We’ve had several requests to review how to type text around a shape, so let’s look at that fun technique today!

I am using Photoshop CC2017 for this tutorial. This technique works the same in Photoshop Elements.

Wrapping text around shape paths:

Shapes are created with “paths.” It is on this path where we will place our text.

  1. Open a blank document
  2. Draw out the shape of your choice, using one of the shape tools.
  3. Select the Type Tool; Select your type font, color, and size.
  4. Place the Type cursor on the edge of the shape path. The cursor should change shapes; it will look like a capital “I” with a dotted, curved line through it.  If you do not see this change take place, make sure that your Shape layer is active in your Layers Panel.
  5. Once the Type cursor has changed, place your cursor where you would like to start your type, and begin typing.

Sometimes the text you want to write might need less space that you have around your circle. You can be creative in how you solve this problem.  Make your circle a bit smaller if you can; adjust the font size; adjust the spacing between the words and/or letters.

Text on a Path Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

Draw out a shape using one of the Shape Tools.

Text on a Path Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

Place your cursor on the edge of the shape. Watch for the Text Tool to change before beginning to type.

Text on a Path Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

Place your cursor where you would like your type to begin and start typing.

One thing that is fun to do with text around shapes is this:

  • Right click on the shape layer, then choose Rasterize Layer in the fly-out menu. (PSE users: “Simplify” instead of “Rasterize.)
  • Click on the thumbnail of the Shape to select it.
  • Go to the top Menu Bar:  Select > Modify > Contract. Then set your Contract Selection amount. I will choose 10 for the size ellipse I have drawn. click OK.
  • In the top Menu Bar:  Select > Inverse.
  • Hit the Delete Button.
  • Use the newly trimmed ellipse as a mask for a photo.



To create customized paths on which to type text, we can use the Pen Tool.  If you are interested in learning this technique, please let us know in our Comment Section below, and we can look at that next week.

If you are interested in downloading a PDF of this tutorial, you may do so here: Text on a Path