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When you start working with type on a path, you quickly come to realize that the possibilities are endless. And if you need some inspiration, I strongly suggest that you do a browser search for typographic portraits, and you will come up with some really, really cool stuff. And it's very, very labor intensive, but we are going to try something a lot more modest and achievable in the space of a few minutes, but nonetheless very effective, and that is we are going to take a letterform, and then we are going to put type around that letterform. And in this case I've chosen to use an S, and around it I am putting a Shakespeare quotation from The Merchant of Venice, and I have broken this quotation into two parts.
There is the first part, and there is the second. Combined they very effectively, I think, suggest the graceful shape of this S letterform. So let's see, how do we do this? I am going to turn off those finished layers, and I am going to turn back on the S. What we want to do here is want to create a path from this letter. So to do that I'm going to right- click to the right of the layer name and choose Create Work Path.
We will now see a great path outline around the letter. We can now turn off the visibility of the letter. The path remains and the path is actually right there on the Paths panel. So now I am going to choose my Type tool and I'm going to come and click on the path to make an insertion point. Now just before I start typing, or in this case I am actually going to paste the text, just take a look at what size type you are going to get, because this value may be inherited from what you were doing previously, and that is indeed the case here.
I am going to set that back to 14 pixels. Now I am going to go to my text editing program and I'm going to copy the first part of the quotation, Command+C or Ctrl+C, come back to Photoshop and paste it in there. What direction it goes, it's going to vary. I mean you are never going to get what you want right off the bat. So we are going need to make some adjustments here, and it has to be said, it is fiddly. So what I want to do is I want to come and choose my Path tool, and I need to sort of flip that marker around, and I got lucky there.
It's not usually that easy, but I need to flip it on the other side of that path. You may find that you need to chase your path around, like so. What I have are two markers. The one I'm currently working with is the start of this story, or piece of text, and this one up here is the end of this story, and you can just chase your path around, or you can pull it back, to determine where it starts from. So let's say I want it to start a little bit higher. I am going to get the end of the story and move that back, allowing me to go and get start of the story and bring that back also.
Now to put my cursor in that type, I am going to choose my Type tool by pressing T. Let's zoom in a little bit, so that we can get a better idea of what's actually going on here. Probably the easiest way to select the type is to double-click on the Type layer. So now I have the type selected, and I could, if I wanted to, increase or decrease its size. But I think 14 pixels is just about the right size in this case. If I did need to move from one word to the next, which can be quite a difficult thing to do, because when you click in this piece of text you will not always, but nearly always end up at the end of the piece of text, and you can see my cursor flashing down there. Now to move from one word to the next, or in this case to the previous, if you hold down your Command or Ctrl key and then press the left arrow, you can see my cursor now jumping to the start of the previous word.
Okay, well that's one piece of our quotation. I'm just going to select it and let's change the color. Let's use a sort of brown and orange color and then go into my text editor where I will select the other piece, Command+C or Ctrl+C to copy that. Come back to Photoshop. So now when I try and put my type on the existing path, you'll see that I am not getting the shape of cursor that I am after, the path type shape cursor, and no matter how much, I try that's not going to show up unless I do this.
So if we now move other to the Paths panel, we can see that what's happened is when we put type along the work path, it has created a new work path for us, and it's given it the name of the text that's going along it. So I need to go back and select the original work path. So with the original work path selected, I can now come back to layers, and I get my type along a path cursor reappear. So I am just going to click and then paste, Command+V or Ctrl+V, and I'm now going to switch to my Path tool because I need to just reorient this along the path.
I am going to pull it outside the letterform, and then I'm going to grab the start of the story and bring that around down to about there. Now this is the end of the story, and that indeed is all of the text right there. Let's start this little bit further around, and then we will extend this one a little bit, like so. So there is our result. Two separate pieces of type around two actually distinct paths, both derived from this original letter S that was made into a work path.
If we don't want to see the outline of that path, and we don't, I am going to come to my Paths panel and then just click beneath it in the Paths panel to deactivate the path. There is our finished result.
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