How to Manipulate Text In Adobe Photoshop

Text in Photoshop can be a tricky thing. Remember that it’s mostly designed for photomanipulation, so perhaps text manip isn’t as easy as it could be. However, there are some ways around its quirks.

So you start out with some text:

Boring, right? Even super mega awesome foxy hot fonts can’t do all the work for you.

The most important thing in manipulating text is that when you put text down, it creates a TEXT LAYER.

As you can see, instead of plain box, it has a T in it, which means TEXT. The text layer is slightly manipulatable, but not completely. Some things you can manipulate in the TEXT layer:

–Colors, i.e. flat pink, flat blue, etc.


Warping can be done by clicking the T button near the top of your webpage. It’ll have a little arc underneath it.

When you click this, you have a list of options to choose from in the drop-down menu. It looks like this:

You can mess with the sliding scales to see how much you want something bulged, arced, etc. What’s great about the warp tool is that the text is still editable. This is what differentiates a TEXT layer from a NORMAL layer.

If you are on the text layer and try to go to the menus above, (example: go to File>New), Photoshop will not let you. Remember to click OFF the text layer onto the background layer if you want to play around with adjustments and anything on the top menu.

However, if you want a gradient or really twisted, warped text, you’ll have to rasterize the layer. Once you rasterize the layer, you can do anything you want with the text. However, the text will no longer be editable. So once you do this, make sure your spelling/grammar is correct, because the only way you’ll be able to fix it is by starting over or doing some clever copy/pasting.

How do you rasterize a layer? It’s easy. Click on the paint brush button on the left menu. Then click on the text (make sure you’re on the TEXT LAYER). Photoshop will ask you this:


Click OK.

Now when you look in the layer menu on the bottom right, you’ll see it’s no longer a text layer. Now you can work with it as you would any picture.

Some cool tricks you can do:

1) Lock the layer. You can do this by clicking on the first button on the Lock: menu on the Layers tab. Seen below:

The little lock symbol will show up on your layer, shown by the second red arrow. You can lock things when you only want color in the colored spaces of that layer.

Putting a shape onto the canvas

What it looks like when the layer is locked.

Another thing you can do is transforming. 

To start, click on the button with the pointer and the little four-way intersection symbol. And then make sure the Show Transform Controls is selected. Your text will be surrounded by a little dotted box with transform controls on the corners. This way you can make your text bigger and smaller at will.

If you double click on the little corner boxes, the dotted box around your text will become solid.

Then go to the upper menu and click on the box that looks a little like a windshield. Shown here:

Now it’s a grid. And you can go crazy with it. Just click and drag.

Have super awesome fun!



~ by wandarox on September 26, 2011.

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