you are done entering the text. Click the ✓ icon on the text tool options. If you changed your mind and no longer want to enter the text. Then press the ⍉ icon instead. (You could always press the Escape/Esc key at the corner of your keyboard to cancel the operation as well)


  • Here is my elephant picture after I finished entering the text:-


Entering a vertical text using the Vertical Type Tool

Adding a vertical text to pictures is so similar to adding a horizontal text. You just use a difference tool to do that. Which is the Vertical Text Tool Vertical-Type-Tool.

  • Select the Vertical Text Tool from the tools panel. To access the tool, click and hold the mouse button over the Horizontal Text Tool and Photoshop will show you the other available text tools.
Accessing the rest oh Photoshop type tools from the tools panel.
The rest of Photoshop type tools can be accessed by holding the mouse button over the Horizontal Text Tool in the tools panel
  • Again, click where you want the text to start. Because the text here is vertical, we click where we want the top of the text to be. I choose to click on the upper-left corner of the following picture:-


  • After I clicked on the picture. I got the same blinking line that prompts me to enter the text. I entered the text. Then I clicked the ✓ icon on the Type Tool options.
  • Here is the picture after I added “Here we go” to it:-



Note:- Don’t worry if you didn’t get the exact results as me. I kept changing the text colour and font between the examples in order to make them clearer for you to see.

Creating text selections using the Horizontal Type Mask Tool and vertical Type Mask Tool:

The Horizontal Type Mask Tool Horizontal-Type-Mask-Tool. and its vertical equivalent, the Vertical Type Mask Tool Vertical-Type-Mask-Tool. Can be used to create text selections. Which you could paint on in different ways. So in a sense, these two tools can be considered selection tools as well as type tools.

I am going to create a text selection using the Horizontal Type Mask Tool to this picture, you could follow the same steps using the Vertical Type Horizontal Tool as well. To create the selection, follow these steps:-


  • Select the Horizontal Type Mask Tool Horizontal-Type-Mask-Tool or Vertical Type Mask Tool Vertical-Type-Mask-Tool from the tools panel.
  • Click where you want the selection to start. The picture will turn red, meaning that we are in mask mode right now.


  • Enter the text you want. Just like we did in the other text tool.


  • Once you are done entering the text. Click the ✓ iron on the text tool options. If you changed your mind and no longer want to enter the text. Then press the ⍉ icon instead. Since I am satisfied with the text. I clicked on the ✓ icon.
  • The text you entered will turn into selection. Which you can use just like any selection in Photoshop (selection tools are explained in details here).


  • I pained the text I made with a soft brush right here:-


  • The same steps can be followed using the Vertical Type Mask Tool. Except that it produces a vertical text instead of a horizontal one.

Candy-Tip-IconCandy Tip:- You can turn any text into selection the same way you do with any layer. Which is by hovering the mouse button over the layer thumbnail in the layers panel, holding the Control button (Command in Mac). The cursor will have a selection mark on it by then. Then click on the thumbnail.

Tunring-Text-Layer-Into-Selection copy

Photoshop Type Tool options

Photoshop Type Tool has various of options. For the most part, these options are so similar to the ones in word processing programs like Microsoft Word. Like changing the colour or font. Plus a few ones, like the anti-aliasing(smoothing) method. The following picture explain the text tool options in details. And a detailed explanation is also available below:-

Click on the picture to view it in full size

Editing Photoshop Type Tool options from the tools panel

Changing text font

Changing the font of Photoshop type tool
Changing the font of Photoshop type tool

The font menu allows you to change the font of the text. There are a lot of fonts that comes with Photoshop. And if those are not enough. You can get your own fonts online and add them there. Something that I will explain to you later in this tutorial

Fonts examples of Photoshop type tool

Changing text style

Depending on the font you chose you can select among many styles for Photoshop type tool

The font style menu allows you to change the style of the font. Whether it is regular(normal), bold or italic. Depending on the font you selected, some additional styles will appear to you, and some has none at all

If you are familiar with a text editor, like Microsoft Word, then you will immediately recognize the 3 common text styles that exist in Photoshop type tool.

