• Filling Shapes with Text in Photoshop: Tracing Shapes with Straight Lines

    Filling Shapes with Text in Photoshop: Tracing Shapes with Straight Lines

    In this series, we are working through ways to create and fill text boxes of various shapes. We've designed text boxes from rectangles and circles to custom shapes. This week's tip gives you the most flexibility using the Pen Tool in the full version of Photoshop.
    Even if you don't have a knack for drawing, you can use the Pen Tool to trace around the area you want to fill with journaling. Here’s how:

    Sometimes you need to fill an area that doesn't fit any of the regular shapes we've covered. When you find yourself in this situation, like filling a shape on Katie Pertiet's Collection Layered Template, for example, you can get the Pen Tool.

    Make the following choices in the Options bar at the top of the editing window:
    Tool mode: Path
    Path operations: Combine Shapes
    Path alignment: Align to canvas
    Tick the box by Auto add and delete

    Bring your cursor over to the document. Click in the corner of the triangle you want to fill. This adds an anchor point in that spot. Now click in the next corner. Don't click and drag – just click in the one corner, then the other corner. This adds another anchor point and makes a line between the anchors. This is the path. Click again in the third corner and then complete the triangle by clicking on the original point. You'll notice that a small circle appears in the bottom right corner of the pen icon when you get close to the starting point of the path. This lets you know that you are about to "close" the path. Clicking the initial anchor point completes the triangle shape, making it ready to fill with text.

    Get the Type tool and select a font, size and color in the Options bar.
    Click the Character and Paragraph panels icon to view the floating panel. Click on the Paragraph tab and choose Justify All icon on the right side of the box.

    Move the cursor over to your document and position it inside the triangle you drew. The cursor changes to an "I" surrounded by a circle when you are inside the shape. Click anywhere and begin typing. Your text will be constrained to the shape. Tick the checkmark in the Options bar to confirm the text.

    Using the same technique, you can move on to more complex shapes like the Arrowed Borders Brushes and Stamps sets, the Clear Thru acrylic shapes, pocket cards, or inside fancy frames.

    I'm using Arrowed Borders No. 1 for the sample.

    Use the Pen tool to create anchor points around the interior of the image you want to fill. Close the path by clicking the first anchor point.
    Get the Type tool and click inside the card before typing the text.
    Tick the checkmark in the Options bar to confirm the text.

    Using the pen tool gives you the ability to create text boxes with unusual or irregular shapes. It is the most versatile of the methods we've covered. Next week, we’ll expand on the pen tool capabilities by creating text boxes with curves.