Shaped Text

with 38 Comments

Lydia TarboxJournaling is such a important part of scrapbooking. Recording our thoughts and memories is part of what will make our layouts meaningful to those who look at them years from now. But, I often get caught up in the creative process of designing a layout and forget to leave adequate space for my journaling. And then, when I try to find space for it, I want it to fit around the other elements on the page. But, doing that with the Type tools alone can be a really frustrating process. Luckily, I have the option of creating text in a Shape.

I'm starting with this layout using July's Premier kit by Syndee Nuckles, Summer Passport. I want to add journaling to the top left hand area of the layout, right above the post card element. But, I want the text to wrap around the blue flower and conform to the angle created by the post card. So, today I'm going to show you how to create a shape that wraps around elements on a page and then add text that will conform to the shape you have created. Let's get started!

Tutorial:

NOTE: The ability to type inside of a Shape was added in Photoshop Elements 10. If you have PSE9 or earlier, you will not be able to complete this tutorial. Make sure to save the PDF, however, for when you upgrade!

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Step One: Create the Basic Shape

  • Open a layered scrapbook page (File > Open).
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the layer on which you want the text to appear.
  • Get the Rectangle tool.
  • In the Tool Options, click on the Create New Shape Layer icon. (Photoshop: In the Options Bar, set the Tool Mode to Shape and the Path Operations to New Layer.)
  • Open the Geometry Options and choose Unconstrained.
  • On the document, click and drag to create a rectangle in the area where you want your text to appear. Hold down the Space bar to reposition the rectangle while dragging.
  • In the Layers panel, reduce the Opacity of the Shape layer to 35%.

Note: This rectangle will cover areas on the page where you don't want text to appear. But, we'll take care of that in the next step.

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Step Two: Subtract from the Shape

  • Get the Line tool.
  • In the Tool Options, set the Width to 450 px and click on the Subtract from Shape Area icon. (Photoshop: In the Options Bar, set the Weight to 450 px and the Path Operations to Subtract Front Shape.)
Note: The Line tool can be rotated to accommodate shapes with 90º angles that are tilted on the page. The Width of your line may vary based on the size of the area you're working with. Just make sure it's wide enough to delete the area of the rectangle where you don't want text to appear. For shapes with 90º angles that are not tilted, you can use the Rectangle tool.
  • On the document, click and drag a wide line along any straight edges that do not run parallel to the edges of the layout. Hold down the Space bar to reposition the line while dragging.
  • Get the Ellipse tool.
  • On the document, click and drag an ellipse around any curved objects. Hold down the Shift key to create a circle shape, and hold down the Space bar to reposition while dragging.
  • Continue subtracting shapes from the original rectangle shape until there's a border along the edges of all the elements around which you want your text to wrap. Experiment with the other Shape tools, including the Custom Shape tools, to subtract areas around the shapes created by your specific elements.
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Step Three: Add the Text

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Tool Options, choose a Font and Size for your text.
  • On the document, hover your mouse over the Shape. A dotted circle will appear around the Type icon.
  • Click once inside the Shape and begin typing your text. Click the checkmark to commit the type.
  • In the Layer's panel, double click on the thumbnail of the text layer to select the text.
  • Press Ctrl Shift J (Mac: Cmd Shift J) to justify the text within the Shape. Click the checkmark to commit the change.
  • In the Layer's panel, activate the Shape layer and drag it to the Trash.

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And, here's my finished layout with the text wrapping around the edges of the elements:

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Credits:
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Shaped Text by Lydia Tarbox
Layout: Cresta Ola 1982 by Lydia Tarbox
Kit: Summer Passport by Syndee Nuckles (included in the July 2013 Premier issue)
Font: Kingthings Trypewriter

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

38 Responses

  1. craftyjay
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for this tutorial and the fact that you’ve provided it in PDF format. I have so much trouble following the video tutorials other designers are favouring – and I know how much time both versions must take to create. Thank you again! 🙂

  2. Jemima
    | Reply

    Thanks so much Lydia for this informative FREE Digi Scrap Tutorial which will be most useful 🙂

  3. Ali
    | Reply

    Looks fantastic. Can’t wait to try. Thank you!

  4. plm1
    | Reply

    Thanks, I have wondered how to do this! I will be trying on my next layout!

  5. Marilyn
    | Reply

    Outstanding. Thank you so much!!!!

