It’s not particularly obvious to learn how to center text in Photoshop. Unlike dedicated word programs or design applications like Canva, Photoshop has a more roundabout way of centering text and layers. Fortunately, the process is very straightforward once you understand the steps.
To center something in Photoshop, first, select the desired layer from the layers panel, then press Command or Control + A to select your entire canvas. With a selection active, select your Move Tool by pressing V and click on the Align Horizontally and Align Vertically button found in the upper settings bar. Lastly, press Command or Control + D to deselect the active selection.
Now let’s talk about things more in-depth. In this post, I’ll share how to center text and image layers in Photoshop, but the same steps apply to any other type of layer (shapes, smart objects, etc) as well!
How To Center Text And Images In Photoshop (Video Tutorial)
How To Center Text And Layers With One Click
The most basic method of centering an object is to position it in the middle of your canvas. To do this, all you need is a keyboard shortcut and a single click of your mouse!
This technique is perfect for getting a proper alignment of your layer to the entire canvas. I’ll get into more how to center text to a specific area later in this post.
Here’s how to center text to your entire canvas:
With the layer you want to center highlighted in your layers panel, grab your move tool or press V on your keyboard.
Next, use the shortcut Command + A (Mac) or Control + A (PC) to select your entire canvas. You will now notice marching ants around your canvas, indicating a selection.
On your top settings bar, you’ll notice a series of icons with rectangles and lines. Click on the icon for the ‘align horizontal centers’ option to center your layer within the selection.
If you want to center your text vertically to your canvas, press the ‘align vertical centers’ option.
You can use both of these buttons together to center your text to your canvas. Admittedly, that does require two clicks, but that’s only if you want to center both horizontally and vertically!
Either way, this is one of the fastest and most effective ways to center a layer in Photoshop! Press Command + D (Mac) or Control + D (PC) to deselect the selection.
The Alignment Icons In Photoshop Explained
Now before we get too much further, it’s important to understand the meaning behind each alignment icon. If you remember these, it will be a lot easier to figure out how to align your text.
Horizontal Alignment Options:
– Align Left Edges
Will align the left edge or your layer to the left edge or your selection.
– Align Horizontal Centers
Aligns the horizontal center of your layer to the horizontal center of your selection.
– Align Right Edges
Aligns the right edge of your layer to the right edge of your selection.
Vertical Alignment Options:
– Align Top Edges
Will align the top edge of your layer to the top edge of your selection.
– Align Vertical Centers
Will align the vertical center of your layer to the vertical center of your selection.
– Align Bottom Edges
Aligns the bottom edge of your layer to the bottom edge of your selection.
Using these options, you can position your text in just about any way you would want. It just depends on where your selection is.
How To Center Text To A Selection In Photoshop
There are times where you need to center text to a specific place in Photoshop. In that case, selecting your entire canvas isn’t going to prove very useful. Fortunately, you can create custom selections to center text in Photoshop.
Here’s how to do it:
Select your Rectangular Marquee Tool by pressing M or clicking on the Marquee icon in your toolbar.
Next, click and drag out a selection based on where you want to center the text. In this example, I’ll draw my selection to fit in the top right corner.
You will now have an active selection represented by marching ants (the black and white line) around your selection.
Select the layer you want to center by clicking on it in your layers panel.
Grab the Move Tool by pressing V or find it in your toolbar.
Select the alignment icons based on how you want to align your text. In this case, I want to align the horizontal and vertical centers.
Now my text will automatically align to the inside of my selection! If you want to align your text to an edge, you can do so by selecting a different alignment option. Press Command + D (Mac) or Control + D (PC) to deselect the selection when you’re done.
How To Center Text To A Shape In Photoshop
Another situation you may find yourself in is needing to center your text to a shape in Photoshop. Especially when the shape is complex and too difficult to select with the Marquee Tool, the options seem unclear. Luckily you can convert any shape into a selection with a simple shortcut method!
Here’s how to do it:
Once you’ve drawn out your shape (U), a new shape layer will appear in your layers panel. For this example, my shape layer is called ‘Ellipse 1’.
To turn this shape into a selection, hold the Command Key (Mac) or Control Key (PC) and click on the layer thumbnail. This will turn the outline of your shape into a selection.
With this new selection active, click on the text layer you want to center.
Grab your Move Tool by pressing V or access it in the toolbar.
Click on the alignment icons based on how you want to position the text layer. In this case, I will choose to align horizontal and vertical centers to center my text in the circle.
Since you created a selection of your shape, your text will automatically position itself inside. Once complete, press Command + D (Mac) or Control + D (PC) to deselect your selection.
This is by far the easiest way to center text to a shape in Photoshop without any complicated manual selections.
How To Align Text Without A Selection
Just like in basic word programs like Pages or Word, you can align text to the left, center, or right in Photoshop. This can be useful to help further refine how your text is aligned to get a perfect position.
Here’s how to do it:
Grab your Text Tool by pressing T or accessing it in your toolbar. Click on the text layer you want to adjust the alignment of.
In the top settings bar, you’ll find three different alignment options.
The ‘left-align text’ option will align the right edge of your text to the center, moving your text left.
The ‘center text’ option will align the center of your text to the middle of your text box.
Lastly, the ‘right-align text’ option will align the left edge of the text to the center, moving your text right.
Choose whichever option best suits your document.
This is a simple way to align your text to itself, without any particular selection. This method won’t center your text to your canvas, but it repositions the text based on the text box. It’s another excellent method to know about when learning how to center text in Photoshop!
Using Snap Guides To Center Text And Shapes
All the methods you’ve learned so far require a series of steps to center text or objects. What if you just want to drag your layer to the perfect position without any additional effort? That’s where snap guides come in.
Snap guides are an option in Photoshop that helps you to align any layer to different parts of your canvas. As you move around a layer, purple snap guides will appear to help you find the right position. It will even automatically shift your layer into the correct position for a nearby alignment!
If you aren’t already using them, snap guides are a handy tool for aligning layers in Photoshop.
How To Turn On Snap Guides
Go up to View > Snap To > All.
For general use and the best functionality, ‘All’ is your best option.
Now when you manually drag around a layer with the Move Tool, purple lines will appear to help you.
In the below example, you can see how the snap guides are used to center my layer both horizontally and vertically. No extra clicking or steps required! Snap guides are the ultimate solution if you prefer to drag your layers into position.
More Photoshop Tutorials For You:
- How To Make Transparent Text In Photoshop
- How To Change Any Color In Photoshop (Even White!)
- How To Outline A Photo Or Cutout In Photoshop
- Best Tools To Cut Out Images In Photoshop
- How To Wrap Text Around Images
Although not completely obvious at first, learning how to center text in Photoshop is very straight forward. There are a variety of different methods that you can deploy to center your text in a variety of situations. Whether it be to align text to the center of your canvas or a shape, it only takes a few clicks. By using the methods outlined here, you’ll be able to center text in Photoshop with ease!
Want more tutorials like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter for more photography and photo editing tips!
– Brendan 🙂