Changing Font Size

You can change the text size of Photoshop tools to suit your needs.

Font size is self-explanatory. It allows you to change the text size to whatever you want. The biggest font size you can choose from the drop-down menu is 72. But you can enter any value you want in there. As you can see in the picture above~

Various text sizes, of Photoshop type tool


Candy Tip:- You can change the font size quickly by holding your mouse over the text size icon and drag the mouse left or right

Text Anti-Aliasing Settings


Next comes the anti-aliasing setting. If you are familiar with this term. You won’t have any problem understanding this options. But if you are not. Don’t worry, as I will explain the term right away:-

What is anti-aliasing?

Anti-aliasing refers to the process of smoothing the lines formed by pixels. By adding some semi-transparent pixels here and there.

Computers draw lines by lining up pixels side by side to create them. When the resolution is low, or when the text is small to a certain degree. The pixels tend to look like a staircase. And the line will appear choppy. Just like this:-

 Anti-Aliasing-2 Anti-Aliasing-3

Like I said, anti-aliasing smooth the pixels by adding a few semi-transparent ones here and there. With anti-aliasing is enabled, the pixels of the character above will look like this:-Anti-Aliasing-4

Anti-aliasing is usually used with small fonts or low resolution pictures. If the picture you are working on is in a high resolution picture. Then the anti-aliasing method won’t have much of use to you. Here is a high-resolution picture with anti-aliasing disabled. Do you see the aliasing (The staircase effect)?


And to repeat what I said again. If the text is so big. Or the resolution of your screen is too high. Anti-aliasing won’t matter that much for you. Anti-aliasing is for small fonts and resolution. Here is an aliased & anti-aliased characters arranged side-by-side:-


Here is a nice & short video that explains the concept pretty well:-

Now you know what anti-aliasing is. You can pretty much understand what the Anti-Aliasing method of the text tool does. Setting the option to none use no anti-aliasing at all. Setting it to the other ones produces different effects.

Text Align


Text Algin aligns the text to either the left, which is the default. To the middle, or to the right. The same way this is done in Microsoft Word.


Text Color


Another self-explanatory option. It allows you to change the text colour. After clicking on the colour icon. The colour picker will appear, where you can choose the font colour you want.

Photoshop Color Picker

Create Warped Text


The Warped Text option for the text tool allows you to create twisted or warped text. Once you click on this option. The Warp Text dialog appears. Offering you various options to do so:-


Style:- The style options shows you the various ways to wrap the text. It can be turned into a wave,  an arc, a fish or many of other options

Different styles of Warped Texts

The horizontal or vertical set whatever the effect, is done on the text vertically or horizontally. This makes sense depending on the text orientation. Here is how it looks like on horizontal text:-


And here is how it looks like on Vertical text:-


The bend option determines how much the text is affected. For example. If you choose the arc style for the text. Then the bend option determines how much the text is arced. Negative values produce the mirror shape of their positive equivalent:-


Vertical Or Horizontal Distortion

 These two option squash the text in one direction. And Expand it on the other. For example, Horizontal Distortion Squash the text from the left or right and expand it on the other side. Depending on the value of distortion, like this:-


Here is how it looks like for Vertical Distortion:-

Vertical Histortion

Candy-Tip-IconCandy Tip:- The best way to understand how warped text works is to play with them for some time~

Displaying and hiding the character & paragraph panels


The last option of the Type Tool displays or hide the Character & Paragraph panels. Which are two separate panels that are grouped together in default. Here is how the panels look like(as I said, they are grouped by one window by default):-

The Character/Paragraph panel. With the Paragraph panel options shown in this picture
The Character panel

These two panels will be explained in detail in the other part of the tutorial. Many of the options in these two panels are the same as the ones we explained above.

Candy-Tip-IconCandy Tip:- You can also display the Character Panel by selecting Window -> Character.  And the Paragraph Panel by selecting Window -> Paragraph from the main menu.

More about Photoshop Type Tools

Like always. The tutorial is officially done. And we are going through additional things that has to do with Photoshop Type tools. If you don’t feel like reading this right now. Feel free to jump to the examples section of this tutorial.

