How To Underline Text In Photoshop

Trying to underline text in Photoshop is not as intuitive as you may expect. It doesn’t display all the options needed for you to edit the text in its default workspace. Instead, you need to use a little workaround found within the Character Panel.

To underline text in Photoshop, select your text layer, then go to Window > Character to reveal the Character Panel. Here you will find the underline text option represented by the T icon with an underline beneath. Now simply click this icon to add an underline to your text!

Now let’s break down this process more in-depth with the help of some screenshots, then get into some more advanced ways of adding an underline; including dotted or dashed text underlines!

How To Underline Text In Photoshop

In order to underline text when creating text from scratch, you need to enable the underline option before creating your text in Photoshop. To do this, go to Window > Character.

From the Character panel, click the underline option. 

Then, enable the text tool by clicking the Text Tool in the toolbar (T).

Once the text tool is selected, write your text on the canvas as you normally would and your new text will be underlined.

If you want to underline existing text that is not yet underlined, do the following. Double-click the text to select it, or press Control + A (Win) or Command + A (Mac). 

Next, go to Window > Character.

Then, enable the underline option by clicking on the icon in the panel. The selected text will now be underlined.

How To Create Dotted Or Dashed Text Underlines In Photoshop

Even though the default underline option in Photoshop works fine, you can’t change its thickness, position, or appearance. Thankfully, you can create your own underlines in Photoshop and customize them in different ways, so that you don’t need to use the same underline effect repeatedly. 

One of the ways of doing that is by making dotted or dashed underlines. To do this, write your text on the canvas using the Text Tool (T).

Then, select the line tool in the Shape Tool menu from the toolbar.

Once the line tool is selected, go to the Options bar to change some of the line tool settings. First, make sure the tool Mode is set to Shape.

Then, set the Fill to transparent and the Stroke to black (or any color you want the stroke to be).

Next, choose a value for the Stroke Width. In this case, I chose 2.5px. 

After that, go to the Stroke Type menu and choose between dotted or dashed lines. In this case, I chose dashed lines.

You can control how your dashed or dotted lines look by clicking More Options at the bottom of the panel.

In the dialog box that appears, choose the dash length in Dash and the gap between the dashes in Gap

For more personalized dotted or dashed underlines, I recommend you also play around with the Align, Caps, and Corners options. After adjusting all the line tool options described above, position your cursor under your text at the start point of it.

If it’s hard for you to see where the start point is, press Control + R (Win) or Command + R (Mac). This will activate the rulers above and to the left of the workspace. 

Next, click the left ruler and drag a guide to the edge of the first letter of your text.

To make your line even more precise, drag another guide to the endpoint of your text.

With everything set, position your cursor at the start point of your text (on the left guide).

Then, hold Shift and drag the guide to the endpoint of your text.

After that, press Enter on your keyboard to confirm the action and then press Control + ; (Win) or Command + ; (Mac) to remove the guides you added to your text.

After creating your dotted or dashed underline, you need to link the underline and the text layer. To do this, go to the Layers panel and click one layer after another while holding Shift to select them.

Then, right-click (Win) or Contol + click (Mac) one of the selected layers and click Link Layers.

This will link both layers and will prevent you from accidentally separating the text from its underline. This means that every time you move your text around the workspace, the line will move with it, keeping the two elements together.

So with these different methods, you can quickly underline any piece of text in Photoshop. If you want to create dotted or dashed underlines, it will work best with a single line of text. For simplicity, underlining multiple lines of text is best done using the underline settings within the Character Panel.

Happy Underlining!

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. You can view my photography portfolio here.

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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