How To Warp Text In Photoshop (2 Easy Ways)

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When you’re trying to spice up your text in Photoshop, the transform and warp adjustments might be the first things that come to mind. The issue is that you’ll quickly realize warping text isn’t quite as easy as warping images or other raster layers. Luckily there are two easy workarounds that allow you to warp your text to any position you’d like without much effort. Let’s break them down.

How To Warp Text In Photoshop Using Warp Presets

The easiest way to add a warp effect to text is to use the warp presets in the Options bar. You can apply a preset with a click, then make further edits using the warp settings. This quick method only takes a few simple steps.

Step 1: Open A New Document

If you’re not already working on a document, open a new document either by clicking the New File button at the start screen or heading to File > New.

In the New Document window, set the size and quality settings as you’d like and click Create to open the document.

Step 2: Add Some Text

Now you can add some text to your document by heading to the Type Tool (T) in the toolbar.

Add a text box by clicking anywhere on your document, and type whatever you want in the box.

You can edit the font, font style, size, and color in the Options Bar by clicking the drop-down menus and adjusting the settings.

Once you’re happy with how your font looks, head to the Layers Panel, and you’ll see the new Text Layer in the layer stack.

Step 3: Open The Warp Dialogue Box

Now that you’ve made some text, it’s time to apply the warp effect. Make sure the Text Layer is selected in the Layers Panel.

You can then toggle the Warp settings window by clicking the Warp Text icon in the Options Bar.

The Warp Text window will open.

Step 4: Select A Warp Preset

You can click the drop-down menu in the Warp Text window and view the different Warp Presets. There are many options to choose from, and each one will warp your text differently.

For instance, you can use the Arc or Arch presets to arc the text up or down. Below you can see the Arc preset in action.

Or, you can opt for a funkier effect using one of the presets, like the Flag preset.

Pick whichever preset you think may be a good starting point for any further edits you want to make to the warp effect.

Step 5: Adjust The Effect Further

Once you’ve applied one of the presets, you can make further edits to the warp effect using the settings provided.

You can set whether the effect is applied vertically or horizontally, though with some settings, the vertical distortion is too much that the text becomes unreadable. Therefore, it usually is best to leave this set to Horizontal.

The Bend setting will increase or decrease the degree of curve in the text. Below is the text with the Bend setting increased from 50% to 80%.

If you bring the Bend setting back into the negative numbers, it will reverse the direction of the bend.

The Horizontal and Vertical Distortion settings control the amount of stretching applied to the text either horizontally or vertically. Moving the slider toward the center decreases the effect while moving it to the right increases it in one direction, and to the left into the negative numbers increases the effect in the opposite direction.

Once you’re finished, click OK. Your text will appear warped in the way you’ve edited it.


How To Warp Text In Photoshop Using The Warp Tool

The other way to warp text in Photoshop is to convert the text layer to a smart object and then use the warp settings under the Transform Tool. This method requires a few extra steps but gives you more options for how your warp effect turns out.

Step 1: Add Text To Your Document

To warp text using the Warp Tool, you must first be working on a document with text that you’ve added. If you haven’t added text yet, head to the Type Tool (T) in the toolbar.

Click to make a new text box and type whatever you’d like. You can then edit the text using the settings in the Options bar.

Step 2: Convert Text To A Smart Object

Next, you can edit the text using the Warp adjustment, but you must first convert the text layer to a Smart Object, as this allows you to edit non-destructively and provides more flexibility over the warp effect.

To do this, head to the Layers Panel. With the Text Layer selected, right-click or Control + click on the Text Layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

The Smart Object icon will appear in the thumbnail, and the text will be converted.

Step 3: Toggle The Warp Mesh

Now you can toggle the warp controls by heading to Edit > Transform > Warp. You can also press Control + T (Win) or Command + T (Mac), right-click or Control + click the text, and select Warp.

The warp mesh appears over the text in a rectangular shape.

Step 4: Drag Anchor Points To Warp The Text

The warp preset should be set to Custom in the Options Bar, but you can use any of the presets we went over in the first method as a starting point if you’d like and then warp the text further.

Or, you can click any anchor points around the text and drag to move that specific area of the text in any direction you’d like.

As you can imagine, the warp effects you can make by adjusting the toggles are nearly endless. Feel free to experiment with the different toggles until you achieve the desired effect.

Once you’ve finished warping the text, press the Enter key to apply the warp effect to your text and exit the warp settings.


Using the warp presets in the upper options bar should be your option for more simple warping needs. However, if you have more specific warping adjustments in mind, then converting your text layer into a smart object and using the actual Warp Tool will give you all the freedom you need!

Happy editing!

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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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