Text layers

This document contains many text layer. The name of the text layer is usually the same as the content of the text. The icon of the layer depends on whether the text in the layer is warped or not.

You may have noticed that each text you type is in its own layer. And these layers look different from the other layers. That’s because they are text layers. A different type of layers than the ones you worked on so far. Unless you convert these layers into normal ones. You won’t be able to paint on them.

Text layers are among many types of layers. We will get to see many other types of layers in future tutorials.

Converting text into a raster layer

As we just stated. You can’t draw on text layer until you convert it to normal layer (Also called raster layer). To do that, you simply need to start painting on it using the brush tool and Photoshop will offer to convert it to you. Here is how:-

  • Select the text layer you want to paint on in the layers panel


  • Select the brush tool and click anywhere on the canvas. Photoshop will tell you that the layer needs to be rasterised before you can paint on . Click on the OK button


  • The layer will be converted into a normal layer. Which you can work on just like any layer you saw before~


  • Here is the text layer after it has been rasterised. I locked its pixels. Then I made one stroke with the brush tool.


Formatting part of a text

So far, every time we worked with the type options. We modified the whole text. It is also possible to select part of the text. And modify the attributes of that text alone. Here is how to do that:-

  • Select the Type Tool Horizontal-Text-Tool from the tools panel
  • Hover your text over the beginning of the part of the text you want to edit. And then click and drag the cursor until you select all the text you want. Just like you do in Microsoft word. Here is my text after I selected part of it:-


  • Edit the text however you want. Only the text you selected will be affected by the changes. Here I changed the colour of the selected text to blue.Change-Part-Of-Text-3
  • After you are done. Click on the ✓ icon on the Type Tool Options.Change-Part-Of-Text-4
  • You can modify part of the text however you want. You can set it to bold, change its size. Or do virtually anything you want.

Explaining the Character Panel

The character panel, as well as the Paragraph panel. Allows you to edit many attributes of the text. Just like the Type Tool Options we explained above. Except that it gives you even more options to do so. The following infographic explain it in details. Note that I cut down on the details on the ones we already seen:-

Click on the picture to view it in full size

Photoshop Character Panel
Photoshop Character Panel

Text Font:- Change the text font. This option works similar to its equivalent in the Type Tool options.


Font Size:- Change the font size. Also works the same way as the one in the Type Tool options.


Text Style:- Again, this option works the same way we have seen before. It changes the text style. From either regular, bold or italic.


Changing the space between characters:- As the name suggests. This option allows you to change the space between character. You can create a text with a lot of space between characters. Or very little space between them. You can enter any value you want in this field. Or simply choose from the drop-down menu.


The space between characters in action

Change the space between lines:- Similar to how you can change the space between characters. You can also change the space between the different lines in your text. This option has no effect if your text consists is only one line.

The leading

The Space-Bweetn-Lines

Characters kerning:- According to Wikipediakerning (less commonly mortising) is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. This option allows you to choose between various ways of characters kerning. Or no kerning at all.


This is how kerning works in general. Picture source:- Wikipedia

Vertical & horizontal scale:- Allows you to scale(or stretch) the text either horizontally or vertically.



The baseline shift:- Determine how much the characters are above or below the line of the text (the baseline). You can adjust each character separately this way to create some nice effects.



Change the text colour:- As the name suggest. This option allows you to change the text colour.


Change the text style:- This range of option works very similar to the ones you have seen in the Type Tool Options. Except that it works whatever the font supports them or not. And they offer you some additional styles to format the text. Like you could see in the picture below:-



Open Type Features


These options allows you to substitute some characters in a certain way. To make them look different (or more stylish?). For this feature to work. The font must be an Open Type font. The fonts that has theOpen-Type icon besides of them in Photoshop fonts menu. And it must support the certain feature among these options.

Standard Ligature:- Format the certain groups of characters. Like  like fi, fl, ff, ffi, and ffl. To connect differently


Contextual Alternative:- Add few serif and lines to the text to make it look more like a handwriting.


