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How To Move Text In Photoshop


After you’ve created a piece of text in Photoshop, knowing how to move it around your project is a pretty important step. Luckily it’s extremely easy to do with the Move Tool, along with a few other methods to align your text into a new area.

How To Move A Text Layer In Photoshop

The easiest way to move a text layer in Photoshop is to first select the desired text layer in the Layers Panel. Then activate the Move Tool by pressing V and click and drag your text to a new position on your canvas. You can then continue to edit your text by reactivating the Type Tool (T).

Let’s take a close look at this process.

When creating text with the Type Tool (T), it always creates a new layer. 

This is the case for each individual piece of test you create, so you may end up with multiple text layers in your Photoshop project. 

It’s simple to move a text layer around your artboard or canvas. Firstly, select the text layer in the Layers panel.

With your text layer selected, use the Move Tool (V) to click and drag the text on the canvas where you want to move it. If you have auto-select enabled within the Move Tool settings, you can simply click on your desired text to move it on your canvas.

 If you wish to move multiple layers at once, you can easily select multiple layers and follow the previous steps. Hold Control (Win) or Command (Mac) while clicking each layer, and they will all be selected together.

With your multiple text layers selected, use the Move Tool to drag and move the text layers on the canvas. When multiple layers are selected, all the selected text will move together, which might be helpful if you’ve already formatted it but just need to move it slightly.

How To Align Or Center A Text Layer In Photoshop

When you move text, it’s often because it needs to align with other elements. You might want your text to be aligned to the center of your canvas or even aligned centrally in relation to an image. Luckily, Photoshop offers a couple of alignment options. 

Align Tools

To align text to your canvas, first, select your text layer in the Layers Panel.

Then press Control + A (Win) or Command + A (Mac) to select the entire canvas. Marching ants will appear around to show it’s selected.

With the Move Tool (V) active, in the Options bar, select any of the alignment options (listed left to right):

  • Align left edges
  • Align horizontal centers
  • Align right edges
  • Align top edges
  • Align vertical centers
  • Align bottom edges

This will align your selected text layer with the active selection, which in this case, is the entire document.

You can follow the above step to align your text to another object or layer too. Instead of selecting the entire canvas, select the other object’s layer, then use the alignment tools. You can turn any layer into a selection by holding Command or Control and clicking on the layer thumbnail in the Layers Panel. Once the selection is made, activate the Move Tool (V) and choose your desired alignment options.

Align With Smart Guides

When aligning your text in Photoshop, one thing you may notice is guidelines when moving text around the canvas. These are Smart Guides. If you don’t see them, turn them on by going to View > Show > Smart Guides

Smart Guides help center your text within your canvas. They also appear when Photoshop notices a spacing pattern between objects or finds common edges to align to. 

To center your text with smart guides, use the Move Tool (V) to move the text near the center of the canvas until the Smart Guides appear. The vertical guide appears for horizontally centered text; a horizontal guideline appears when your text is vertically centered. 

When the guidelines make a cross, your text is centered horizontally and vertically on the canvas.

Aligning With Ruler Guidelines

You can also create your own guidelines to adhere to, rather than temporary Smart Guides. Firstly, you need to access the Ruler. Go to View > Rulers or use Control + R (Win) or Command + R (Mac) to reveal the Ruler.

To add a horizontal guideline anywhere on your canvas, click the top ruler, then drag it to your canvas. Use the vertical Ruler to line up exactly where you want to put the guideline; a pale gray dotted line will appear to indicate where your cursor is. Release the mouse to place the guideline. Do the same from the vertical Ruler on the left of the canvas for a vertical guide.

You can have multiple guidelines for your project. To hide or show them, press Control + ; (Win) or Command + ; (Mac). To move your guidelines, make sure the Move Tool (V) is active, then click, and drag to move the guide. 

To delete a guideline, select it and press Delete.

How To Move Text Along A Path 

Typing on a path is a great way to customize how your text fits into a space. Whether you’re typing on a hand-drawn path or a shape, like an ellipse, it’s simple to move your text along or around the path. 

With the text on a path, hover your cursor towards the front or back end of the text, where there’ll be a vertical line or a small circle.

Hold Control (Win) or Command (Mac) and click the line or circle and drag it in the direction you’re moving the text. The text will move along the line of the path, which may change how much can be viewed based on the font size and word length. 

How To Move Text To The Inner Or Outer Edge Of A Path

You can also choose whether the writing sits on the inner or outer edge of a path. For an ellipse path, the text can go on the outside of the circle or the inside of the circle, for example. 

To do this, add your text to the path, then hold Control (Win) or Command (Mac) and drag the text from the outside to the inside of the circle or path.

The text will flip inwards but will also be upside down. 

You can move the text along the path using the previous tip for better readability. 

If your text is written on the inner edge of a path, the same technique can be used to flip it the opposite way, so it then sits on the outer edge. Each time the text is flipped to an opposing edge, you may need to reformat it, move it, or even retype it to fit the new space. 

So whether you are looking to manually move a text layer, align it using guides, or even adjust it’s position on a path, now you know exactly how!

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.


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