Fitting Text to a Path

Fitting Text to a Path

Fitting Text to a Path

Creating straight lines of text is easy in PaintShop Pro, but you can spice up your text by aligning text to a curve. This tutorial demonstrates two text-alignment techniques: how to align existing text to follow a vector path; and how to create new text that automatically aligns to a vector path.

First, open your image in PaintShop Pro and make sure you are in the Edit Workspace.

This is the photo that will be used in this example. You can find this photo in in the Samples folder, located where you have PaintShop Pro installed. The file name of this photo is Rock.

In this first part of this tutorial, we’ll create text, then modify the text to fit along a path. Click the Text tool icon. We’ll use a preset text style – click the Presets icon in the Interactive Property Bar.

    

Choose the Gold preset.

The properties of this text style are listed in the Property Bar: font, size, color gradient fill, and zero stroke width so that no text outlines will show.

Increase the text size, add a stroke width so that the letters will have outlines, assign a black stroke color, and be sure that the text will be created as a vector so that it can be edited later.

Click in the sky where you want the text to start, and type your text string. Double-click when finished. You can use the drag handles to resize or move the text, if needed.

The text is created on a new vector layer. To clear the display for the shape we’re about to create, turn off this layer by clicking the Visibility toggle (eye symbol).

The shape should sit on its own layer. In the Layers palette, click the New Layer icon and create a new vector layer.

Click the Preset Shape flyout, and choose the Ellipse tool. Assign a stroke width, and set solid stroke and fill colors.

Drag from corner to corner to place the ellipse.

In the Layers palette, bring back the display of the text layer by clicking again on the Visibility toggle. Drag this layer above the shape layer, so that the text will be visible above the ellipse.

   

Now we can align the straight text to follow the ellipse. Activate the Pick tool.

With the Shift key held down, select both the ellipse and the text.

Go to Objects > Fit Text to Path. The text moves and bends to fit the top of the ellipse.

To make changes to the text, the Text tool must be active, and only the text string must be selected. You can click the text to select it, or select the text’s layer.

Now you can make changes to any text property: font, colors, etc. For additional options, click the More Options icon at the end of the Property Bar.

To change the text to fit inside the ellipse, rather than atop it, change the Offset to a nagative value. Or try increasing Kerning, to space the letters father apart.

 

To move the text so that it’s centered along the ellipse, drag the text by its center drag handle.

Say we want the text to follow the bottom of the ellipse. If you move the text down, it will be upside down. Paths are defined by default as clockwise. So to align the text correctly, the ellipse’s path must be reversed.

Reversing the path requires two steps. First, use the Pick tool to select only the ellipse. Then go to Objects > Convert to Path. This breaks the alignment between the text and ellipse, and the text returns to its previous straight alignment.

Reversing the path is done with the Pen tool. Right-click inside the ellipse and choose Edit > Reverse Path.

To refit the text to the new path, use the Pick tool to select them both again, and go to Objects > Fit Text to Path. If you need to move the text to a different spot along the ellipse, select just the text and drag to fit.

To move the text to a different spot on the photo itself, the ellipse must be moved. Using the Visibility toggle, turn off the layer that contains the ellipse, to see just the text.

Turn off the text layer as well, to clear the display for the second text-fitting technique.

This time we’ll start with a curve, then create text that aligns to that curve. Create a new vector layer for this curve.

To create the curve, activate the Pen tool. Choose the Bezier Curve option, and turn on the three options shown below on the right. Connect Segments means that curves will be added one after the other. And Show Nodes will make it possible to make edits to the curve after it’s created.

Give the curve a stroke width that will make it easy to see, and a stroke color that will stand out against the sky. Set the curve fill to be transparent.

To start the curve, drag along a short segment just above where the arch line starts in the photo. To add to this curve, release the mouse button then drag along another short segment farther along the arch line.

Continue to drag short segments, then double-click when finished.

To make adjustments to the curve, right-click and switch to Edit Mode.

In Edit Mode, you can drag individual nodes to move them.

Or you can click any node, and drag the arrows to adjust tangency.

When your edits are complete, click the Apply icon in the Property Bar.

Now we can add the text. This time, use the Desert preset.

As before, assign this text a stroke width and solid stroke color.

Before clicking to place the text, look carefully at the text cursor. When the cursor is atop the curve, the cursor icon changes to show a curvy line next to the T. This means the text you’re about to create will align to the curve.

Click and type the text string, which follows along the curve.

As with the previous text that followed the ellipse, you can select this text and move it along the curve.

Turn off the curve’s layer to see just the text.

To move the text, the curve must be moved. And you don’t need the curve displayed in order to move it. As long as the curve’s layer is selected, you’ll have access to its drag and move handles.

Move the invisible curve, and the text follows.

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comments (2)

  • TeAnne Pantony Reply

    Hi, I followed along with this tutorial but when it came to “objects” I am unable to choose the path. It is just not highlighted to choose.
    What am I missing?

    May 2, 2019 at 6:47 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello TeAnne,

      Sounds like a selection issue! Make sure that you have the path and text layers selected in the layers panel in the lower right before opening the Objects menu, and the option to fit text to path should be highlighted properly.

      Discovery Center Team

      May 3, 2019 at 11:11 pm

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