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How To Add Text In Photoshop (Everything You Should Know)

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There are various ways you can add text in Photoshop while adjusting the position, color, and other creative aspects. With the help of the Type Tool, writing text over an image can be done in seconds. Here’s one of the easiest ways to add text in Photoshop.

To add text in Photoshop, select the Horizontal Type Tool (T) from the toolbar. Click on your canvas to create a new Text Layer, then begin typing your desired text. Once complete, press the ESC key or the checkmark in the upper bar to commit to your changes.

Assuming you want to spice up your text a little more, there’s a ton of ways you can do that. Whether you want a single word, a paragraph, vertical text, or creative effects like curved or outlined text, you’ll learn how to do it all of that in this post!

How To Add Text In Photoshop

Step 1: Select The Horizontal Type Tool

To begin, select the Horizontal Type Tool found in the toolbar in Photoshop. Just look for the T icon if you aren’t sure!

If you like keyboard shortcuts instead, just press T to access this same tool.

Step 2: Click On Your Canvas

With the Horizontal Type Tool selected, click on your canvas to create a new piece of text. This will automatically create a new text layer in the layers panel.

Text layers are what you’ll use later on to keep track of your different pieces of text and for editing.

In some cases, you may have words such as “Lorem Ipsum” appear when creating new text layers. This is known as placeholder text in Photoshop and it can be turned off if you don’t like it.

More on that later.

Step 3: Type Your Text

After clicking on your canvas, begin typing the text you want to add to your image. With the horizontal type tool, your text will continue in a horizontal line forever. This is great news since you can never run out of room, but it can be challenging to fit in your image.

Luckily you can press the Enter key to create a new line with your text. Just like a word document, you can quickly format your text manually with this technique.

If you have a paragraph of text you want to add, there is an even easier option. I share all the details in the “Point Vs. Paragraph Text” section of this post below.

Step 4: Press The ESC Key To Save Changes

Once you’re happy with the look of your text, press the ESC key to commit to your changes.

Alternatively, you can press the checkmark in the upper settings bar for the same result.

With either of these methods, you’ll stop editing the text and be able to view it as a regular layer. No editing box or insertion point (blinking line) to look at anymore!

Now that you know how to actually add text to your images let’s talk about editing the look of that text.

How To Edit Text In Photoshop

To edit text in Photoshop, select the Type Tool, then click your text. Press Command/Control + A to highlight your text, then go to the upper settings bar. Here you’ll find options to change the font, color, size, and alignment of your text in Photoshop. Once complete, press the ESC to save changes.

Now let’s get a little more specific and dive into the details of customizing the basic look of your text.

– Changing Type

If you have a spelling error or just want to change up what you’ve written, any text layer can be easily edited in Photoshop. The fastest way is to simply double-click on the text in your canvas. This will automatically make the text editable and allow you to add or delete text from your layer.

For those who are using an older version of Photoshop, this feature may not work. Instead, select the Type Tool by pressing T or selecting it from the toolbar. Then click on the text you want to edit in your canvas or click on the text layer in the layers panel.

Just like a regular word document, you can click in different areas of the text to move the insertion point. You can also delete any of your text by pressing the delete key on your keyboard to go letter by letter. Easy peasy!

– Changing Text Color

To spice up your text and change the color, there are two ways you can go about this. This first way is by double-clicking on your text to edit it, just as you would for changing the type.

In older versions of Photoshop, press T to select the Type Tool and click on the text you wish to edit.

Now press Command + A (Mac) or Control + A (PC) to highlight all of your text. If you only want to change the color of a single word, click and drag your mouse over the text to highlight a specific area.

With the text highlighted, go to the upper settings bar and click on the color fill option. A color picker will appear where you can choose any color you fancy for the text. Once happy, click OK, and your new color will be applied to the text.

As an alternate method, you can also use the Character Panel to change text color in Photoshop. If you don’t see the Character Panel go up to Window > Character to open this panel.

Making sure your desired text layer is selected in the layers panel, click on the Color option inside the Character Panel.

Just like before, a color picker will appear, allowing you to choose a new color for your text. With a new color chosen, click OK to apply the updated color.

The Character Panel method is good for changing the entirety of your text’s color in fewer clicks than the previous method.