  6. Tora
    | Reply

    I´v been kind of looking for this 🙂 thank you for this tut

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      You’re welcome! Glad you found it useful. 🙂

  7. Anne
    | Reply

    Awesome tutorial, thanks so much 🙂

  8. Jackie
    | Reply

    I think this tutorial would definitely work better as a video tutorial. Those of us who are visual learners do much better that way. Ever thought about freebie video tutorials? I do appreciate this tutorial though, and will try to follow the steps at some point.

  9. Jo
    | Reply

    Wow! I recently saw a tutorial in PS for a shaped text box. Started looking around for a PSE method, with no good luck. Now here it is! Thank you so much. Can’t wait to try it on my layout.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Hooray! Glad you found what you’ve been looking for. 🙂

  10. miniloudon
    | Reply

    I love this. Journaling within a shape will be a great addition to my “bag of tricks.” Journaling is so important to me and this will allow me to do it without putting it in a box.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Glad you found it helpful. 🙂

  11. Sue
    | Reply

    I love seeing text wrapped around objects. It makes them appear more “connected” to me. I have done this but somehow I’ve managed to make it much harder than you did. Thanks.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      I agree. I like for my journaling to look like it flows with the design of the rest of the layout. Glad you enjoyed this. 🙂

  12. […] Journaling is such a important part of scrapbooking. Recording our thoughts and memories is part of what will make our layouts meaningful to those who look at them years from now. But, I often get caught up in the creative process of designing a layout and forget to leave adequate space for my journaling. And then, when I try to find space for it, I want it to fit around the other elements on the page. But, doing that with the Type tools alone can be a really frustrating process. Luckily, I have the option of creating text in a Shape… read more […]

  13. This is such a great tutorial thank you for sharing! Now I can shape text easily! I linked back here from my post today =)
    http://beetreestudios.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/template-tuesday-july-2-2013/

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Thanks for the linkage. 🙂 I hope it will be useful to your readers.

  14. Eileen Albrecht
    | Reply

    This is great! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

  15. Woodie
    | Reply

    Oh so Cool! You do not know how many times I’ve attempted to do this. Thank you soooo much for this technique. Gonna try it out right now..lol

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      So glad that I could help with something you’ve been wanting to do!

  16. Shirley Feather
    | Reply

    Thanks so much. Sounds complicated, but I am going to print it out and try it. Thanks for the very detailed information. I am sure if I follow it step by step, it will be easy.
    “For a happy life, want what you have.”
    Shirl

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      I know it does sound a little tricky, but it’s really not bad once you get in and try it. And, luckily we have that little “undo” command that makes things so much easier. 🙂

  17. Lucille Peterson
    | Reply

    I love this – much easier than what I was doing before!!

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Oh good! I love it when I discover an easier method for doing something. 🙂

  18. Terri Fullerton
    | Reply

    You explained it so well, and the photos are great to help along with the explanation. If you do the steps along with the explanation it works great. I have tried my own version of this by just typing words as close to the object, but it really doesn’t work well. Your idea is wonderful! Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Yes – typing line by line around elements is such a pain! I’m glad this method helped you!

  19. pattya
    | Reply

    Thank-you so much for this tutorial! These are things I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time!

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  20. Lois
    | Reply

    Thanks so much f0r this tutorial. Can’t wait to try it!!

  21. C.J. Sturtevant
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial—you’ve addressed a problem that I’ve often encountered, and been frustrated with not knowing how to create what I envisioned for my page. I really appreciate the PDF format that I can file in my “tutorials” folder and access easily until I “know it by heart.” Thanks again.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      I’m really happy to hear that you’re excited about this tutorial! I hope it works really well for you. 🙂

  22. Linda
    | Reply

    This looks so much easier than what I figured out about a year ago when I wanted to do this. Thank you so much for your clear (an seemingly easy) directions. I will definitely try this method next time.

  23. Lizbeth
    | Reply

    Love, love, love it!!! THANK YOU, LYDIA! I have been trying forever (and a day it seems) to figure out how to do what you’ve shown how to do so simply and clearly in your tut. I used it on a swirly, swivel shape and it turned out just beautifully!! Thank you so much.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Oh, I’m so glad this tutorial worked for you and that you enjoy using it! I would love to see any pages you’ve created using this method. 🙂

  24. I used to be able to see the full tutorial but now it says I have to be a member and log in… did I miss something? =(

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      The most recent Digi Scrap Tutorial is available free to everyone. Plus members have free access to DSTs within the last month, and Premier members have access to all DSTs. If you are not a Plus or Premier member, you won’t have access to this tutorial any more because it was published at the beginning of July. I hope that answers your question. If you want to know more about Plus and Premier memberships, check out this link: http://digitalscrapper.com/compare-new.php

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