Working with Text and Text Effects

In this lesson, we’ll learn

  • How to Use the Type Tool.
  • Different Types of Text
    • Horizontal Type
    • Vertical Type
    • Horizontal Type Mask & Vertical Type Mask
  • Placing Text on the Page
  • Typing a Single Line of Text
  • Typing Text in a Text Box
  • Warped Text
  • Using Effects on Text

How to Use the Type Tool

The Type Tool is located in the Toolbox on the left side of the workspace.


If you don’t see the Toolbox on the left side of your workspace go to Windows> Click on Tools



When using the Type Tool you’ll notice the cursor changes.  The small line through the I-beam marks the position of the type baseline.



At the bottom of the workspace, in Tool Options, you can select the font, font size, text alignment (left, center, or right), bold, italics, etc.

Leading sets the space between lines of new or selected type.

Check Anti-aliasing.  This makes text appear smoother.  See examples below.

With Anti-aliasing  on the left and without Anti-aliasing on the right.



Different Types of Text

To add text, for a title or single line, select the Horizontal Type tool.

Since text orientation is horizontal, you can align text left, center or right.  This example uses center alignment.  Notice the dot in the middle of the line under the text is in the center.  This marks the place where the cursor was placed to begin typing.


When the Text Type is Vertical the alignment options are different.  The baseline now marks the center axis for the type.


The alignment options are top-align, center-align or bottom-align.  Notice the dot at the top of the text.  This indicates top alignment in this example.



The Horizontal Type Mask Tool & Vertical Type Mask Tool create a selection in the shape of the text.

Use this tool to cut the text selection out of a paper or image to show the background below or to paste into a new layer or image.  Select the layer on which you want the selection to appear.

We’ll only look at the Horizontal Type Mask Tool since all the settings and actions are the same for the VerticalType Mask Tool.



Placing Text on the Page

Select the font, size, alignment, etc. and type your text on the active layer.  Click the commit button (check) to accept.  The selection will change to “marching ants” after accepting the selection.


Note: When using the Horizontal Mask tool or Vertical Mask tool the background turns a transparent pink until you click commit.

After the selection is accepted you’ll see the “marching ants” around the selection.



Use Delete to cut out the selection (on the layer you want to cut out) to see the background below.  Apply shadow to add depth.



Use Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection, click Delete.  Now you can place the text on another layer.  Add a small shadow, if desired.



You can cut this selection from a paper, an image or use the fill tool to fill a layer with a pattern.  Just choose Pattern fill then select a pattern from the drop-down menu



To add journaling text, select the Type tool either Horizontal or Vertical.


Single Line of Text

To create a single line of text:  Click on the layout/image to set an insertion point.

  • Select type options in the tool options bar. Select font, font size, color, alignment, etc.
  • Type the text you want.
  • Click commit.
  • Now the text can be moved or resized just like any other element.


Typing Text in a Text Box

To create a paragraph of text for journaling:

  • Drag a rectangle to create a text box for the type.
  • Select type options in the tool options bar. Select font, font size, color, alignment, etc.


Type the text.  As you type the text wraps within the boundaries set.  Click commit.


You can also type single lines and hit enter as many times as you want but each line of text will be independent of the others and will not wrap as shown here.



Warped Text

To create warped text simply, type the text horizontally or vertically the click on the Create warped text tool.


The Warp Text options box opens.


Select the type of warp desired by clicking the Style Drop-down menu.


Adjust the Bend, Horizontal Distortion, and Vertical Distortion to achieve the desired effect.  Click OK.  Here are some examples using Warp Text.



Using Effects on Text

You can also apply effects to text. Any effect or style from the Effects panel can be applied to text in a layer.  How cool is this!


Can you imagine the possibilities?  Wow, you can do some interesting titles and journaling now.

If you are using Photoshop instead of Photoshop Elements, Karen at Snickerdoodle Designs has a tutorial about warping text in Photoshop on her blog.  Find it here.

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