PFB: Type Tool, How to Add a Little Text to the Mix

Welcome, welcome to another tutorial.

Today: Type Tool


Sometimes in life you just need to be heard, or in this case read. Adding text to an image can help portray a feeling or emotion, display vital data, or make us laugh. Lucky for us this is quick and super easy to do. In this tutorial I will cover how to add text to a Photoshop document in its various forms and also how to find, and install some fun new typefaces that you can play around with. I will also go into how to manipulate the text, to either stretch, shrink, bold, italicize, or otherwise make your text more visually appealing.

TypeToolMenuFirst things first, the type tool. As you can see in this picture the type tool is under the icon that looks like a T, fairly intuitive; the hotkey is also the letter ‘T’. In the drop down menu we have the four type tools, each one is self-explanatory in that the text you are adding will either be horizontal or vertical. The type mask tools allows the letters that you add to become a selection once you finish typing your words. This can create a cool effect for punching out pictures like in the image below. The letters in the word sunrise were cut from a picture of a sunrise.

TypeSelecting To add a type layer to your document simply select the type tool and click anywhere in your image. You can click and drag to create a ‘text box’ or limitation on how far your text will go before starting a new line.

Type Tool Bar: There are many options on the type tool bar, below it a quick overview.



1Font List: This drop down menu can be added to indefinitely. As you can see from the sample on the left the name of the font and a sample of what it looks like appear in the menu. When you install new fonts this is where to find them. Your basic Photoshop will come with lots of awesome fonts but there are thousands for free fonts on the internet that you can download. At the bottom of this tutorial I will have a list of the sites that I like the most for finding fonts with links to the sites. I will also have the specific names of the fonts featured in this tutorial and a link directly to them should you want to use them yourself.

An important note about using Fonts. Always read the readme file. An author will almost always have an end-user license agreement contained within a readme file attached to their work. These files will have the rules about how you can use the font. Most authors only require accreditation for their work but some will want you to buy a license. This is mainly for commercial use, meaning you are going to be making money off of your work. If this is the case then you will need to purchase a commercial license from the author. If not then you can usually use any font for non commercial purposes, the author will let you know.

While we are on the subject let’s talk about how to install a new font. This will be different whether you are on a Mac or a PC so I will go over both.

PC: For PC you will need to most likely unzip the font, your can do this with WinRAR, a program that can unzip zipper folders. There link is provided there. If you don’t trust or want to download it I believe there are other programs or ways to unzip a folder but I just use WinRAR.

  1. Unzip the downloaded font. The font should be wherever you saved it to.
  2. Read the Readme file if it is contained within the folder. I always keep the readme files for each font in case I ever want to use a font for a commercial use on day. I can look up the readme for that font and find out if I need to contact the author.
  3. Shut down any programs that use fonts, this will allow them to be installed correctly.
  4. The font should be one of two file types, either OpenType, or TureType. Both of these work in windows. Take that file and copy it.
  5. In the Start menu select the Control Panel.
  6. In Control Panel, there is a folder named Fonts, Paste the font file into this file. This should install the font on any program that uses fonts.
  7. Enjoy your new font.

MAC: For a Mac you may need to unzip the file that has your font in it. You can do this simply by double-clicking the file. This will create a new file folder with the same name if the zipped file had more than one file contained in it.

  1. Unzip the downloaded font. the font should be in your downloads folder in the Finder unless you saved it somewhere specific.
  2. Read the Readme file if it is contained within the folder. I always keep the readme files for each font in case I ever want to use a font for a commercial use on day. I can look up the readme for that font and find out if I need to contact the author.
  3. Shut down any apps or programs that use fonts, this will allow them to be installed correctly.
  4. Open the folder to find the font file, it will be either a TrueType, or OpenType file.
  5. Open the Finder again and hit the Go button along the top menu.
  6. You will need to hit the Option key as well to access the library file folder.
  7. In Library there is a folder called Fonts, Copy and paste the TrueType or OpenType file into the Fonts folder.
  8. Enjoy your new font.

2Text Appearance: The next drop down menu it for text appearance. Not all fonts will have these options, or if it is a downloaded font it may have different fonts for each of the options instead of one font that can be made different. AN example of this would the in the picture above in the Font List, the Butch & Sundance font has many different fonts instead of one that can be changed. The example on the left is for the Arial font, that oh so basic of computer fonts.