Contextual Alternative

Discretionary Ligature:- Make the character pairs ct, st and ft looks like this:-

With all honesty. None of the fonts I have support the pair ft. So I kept it at that.


Swash:- Makes certain characters more stylish. Like this:-


Stylistic Alternative:- Change the look of some characters to look more stylised


Ordinal:- Stylize characters like 1st, 2nd and 3rd to look much nicer.


Fractions:- Stylize fractions, like this:-


Anti-aliasing method:- Allows you to choose the anti-aliasing method. Anti-aliasing has been explained above in this tutorial.

Anti-ALiasing Method

The text language:- This option doesn’t change the look of the text at all. It is there if you want to use the spell-checker of Photoshop. If you chose French from this menu. Photoshop will use its French dictionary to look for mistyped words.


Reset characters

You can reset all the changes you have made on your text by selecting “Reset Characters” from the Character Panel menu. To do that, follow these steps:-

  • Click on the arrow at the corner of the characters panel. A drop down menu will appear


  • Select “Reset Characters” from that menu.


Explaining the Paragraph Panel

The paragraph Panel is much simpler than the character panel. And it contains less options. Many of those are simple and self-explanatory.

In the paragraph options examples. I used few paragraphs of Wikipedia’s Cat article. To show you how these options work.

Here are the simple explanation for the panel. We will cover each of those options in turn:-

You can click on this picture or any of the pictures below to view it in full size.

Photoshop Paragraph Panel
Photoshop Paragraph Panel

Text Align:- Works the same way we have seen so far. Text align allows you to align the text to the left, right or at the middle.


Justifying Text::- To avoid going through the difference between Align & Justify. Let’s say that this option gives you the options to align the last line of the paragraph. To the left, at the middle. or to the right. There is also the option to justify the whole paragraph. Meaning that Photoshop will add space between the words, so that all the lines end at the same point from the left and the right.

Paragraph Panel-Justify-text copy

Paragraph indentation:- These two options allows you to add an indent. Or a space you could say. To the left or the right of the paragraph.

Paragraph indent in Photoshop type tool.

Indent the first line:- This option allows you to specify the indentation(the space) for the first line of the text. While keeping the rest of the text intact.

The space before and after the paragraph:- These two options allows you to specify the space before and after a certain paragraph

The space before & after the paragraph in Photoshop type tool.

Hyphenate:- This option specify whether the Photoshop will split the words that comes at the end of the line into halves. And add a hyphen “-“ at the end of the said line. Or simply start the word in the next line. This is a common practice in English writing.

NoteNote:- You could select a certain paragraph or part of the text. And apply the above options to it. This is useful in case you want a certain paragraphs or parts of the text to be formatted in a certain way.

For more information about Fonts in Photoshop. Check out this page of Adobe’s website~

Candy-Tip-IconCandy Tip:- Similar to what we have seen in the type tool options. You could click on any icon on the character or paragraph panel and drag your cursor to increase or decrease the value of the corresponded option. This can save you some time every now and then.

How to download and add fonts to Photoshop.

In addition to the good amount of fonts that Photoshop comes with. You could download tons of fonts from the Internet. Many of those are free. Some of them are only free to non-commercial use. And some have to be paid for. In this part, we are going to download and install a new font in Photoshop:-

At the end of the tutorial. I have made a list of sites that allows you to download fonts for free

Downloading the font

In this example. We are going to download a font from And add it to Photoshop. The font I chose for this example is called Inked God. Which I hope you find it fancy and worth adding it to your fonts collection.

  • Go to the following URL. Where you could find the Inked God font:-
  • From what you could see. Inked God is for non-commercial use only. To use it for commercial uses. You will have to contact the author of the font. If you looked at the page. You will see how each of the characters look like.


  • Do download the font. By simply clicking the grey download at the right of the screen


After the file is downloaded. Unpack the zip file where the file has been downloaded to get the font file inside of it. For instructions on how to unpack Zip files. Click here

Installing the font on your computer

Depending on your operating system. Follow the instructions below. Because Adobe already has an extensive instructions on how to add fonts to your computer. I won’t repeat what they have in that page. And will only cover the simple way to install fonts on Mac OSX below.

