How to put text in a shape with photoshop

This tutorial was created using photoshop CS4. It is in two parts, to create two different effects. It is an intermediate level tutorial, assuming you have a basic knowledge of photoshop. Also, the pictures files are downloadable as a freebie :) You will get both Circle of life texts with shapes, and also some heart shaped texts with a Shannon Crown quote saying The best thing about me is you.


Tutorial: Text in a shape with photoshop

Step 1: Open a new file. I used 6x6 inches, 300 dpi

Step 2: Create a new layer by clicking on the New layer icon in the bottom right.

Step 3: Create your shape. In this case I selected the ellipse shape tool to make a circle (to make a perfect circle, hold the SHIFT key while tracing it).

Step 4: With the magic wand tool, highlight the shape you just created. Then right-click it, and select Make work path. When prompted, set the tolerance to 1 pixel. (if you're having issues here, you might be in vector mode..... rastarize your layer if it's the case)

Step 5: Create a new layer as in step 2

Step 6a: If you want your text to fill in your shape, hit the Text button, then hoover your mouse well within your shape until your cursor gets a little dotted circle around it, left click and type in your text. In my case I used the lyrics of the song Circle of Life, by Tim Rice.

Step 7: Once your text is in your shape, you can play with the text size and color to get the effect you want. When you're happy with your text, click on the shape layer to hide it, so only the text layer is left. You can also hide your background layer and save as a transparent .png file. You're done!

Alternate step 6b: If what you want to do is to have your text on the outline of the shape, do as in step 6a but instead of clicking IN the shape, click on the BORDER of the shape. Your cursor will have a wavy line to show you are at the right place. You can play with the text settings to adjust to your liking, then hide your shape layer.

I hope you found this tutorial useful, if you have questions or get stuck while doing it drop me a line in the comments. And if you succeed, send me a link of your layout or upload it in the Pixel Scrapbooking Facebook Fan page so I can have a peek! I'd love to see your creations!!

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About the Author

My name is Rosemarie or known as alias Rosemarie Pixel. I am a photo, digital scrapbooking, and blogging enthusiast. I created this blog in 2009 to share everything I am learning about these three new medias.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for freebies. Link on your post was added to Lori's freebie list

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 9 post on Dec. 19, 2009. Thanks again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 19 Dec [LA 02:29pm, NY 05:29pm, UK 10:29pm] - 20 Dec [OZ 09:29am]).


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