Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Putting text on a circle, part of Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 04 Creative Effects and Projects.
One of my favorite of the type tools is the type on shape tool, which is located here in the Tool Options for the Horizontal type tool. I'm going to select the type on shape tool, so that I can show you how you could use it to create text on a circular path. In the options for this tool, you can see a number of different geometric shapes around which you could add text; a rectangle, a rounded rectangle, an ellipse, a polygon, and then a couple of custom shapes; a heart, a text bubble, and a butterfly. I'm going to use the Ellipse option for the Text on Shape tool, and I'm going to use that option to create a circular path.
To do that, I'll move into this image of a plate with hot peppers, and I'll put my cursor approximately in the middle of the plate. It doesn't have to be exact. Then I'm going to hold down two modifier keys; the Alt key, that's the Option key on the Mac, which will allow me to draw a circle from the center outward; and the Shift key, which will constrain the proportions of this shape to a circle, rather than an oval. And then I'll click, and I'll drag out and I'll release my mouse and then those modifier keys to create this path in the shape of a circle. Next, I'm going to move my cursor over the edge of this circle, and it will change to an I beam, with a small diagonal line running through it.
I'll click to create a starting point for the text that I'm going to add around this circle. Notice that that's made a new type layer over here in the Layers panel, and it's switched me over to the Horizontal type tool, where I can use any of the options here to choose a font, a size, a color, and more for this text. But I'm going to leave things as you see them, with all of the options at their defaults, except for the font size, which I made 12 points, and then I'll type some text.
When I'm done, I'll click the green check mark to add that text. Now, this text is treated just like any type layer, so I can change the font, or the color, or any of the other properties of this text. I also can move the type layer. You can see that Elements automatically selected the Move tool for me, as it always does when you first add text, because it thinks that you want to move the text into place. So, if I didn't get my circle just right, I can click and drag, and move the path with the text on it exactly where I want it.
Now I want to style this type, so I'll go back to the toolbar, and I'll click on the Text on Shape tool, and then I'll go down to the options for the tool, and maybe I'll change the Color from black to a red, and then I'll click down here to dismiss that panel. And if I want to change the font, I can click on the arrow to the right of the Font field, and choose a different font. And maybe I'll change the font size too. And, as for any type, I can edit the type on this circle. So, if I wanted to add a word, I'll move my cursor to the location in this type where I want to add a word, I'll click on the path there, and I'll add a word, and then I'll click the green check mark to commit that edit.
Now I'm going to click off of this type layer onto the Background layer, so that you can see what it looks like so far. There's one more thing that I'd like to do here. I'd like to move the type around the circle, so I'll go back to the type layer in the Layers panel, and then I'm going to select another tool. I'm going to select the black arrow tool. If your black arrow tool isn't appearing here in the Shape slot in your toolbar, maybe you have a different Shape tool selected there, then just click on whatever tool is showing in the Shape slot, and move down to the options for that tool, and click on the black arrow tool.
There are two things I need to do with this tool. If you look closely, you'll see that there is a little circle right at the beginning of my text. I'm going to use this black arrow tool to move that circle out of the way. That circle represents the last place on which I could add text. So, in other words, I can only type that far. So, I need to move that circle out of the way by clicking on it, and then dragging away from the beginning of the text. When I do that, if you look closely you'll see that there is another icon at the beginning of the text, and that is a little X icon.
With the same tool, I'll click on that X icon, which represents the beginning of the text, and I'll drag, and as I do, the text goes with me, following that X, which represents the beginning of the text. Now I need to move the end of the text icon a little bit further, so I'll click on it, and I'll move down with that icon, and then I'll go back and get the beginning of the text icon, the little X, and I'll move that. And you often have to do this a few times, moving both icons around the circle to position the text just where you want it.
That looks pretty good to me. I'm going to click off of this layer, so I can see the result. And finally, if I want to change the shape of the text, I can do that too by selecting the type layer again, and going up to the Image menu, and to Transform Shape. And here I could choose from any of these transform options. For example, I could choose the Free Transform Shape option; that brings up this bounding box, and if I click and drag on any of the corner anchor points here, that will make my circle smaller. I'll click the check mark, and then I'll click inside the circle, and I'll move it into place, along with the text around the circle.
Then I'll click off the text layer to see the results. So, that's how to use the text on shape tool to add type in a circle.
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