To install a font in Mac OSX:-

  • Installing fonts in Mac is easy. All you have to do is to double click the font you downloaded. And Mac will open the Font for you.


  • Just Click on “Install Font” at the corner of the window. And wait until the font get installed.
  • Restart Photoshop. And you will find the font you installed in the fonts menu.

Aligning Text To Path.

Starting from Photoshop CS. Adobe has added a nice feature to the fonts in Photoshop. Which is the ability to make text follow any path you made with the pen tool. This is a very nice way to create a wide variety of designs. Here is how to do that:-

  • First, create a path using the Pen tool. It could be of any shape you want. Here, I created a simple arc. Which I want my text to follow.


  • Select the Horizontal Type Tool Horizontal-Text-Tool from the tools panel.
  • Move the cursors toward the path you created in the first step(Where you want your text to start). When the little rectangle surrounding the cursor disappear. Click on the path. And the text will be ready to be typed. Here is how my screen looked like before I typed my text:-


  • Now type the text you want. You will see the text follow the path you clicked on. Here is how my text looked like:-


  • After you are done entering the text. Click on the ✓ on the type tools options. And we will be done.
  • To move the text you created. Select the Path Selection Tool from the tools panel.
  • Click and drag the text. And the text will move along with your cursor. Here is how I moved my text a little to the right:-



Making a better Internet memes.

In last tutorial. We have added simple text to our Simple Internet meme using the horizontal text tool. And we didn’t bother to resize our text to change the font. Because that was outside the scope of the tutorial. Now we are aware of the type tool options. We are able to create a better meme. With more suitable text sizes and fonts.

Now we know about Photoshop type tool, our cat meme can be easily completed.

Colored text + Blending Modes

And like with many things in Photoshop. You could change blending modes of the Text layer however you want. Which is a nice way to create multiple effects. Like how I did with the text in this picture:-

Photoshop type tool can be used with blending modes to create effects like this one. :D

Creating A Simple Logo

Fonts are like a shortcut in case you want to create a simple logo and didn’t know how to go about it. Seeing the vast amount of available fonts on the Internet. I created a simple logo for a toys store using the font “Patterns & Dots”. Which I found online. Of course, we could make this font looks even better by adding more to the design.

Using the fancy or unique fonts of Photoshop type tool is a fast & easy way to create simple logos like this.

Resources:- List of sites to download fonts from:-


  • There are 4 Photoshop Type Tools. Which allows you to enter horizontal or vertical text. Or to create a selection of the shape of a text.
  • Photoshop Type tool options allows you to edit the text in multiple of ways. Like changing the font size or colour. Or the font itself.
  • You could edit the properties of the whole text. Or just select the part of the text you want to edit
  • Also, Photoshop type tool allows you to create a warped text. Which is a nice way to create many effects. Like wave or flag.
  • Anti-aliasing is a method of smoothing text so that it won’t look pixelated. It is particularly useful when you are dealing with small fonts.  Or low-resolution screens.
  • Text layers is one of many types of layers in Photoshop. And as its name suggests. It contains text. And allows you to edit the at any time
  • Text in Photoshop is stored in its own layers, one of many types of layers in Photoshop
  • Text layers can be converted into raster layers. Which could be painted on. Just like any other layer in Photoshop.
  • The character panel offers a variety of ways to edit the text. Including the ability to make the text bold or italic. Even if the font doesn’t support that.
  • The paragraph panel deal with formatting the paragraphs in details. Including aligning and justifying the text. And setting all the kinds of spaces and indentations.
  • Starting from Photoshop CS. You could make text follow a certain path you drew. By just clicking on the path using the Type Tool.
  • There are tons of fonts that could be downloaded and used in Photoshop online. And installing them is not that hard.
  • Fonts is a great way to create logo. Or Internet memes, you could say.

Would you like to learn Photoshop?

Check my Photoshop book Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures which contains a full course on how to use Photoshop in the simplest way possible.

See Also

I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

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