– Adjusting Font Size

You can easily adjust the font size directly or simply scale your text with the Move Tool. Let’s first discuss changing the font size directly.

First, select your desired text layer and open the Character Panel. If you don’t see this panel, go to Window > Character.

Click on the dropdown menu for the font size setting and choose a new size.

Alternatively, you can click on the font size number and type in a new size yourself. This is often a better idea for large font size adjustments.

Now, rather than just using the font size, you can also scale your text with the Move Tool. Selecting the Move Tool by pressing V, select your text layer, and click on any corner of the transform box that appears around your text.

Dragging outwards, your text will increase in size. Meanwhile dragging inwards will make your text smaller.

The Move Tool offers a more hands-on approach to changing font size in Photoshop rather than dealing with font size numbers.

– Changing Text Alignment

When you are writing text in a word document, for example, your text is aligned left by default. However, you can center the text or align it to the right of your page depending on the formatting you need. In Photoshop, you can do the same thing with text alignment settings.

For example, I created a line of text, to begin with. As you can see, it’s currently aligned center. By double-clicking on my text to make it editable, I can now access my three alignment options in the upper settings bar.

Here’s the result of choosing the left alignment:

And now the result for the right alignment:

By clicking on any three of these settings, you can quickly adjust the alignment of text in Photoshop.

– Underlining Text

To underline text in Photoshop, you need to call on the help of the trusty Character Panel. Once again, if you don’t see it, go to Window > Character.

With your desired text layer selected in the layers panel, click on the underline option inside of the Character Panel.

By clicking this one button, you can quickly underline text on your canvas. To remove the underline, simply click on the underline option again to toggle it.

How To Edit Text Without Creating A New Layer

To edit text without creating a new layer, select the Horizontal Type Tool (T) and double-click on the text you wish to edit. This will make that specific text editable without creating a new text layer. It’s important to remember this only works with text that sits on its own text layer.

For example, I have a piece of text in Photoshop and a single text layer in my layers panel representing it.

By selecting the Type Tool (T) and hovering my cursor away from the text, notice how there is a box around the cursor.

Now when I hover over my text layer, that box disappears around my cursor.

This important distinction lets you know whether you will create text on a new layer or edit the text already in your canvas. A box around your cursor means you will create a new text layer when you click.

A cursor with no box indicates you will edit the text you’re hovering over.

Unfortunately, text that is rasterized or was exported with an image can no longer be edited. For example, this image has a piece of text that was exported with the image. When I bring it back into Photoshop, the text can no longer be edited since it’s baked into the image.

How To Add Vertical Text In Photoshop

Step 1: Select The Vertical Type Tool

To write vertical text, you need to first select the Vertical Type Tool. This can be found by pressing Shift + T to cycle between your text tools. This tool is represented by the T icon with an arrow pointing downwards.

Alternatively, you can click and hold on the Type Tool icon and select the Vertical Type Tool from the window that appears.

Step 2: Click On Your Canvas

With the Vertical Type Tool selected, click on your canvas to create a new piece of vertical text.

Step 3: Type Your Vertical Text

Now you will have a new text layer and an active text box on your canvas. Begin typing to add your vertical text on the canvas.

Step 4: Press The ESC Key To Save Changes

Once you’re happy with your text, press the ESC to commit to your changes. Now you have successfully written vertical text in Photoshop!

Vertical text can be edited and customized in the same way as horizontal text. By following any of the steps discussed earlier, you can edit this vertical text to better suit your style!

How To Move And Rotate Text In Photoshop

To move or rotate text in Photoshop, select the Move Tool and select the text layer you wish to edit. Hovering outside the corners of the transform box, click to rotate the text in any direction. To move the text entirely, click the center of the transform box and drag your text to a new location.

Let’s break this process down more in-depth.

First, select the Move Tool by pressing V on your keyboard or selecting it from the toolbar.

Now click on the text layer you wish to edit in your layers panel. You will know it’s selected by the highlight on your specific text layer!

A transform box will appear around your text which allows you to reposition or rotate your layer. To rotate your text, hover just outside of any corner of the transform box until your cursor becomes a double-sided arrow. Now click and drag to rotate your text!

If you want to move your text as a whole, click in the center of the transform box and drag to move your text.

With these two easy techniques, you can get your text in the perfect position for your image!

