The Design Center, Photoshop Tips & Tricks / Text on a Path / Text on Curve  

Adobe Photoshop can be confusing at times. Photoshop Tips & Tricks answers questions posted to the Photoshop 911 hot line!... Tutorial continued from previous page...

Setting Type Around a Circle

The problem with Bottom Circles... Many times it's difficult getting the type to work on the bottom of a circle. This takes a little patience and careful dexterity. Let's start with the type already set along the circle (as described previously) at the top of the circle. You should now copy that layer and then hide it. This preserves all your hard work on the top circle, which we'll be using again later.

Text at TOP of circle

Take that Direct Select tool (sometimes called "path selection tool") and
* hover at the origin point until you see the cursor with the black arrow.
* Click and drag the type down.
* Don't release the mouse until the text is where you want it.
* Go ahead. Move it around. You'll see you can get all kinds of results just in the way you drag it.

If a portion of the type goes beyond an anchor, you'll need to move that anchor. (See that dot? That's it!)
* Release the mouse and move the cursor to the END of the type.
* Drag away from the type and you'll see the rest of it appear.

Now, you have type at the bottom of a circle.

At this point you can select the type and key in the legend for the bottom of your circle. This leaves us with a layer for the type on the top, and a layer with the type on the bottom.

Fine-tuning Circular Type & the layout

Your bottom type may have become scruntched. (Slang term for "squeezed together.") So you'll need to select it with the Text Tool, and on the Character Palette, adjust the letter spacing or Tracking.

I've had to go all the way to 100 because the slab serifs in the Rockwell font are very unforgiving. With some more rounded fonts you may not have as much of a problem.
* Tip: Tracking adjusts Letter Spacing across a string of characters... not to be confused with Kerning which only affects the space between two characters!

Tracking to free the type

To finish, you can use the Direct Select tool once again to shift, stretch and adjust the circles to fit your needs. In this simple example, I've had to slightly stretch the circle to get a better visual fit with the photo. Here, I'm adjusting the left anchor of the circle -- pulling it out for a better fit.

I use the "nudge" technique... .
* Click once on an anchor point with the Direct Select pointer
* Tap Arrow keys on the keyboard "Nudge" the anchor in the direction desired
* Remember to count your taps on the arrow key. Use the same number of arrow-key-taps for the right side.

adjusting the type

Note that the path and anchors will move, leaving the type where it was. If you'll pause at the destination, the type will snap into position.

Once finished, my Honda Team driver patch is ready for the full color silk-screen printer.

Now, we're going to take a look at how to do circular text in InDesign, Quark XPress and Illustrator


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