Top 10 Text Tips in Photoshop Elements

Today I want to share my top 10 text tips using Photoshop Elements 15.  When I first started using PSE I didn’t even know how to enter text on a layout.  Since then I’ve learned a lot about type tools and entering text in ways that go beyond using a simple text box.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a simple text box is all you need but there is much more we can do when we don’t confine ourselves to that simple little box!  I hope some of these tips will help you too.

Tip #1 Text Box – Draw Freestyle or Constrain Proportions

First things first.  The text box is one of the first things we learn to use in conjunction with the Horizontal Type Tool.  After activating the Horizontal Type Tool, select the font, font size, color, and alignment.  To draw the box freestyle (just eyeballing it) simply left-click and drag to draw the boundaries for the text box or hold the Shift key to draw a perfect square.  The cursor is automatically positioned to start typing.





Tip #2  Move, Resize, & Transform Without Leaving the Type Tool

Text created with the Horizontal Type Tool, Vertical Type Tool, Horizontal Type Mask Tool, or Vertical Type Mask Tool can be moved, resized, and angled without leaving the type tool by holding Ctrl key.   When you hold the Ctrl key a bounding box becomes visible.  So there’s no need to commit first then go to the move tool to make changes.

Tip #3 Easily Create Custom Text Boxes

Custom text boxes can be created easily using the Shape Tool.  In the image below, I began with a rectangle shape then drew an ellipse to Subtract from the shape area so that the flower did not cover any of the text.



Tip #4 Justify Text

In the lower right corner of the image in Tip #1 you’ll notice you can choose left, center, or right alignment but there is not an option to justify text.  Sometimes it just looks better if the edges of the text are lined up on both sides.   Use Shift + Ctrl + J to justify text.  It is possible to type text without using a text box but Justify only works if you type within a text box or shape.  When you’re satisfied with the text simply hide or delete the shape.





Tip #5 Add Realistic Look Using Blend Modes

Use Blend Modes to add depth.  Changing the Blend Mode from Normal to Multiply in this example lets the paper’s texture underneath show through.  It looks like I used a marker and stencil to create the title which adds to the realistic effect.  The results vary depending on the colors of both the text and the paper so you’ll need to play with the blend modes.  The Blend Mode is set to Normal by default.  To scroll through Blend Modes, activate the text layer, click Normal then use your arrow keys to scroll up and down.





Tip #6 Type Around Shape or Inside the Shape

You can easily choose to type around the edges of a shape or within the shape.  Draw the shape and with the Horizontal Type Tool selected, hover over the edge of the shape.  Notice a wavy line is added at the bottom of the tool to type around the edge.  If you hover over the shape a circle is added and you’re ready to type within the shape.





Tip #7 Duplicate Layer

Use Ctrl + J or Hold Alt key and drag the layer up or down to create a duplicate text layer.  There are several reasons to duplicate text.  You may simply want to stack one color on top of another color text for a cool look.  In addition, Text Layers have to be Simplified before Filters or Styles can be applied.  By creating a duplicate you can always go back to the Text Layer if you find something has been misspelled or if you just want to start over.  Duplicate layers also make it easy to compare effects if you’re having a hard time deciding which you like best.


Tip #8 Easily Select Text

Hold Ctrl key and click on the T thumbnail to quickly select text.



 Tip #9 Add Stroke on a Separate Layer

Adding a stroke on a separate layer is a fun way to add a special effect for a title or to create an outlined title.  You can use the colored stroke as is or clip a paper to it.





Tip #10 Move Text to the Inside or Outside of the Shape

Change text from the outside to the inside of a shape.  With the Horizontal Type tool activated, hold the Ctrl key & hover over the text until the cursor changes.  Now simply move the text toward the inside or outside of the shape to flip it.



Well, those are the text tips I use most.  What about you?  What are some of your favorite text tips?  Please take a moment and share your go-to tips in the comments below.  Thanks for looking.

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  • Kay Gregory-Clark November 3, 2017   Reply →

    Hi Jessica. These are wonderful! I’m a longtime user of PSE and never knew about some of these. Question: Do they work with PSE 11?

    • Yobeth Puckett November 3, 2017   Reply →

      Thanks, I’m glad there is some new info you can use. I don’t have PSE 11, so I’m not sure about that. If you try any & find they work (or if anyone else knows) please let me know.

    • Kay Gregory-Clark November 3, 2017   Reply →

      Please forgive my mistake—I was just reading something on Jessica Sprague’s blog and then this.

  • Patti Perry November 4, 2017   Reply →

    What great tips! I learned several new things this morning. Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Yobeth Puckett November 4, 2017   Reply →

      I’m so happy to hear this. Thank you for taking time to let me know.

  • Lynn November 4, 2017   Reply →

    what an awesome tut, thank you!!!

    • Yobeth Puckett November 4, 2017   Reply →

      You’re welcome, Lynn. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  • Debbie B November 4, 2017   Reply →

    Thanks so much for the great tips – many of these are new to me as well!

    • Yobeth Puckett November 5, 2017   Reply →

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you found some new tips to use.

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