How To Put Text Over An Image

To put text over an image in Photoshop, first add your image to your project and position it. Select the Type Tool by pressing T and click on the canvas to create a new text layer. Type your text and press the ESC key to save changes. Now move the text layer above the image layer in the Layer Panel.

The easiest way to add an image to your Photoshop project by dragging and dropping it from your computer. I highlight all the ways you can add images as layers in Photoshop in this post.

With your image in place, select either the horizontal or vertical type tool from the toolbar.

Now click on your canvas to create a new text layer and type out the text you want to use.

By default, this new text layer should appear above your image, but if it doesn’t, it’s because it’s hiding behind your image layer. To solve this, click and drag your text layer above the image layer in your layers panel.

Now you have successfully placed your text over your image! This same process applies to any layer you want to put text in front of in Photoshop.

How To Add Text Behind An Image In Photoshop

To place text behind an image in Photoshop, select the Type Tool and create a new piece of text. Using the Quick Selection Tool, click and drag around your subject to select the background. With the selection active, click the text layer and add a layer mask. Now the text is behind your image!

Placing text behind an image gives your photos a cool magazine-like feel. Although it seems a bit complex at first, it’s easily done with the help of a selection and layer mask.

If you’re new to creating selections and cutting out images in Photoshop, make sure to brush up on your skills here.

Before you do anything, start by creating your text and position it in your image. Don’t worry; you can change this positioning later on!

For this example, I’ll use the quick selection tool to select the background around my subject. To access this tool, press W or find it in your toolbar.

Then turn off your text layers visibility by clicking on the eyeball icon and select your image layer. This is important for getting the best selection possible!

To create a new selection, click and drag around the background of your photo. The goal here is to select the places you want the text to be visible. For this example, I want the text to be visible in the background but not around the model.

Once your selection is created, you’ll have marching ants to indicate your selection area. Clicking on your text layer in the Layer Panel, click on the layer mask icon to apply the selection onto a layer mask.

Toggle your text layer visibility and now your text layer will only be visible in the selection area you just created, making it appear as if it’s behind your subject.

If you want to reposition your text, you’ll first need to unlink the text from the layer mask by clicking on the chainlink icon between the two.

Then click on your text layer and select the Move Tool by pressing V. Now, you can move your text independently from the mask to ensure it always stays behind your image!

How To Put Text Inside Of A Rectangle

To put text inside a rectangle in Photoshop, select the Rectangle Tool then click and drag out on your canvas to make a new shape. Select the Type Tool and click inside of the rectangle to apply the text inside. Now type your text and it will only appear inside of your rectangle!

As I talk about more in-depth in this other tutorial, you can put text inside of any shape layer simply by clicking on the inside of it. Below I have created a new rectangle shape on my canvas using the Rectangle Tool (U).

You can customize the rectangle using the fill and stroke options in the upper setting bar.

Now I’ll select the Horizontal Type Tool (T) and click inside of the rectangle shape. Notice how the cursor has a circle around it when hovering over the rectangle. This means your text will be applied inside of your shape.

This method works best when wanting longer form text inside of a rectangle. The problem is it’s difficult to position the text freely with this method. To make your text perfectly centered (horizontally and vertically) inside the rectangle, you’ll need to follow a slightly different process.

– How To Center Text Inside Of A Rectangle

Just as before, create your rectangle shape using the Rectangle Tool.

Now create your text, this time separate from the shape. Rather than clicking inside the shape, click elsewhere on your canvas so your text can be freely positioned.

Type out what you want to put inside the triangle, and now you will have a piece of text and a shape totally separate from one another.

To center your text inside of the rectangle now, hold the Command/Control key (Mac/PC) and click on the rectangle layer thumbnail to turn it into a selection.

With the new active selection around your shape, click on your text layer and grab the Move Tool by pressing V.

From the alignment options that appear in the upper settings bar, choose to align vertically and align horizontally.

Your text layer will automatically center itself inside of your rectangle based on the active selection.

Finally, press Command + D (Mac) or Control + D (PC) to deselect your active selection.

Now you have centered your text perfectly inside of a rectangle. This is a much better option for creating titles or centering shorter words inside a shape than the first option.

