Sign In  |  Join Now Become a member to add links and start earning points!

How To Use Type on Paths and Shapes in Photoshop

Getting Started

You’re probably familiar with the Shape, Type and Pen tools by now. If not, that’s OK. We’ll have quick refreshers for you along the way in this tutorial.

This Tutorial will Teach You how to create type that follows a custom path, or fills a custom shape in Photoshop. We’ll start with paths, and move our way up to filling and typing along shapes.

Type on Paths

Type on a path works very similar to your typical type tool in Photoshop. Once you get a handle on how to work with it, it’s very easy.

Step 1: Create a Path

Instead of just clicking to start typing, we need to create a path to act as our types baseline. Select the Pen Tool (Pen Tool), and make sure that Paths (Paths) is selected in the Options Bar.

Draw a S-Curve path just to see how it works. When satisfied, hover over the path with the Horizontal Type Tool and click to start typing along the path.

Step 2: Adjust as Needed

From here, you can use the direct selection tool to modify the type along the path as well as the path itself.

Hover over the type along the path and take note to the various cursor states. You can adjust the start point for the path by dragging the starting point inwards, and you can do the same for the end point. You can also determine what side of the path the text can begin on (just remember that the path will always act as the baseline of the text).

When you’re finished with a path, Click the check mark in the right side of the Options Bar (Still using Direct Selection Tool).

Type in Shapes

Typing within shapes is just as simple as typing on a path. After creating a custom shape in photoshop, just click inside of the shape to start typing. The path creating the shape will act as a constraint for the type.

After placing type within a shape path, the path can be readjusted (ie: reshaped using the pen tools), and the type will automatically update to fill the new shape.

It’s also worth noting that you can type along the path of the shape as shown in the first part of this tutorial.

Type Following Shape Path


  1. Add point Subtract point

    Hey I tried using the method and it worked on the path. But when I tried to type text on a custom shape all the text came up like this:

    Any help?

    Flag as inappropriate
  2. Add point Subtract point
    DekoFox (0 Points) September 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    wow, really cool tut! helpful! tnx soooo much! (:

    Flag as inappropriate
  3. Add point Subtract point

    It looks to be a nice and useful tutorial but i am unable to complete it in PS7.0. Is this facility available in PS 7.0.
    I will appreciate if lowest PS version with which tutorial features works is mentioned.


    Flag as inappropriate
  4. Add point Subtract point
    la ode adam saputra (0 Points) August 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    great tutorial. it just one click.

    thank u

    Flag as inappropriate
  5. Add point Subtract point
    she smiles (0 Points) August 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    ive tried it but i cant get it to work, and i did exactly what you did

    Flag as inappropriate
  6. Add point Subtract point
    Rick (-1 Points) May 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    just curious is there a way to have the path be on a marquee selection line?

    Flag as inappropriate
  7. Add point Subtract point
    sweets (0 Points) March 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    o m qee.What an awesome tutorial dude !Sooooo cool !

    Flag as inappropriate
  8. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลงใหม่ (0 Points) February 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    great tutorial . Thanks524

    Flag as inappropriate
  9. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (0 Points) February 2, 2010 at 1:30 am

    great tutorial . Thanks517

    Flag as inappropriate
  10. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (0 Points) February 1, 2010 at 2:47 am

    great tutorial . Thanks512

    Flag as inappropriate
  11. Add point Subtract point
    Dj Zeeshan (0 Points) January 9, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Very Good Yaar Nice Share !

    Flag as inappropriate
  12. Add point Subtract point
    evilkitty75 (0 Points) November 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    it worked!!

    Flag as inappropriate
  13. Add point Subtract point
    Xkalaze (0 Points) October 7, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing mate, amazing effect ^^ a lot from mexico city :p

    Flag as inappropriate
  14. Add point Subtract point
    syam113191 (0 Points) August 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    thanks for the useful help…..

    Flag as inappropriate
  15. Add point Subtract point
    huwaw69 (0 Points) May 2, 2009 at 9:01 am

    This is really good technique this is great man! thanks a lot!

    Flag as inappropriate
  16. Add point Subtract point
    suzanne (0 Points) April 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve tried countles times to use the eliptical tool to get my type to follow a circle and it doesn’t work. I’m using Photoshop 7, could this be the reason why?

    Flag as inappropriate
  17. Add point Subtract point

    Dear David,
    I thank you for your help. It has been a long and hard task for me to make a simple sample. You made it easy. Thanks again

    Flag as inappropriate
  18. Add point Subtract point

    hey nice tutorial i was waiting for this one! but for typing along the shapes i cant type on the inside of the shape like the cloud at the end of the tutorial i can only get it to type on the outside of the shape

    Flag as inappropriate
  19. Add point Subtract point
    toydime (0 Points) February 13, 2009 at 10:07 am

    That’s Great!!!Thanks for sharing.

    Flag as inappropriate
  20. Add point Subtract point
    traceflow (0 Points) February 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    great tip! i love coming across useful little things like this, and i seem to always come by them on this site! i love the new design of it btw, very nice!

    Flag as inappropriate
  21. Add point Subtract point
    lawrence77 (0 Points) February 8, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    thanks for the recall :)
    maybe I read this in Dummies once upon a time :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  22. Add point Subtract point

    Great tutorial! Is there a way to take this a step further and actually morph the text into a shape (instead of having it fit into the confines of a shape)?


    Flag as inappropriate
  23. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks. Very nice article.

    What about the Screenshot-tutorial for ?

    That would be really great

    Flag as inappropriate
  24. Add point Subtract point
    Josh Lee (0 Points) January 28, 2009 at 1:27 am

    freaking sweet, thanks for sharing.

    Flag as inappropriate
  25. Add point Subtract point
    Nokadota (0 Points) January 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Ah, I was waiting for this after your CD tutorial. Thanks for the info, it seems so simple now.

    Flag as inappropriate
  26. Add point Subtract point

    @pibo: I used CS4 for the demonstration, but there should be no differences from CS3 really.

    Not sure I understand the second part of your question pibo. Maybe check the video one more time to see if that answers your question?

    @Umer @Fire G: Thanks :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  27. Add point Subtract point

    is ist CS4 or CS3?
    Whats is it for a tool, under the Path-Selection Tool / Custom Shape Tool in this Video Tutorial?


    Flag as inappropriate
  28. Add point Subtract point
    Fire G (0 Points) January 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for this David! Actually didn’t know about the Start and Ending anchors!

    I love how your doing video of the processes now. Really helps show the process.

    Flag as inappropriate
  29. Add point Subtract point

    Nice I really almost forgot that. Keep on.

    Flag as inappropriate
  30. Add point Subtract point

    @dsindk: This feature to the best of my knowledge was not implemented until Photoshop CS. I apologize for the inconvenience dsindk. If you have Illustrator, you may be able to create the type in that, and copy+paste it over to Photoshop.

    Flag as inappropriate
  31. Add point Subtract point

    I tried this in photoshop 7 . why doesnt it work?

    Flag as inappropriate
  32. Add point Subtract point

    Well, one of my reasons for getting this tutorial up so quickly after the Render a CD in Photoshop tutorial was to show folks how to get type to curve around a CD like I did in my result. You could give that a stab if you feel adventurous :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  33. Add point Subtract point
    Zach Dunn (0 Points) January 26, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for this David. I’ve done this in illustrator before but never thought to bring it over in Photoshop. I’m motivated to find an excuse.

    Flag as inappropriate