• Text Surrounding Complex Shapes in Photoshop and PSE

    When you are working on a project and want to wrap text around a page element, you can use the tools in Photoshop and Elements to type the words on a customized path. In the previous tip, we worked through simple shapes like rectangles, circles, and Custom Shapes.
    When the path you want to create is more complicated than those shapes, you can manipulate the text into a path that works for your design using tools specific to either Photoshop or PSE.
    Here's how:

    With your document open, begin by getting the Custom Shape tool.

    For Photoshop Elements, locate the Tool Options at the bottom of the screen.
    Choose a shape, select a color that contrasts with your document and tick the Create New Shape Layer icon. For the tutorial, leave the shape size unconstrained and no style selected.

    For the full version of Photoshop, find the Options bar at the top of the editing window. Choose Tool Mode: Shape, Choose a fill color that contrasts with the background, No stroke, and New Layer under Path Operations. Then choose a shape from the shape picker.

    Click and drag out the shape on your page or hold the shift key to click-and-drag out a perfectly proportioned shape.

    Now choose the shape you want to add to the first shape.
    Select the background layer in the Layers panel, then select the shape layer again.

    In the PSE Tool Options, choose Add to Shape Area icon.
    In the Photoshop Options bar, choose Combine Shapes from the Path Operations section.

    Click and drag out the second shape.

    Press the Spacebar to reposition the shape as you are clicking/dragging. Once you release the clicker, it's too late to reposition.

    If you want to cut out a portion of the original shape, choose Subtract from Shape Area instead of using the Add to Shape option.

    Keep adding and subtracting areas from the main shape until you achieve the customized path shape you need. You can scroll through the Custom Shapes to find a shape that will help you alter your text path to fit whatever shape you are outlining.

    Switch to the Move tool if you need to reposition the shape around an embellishment, frame, or cluster. You can resize the shape with the Move tool by dragging the side or corner handles.

    When the shape fits the space you are outlining, tick the checkmark to confirm the shape changes. Get the Type tool and select a font, size and color in the Options bar.

    Make sure the complex shape you created is selected in the Layers panel. Move the cursor over to the edge of the shape on your document. The cursor will change to an "I" with a wavy line through it. Click anywhere along the edge and begin typing. Your text will follow the outside edge of the shape. Tick the checkmark to confirm the text.

    In PSE, you may need to add spaces in various spots throughout the shape to get it to wrap nicely around your shape especially if it has sharp curves. Just click the text path using the Type tool and add spaces where needed.
    Next, hide the shape layer by clicking the layer visibility icon (an eyeball on the left side of the shape layer in the Layers panel.)

    In the full version of Photoshop, get the Path Selection tool. It is located below the Type tool in the Tool panel. Position the cursor over the text path.
    o Drag outward over the line using the Path Selection Tool to make the text wrap around the outside of the shape. Drag inward to make the text wrap around the inside of the shape.
    o Drag the cursor along the line using the Path Selection tool to move the text along the path until it wraps nicely around the shape.

    The text path line will disappear when you click a different layer in the Layers panel.

    This is a great way to wrap text around embellishments, page mats, element clusters and other complex shapes on your project. In the next tip, I'll introduce three Photoshop Elements tools for creating text on paths.