Point Text Vs. Paragraph Text

There are two types of text in Photoshop called point text and paragraph text. Point text creates text in a horizontal line for infinity, while paragraph text is confined to a specific text area. Point text is best used for titles in Photoshop, while paragraph text is best for longer bodies of text.

You will create point text by default whenever you create a new piece of text with the Type Tool. However, you can change point text to paragraph text by right-clicking on your text layer and choosing “Convert To Paragraph Text.”

You’ll notice a box appear around your text which defines the paragraph area. By clicking on the anchor points, you can adjust this box to expand or shrink the area your text can be written.

Unlike point text, paragraph text will only be visible inside of this text box. If the words no longer fit, they will become invisible outside of the paragraph area.  Luckily you can quickly adjust the size of it as needed by selecting the text layer and ensuring the Type Tool is active.

If you ever want to convert paragraph text back to point text, just right-click on the text layer and choose “Convert To Point Text.”

How To Outline Text In Photoshop

To outline text in Photoshop, double-click on your text layer to open the Layer Styles settings. Select “Stroke” from the Styles options and set the stroke position to outside. Set the fill-type to “Color” then choose an outline color. Click OK to save changes and apply the outline to your text.

Let’s break that down a little more in-depth.

After you’ve created your text, double click on your text layer to open the Layer Styles panel. This is where you can add a variety of customized looks to any layer in Photoshop. Since you want to outline your text, click on the Stroke option from the Styles bar on the left.

For the best results, set the stroke position to “Outside,” then make sure your blending mode is set to “Normal” and your opacity is at 100%.

To add a colored outline, set the fill-type to Color, then click on the colored box to reveal a color picker. After choosing a new color, click OK to save the new color and apply it to your outline.

With your color chosen, adjust the size slider as needed to make your outline wider or thinner, then click OK to commit to your changes.

Now you have successfully outlined your text!

How To Curve Text In Photoshop

To curve text in Photoshop, select your text layer and access the Type Tool by pressing T. Click on the Warp Text option in the upper bar and set the style to Arc. To adjust the amount of curve in your text, adjust the bend slider as needed to refine the curve.

The Warp Text option can only be found in the upper setting bar when the Type Tool is active. This icon for this tool is a T on top of a half-circle.

Inside the warp text options, you can choose from a variety of warping styles. For a general curve, the Arc option will work best.

After applying your style, the text will be automatically warped to fit that specific shape. With the help of the bend slider, you can make the curve more or less pronounced.

Once you’re happy with the adjustments, click OK.

For curving text alone a specific line, such as the shape of a wave, you’ll need to follow some slightly different steps, which are outlined in this post.

How To Edit Placeholder Text Settings

To edit placeholder text settings in Photoshop, also known as Lorem Ipsum, go to Photoshop > Preferences > Type. To turn off placeholder text, uncheck the option for “fill new type layers with placeholder text.” Now you will no longer have placeholder text when creating new text in Photoshop.

Placeholder text can be helpful to give you an idea of the look and size of your text before you write anything. However, the flip side is that it gets in the way at times and can get a little annoying.

By accessing your preferences via Photoshop > Preferences > Type, you can toggle placeholder text on or off with the “fill new type layers with placeholder text” option.

Whether you choose to use placeholder text or not totally comes down to personal preference. There’s no other advantage to it besides offering an immediate preview of your active text settings.

How To Add New Fonts To Photoshop

To further customize your text in Photoshop, fonts are an easy tool for the job. In many cases, you’ll feel underwhelmed by the default text options found in the program. Luckily you can quickly add new fonts to Photoshop without paying a single cent!

First, find a font you’d like to use via any of the free font providers online. A few great options to look at are Dafont, 1001 Free Fonts, or Font Space.

After downloading your new font to your computer, open the .ZIP file, access the folder, then double click on the .TTF file.

Then click Install Font to add it to your computer’s library of fonts.

Once the font is added to your computer, it will automatically appear inside Photoshop. With your text selected, click on the font type and select your newly installed font to apply it to your text!

Now you know the ins and outs of adding text in Photoshop. Whether you want to create titles, long paragraphs, or practice your graphic design, it’s all possible with the tips outlined in this post.

Now, if you’re ready to learn some advanced text effects in Photoshop, check out the posts below!

Happy Editing!

Brendan 🙂



Photo of author
I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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