3Font Size: The font size menu gives you a bunch of standard point sizes for typing. Each point is 1/72 of an inch, therefore when you hit 72 points your printed text will be one inch high. You can also manually adjust the size of the text but typing in a number at the top of the menu. All recent sizes used will be shown at the top, that is why there is a 90 pt at the top.

4Anti-Aliasing: The anti-aliasing option will help your text appear more sharp, crisp, strong, or smooth by changing the way the very outer pixels blend with the background. Play around with each one to see which is best for what you are working on. I personally find that sharp is the best for your everyday work, but it does depend on the project.


The alignment buttons are pretty straight forward. If you click the left then all the text will line up on the left, right and it will line up against the right. Centered will group your text line by line in the center, this doesn’t mean that they will all line up in a nice square box but the centered look can be great if used properly and not for every occasion.

The Color Picker: This is where you select what color your text will be. A new menu will open up with a color pallet that you can drag to different hues and shades. I will be covering this in-depth in my next tutorial “Pick a Color, Any Color” so I wont spend too much time explaining it now. Basically you can drag the color slider to any hue and the little circle within the colored square shows what color is currently selected. This can be move too to pick a different shade of the color.

TypeWarpingCreate Warped Text: This menu allows you to distort your text into one of 15 different ways. You can then edit how much distortion there is on the text by using the sliders for Bend, Horizontal distortion, and Vertical distortion. Using positive and negative numbers will create a different effect. You can always go back and edit this option as well just highlight the text and hit the warp text button again to open the menu.

TypeParaCharacter and Paragraph Panels: These two panels are well worth getting to know. You can create some interesting effects and manipulate text from them. The character Panel has all the same options at the main menu bar but it also has some other fun toggles. The paragraph panel is all about editing, what else? Paragraphs. It contains all your options to indenting your first lines, left, and right margins and all the other paragraph related indenting.

TypeCharBreakdown of the extra options: As you can see you can set point size, font type, color and all the other options from before. The new options include Kerning and line spacing in the second little section, and stretching of the text and adjusting of text placement within a line in the third section. The fourth little sections contain options to Faux Bold or italicize, ALL CAPS, Drop Caps, super and sub script, underline and strike through. On the bottom you can select a language as well. You may be new to some of these definitions, let’s take a look.

TypeKerningKerning: Is the process of adjusting the space between characters in type to create a more visually appealing appearance. As you can see in the example to the left the first WA almost seems disjointed. I used the red lines to show the edges of the actual characters. The most common characters that need to be kerned are A,F,T,J,Y,V,X,W,S really anything that has a large indent or slanted sides.

Bold: Basically just how it sounds and the example is in the title there. It’s making a word stand out as a title, or statement that the read is supposed to pay attention to.

Italics or Italicize: Again the example is in the title, Italics are used to infer inflection or cite a quotation. Italics slant the words to the right to give emphasis on what is written.

Drop Caps: all the letter are capitalized however the letters that would normally be capitalized, as in the one beginning a sentence would be larger, almost as if they were a different size.

Super Script: Think back to algebra, I know, who would want to think back to that? Remember the “power of”, those little number to the top right of the main numbers, That is super script. This is often seen is places like the bible or poetry where it denotes a verse. A line or sentence within a paragraph that can be found easily by a number. EI, John 3:16 would be the book of John, the third paragraph, the 16th verse.

Sub Script: Now think back to chemistry, I know, who would want to do that either? Remember the chemical name to water? H2O. Normally when this is written the 2 sits to the bottom right of the H denoting 2 Hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. This is an example of sub script.

Now that we are all experts on the terms and how to add different fun fonts to Photoshop maybe we should try this out. This will be your practical exam part of this tutorial, if you have ready my others then you will know all you need to, if not then here’s a link, and get reading.

1. Open a new 500 px X 500 px document with 72 pixels/inch, 8-bit depth, and a white background.

2. Grab the text tool and a cool new font you found and write your name. (Hint: once you have your name written use you mouse and click on the layer in the layers panel to accept your text.)

3. Size it so your name takes up as much space in the document as it can.

4. If you are just using this for the first time it will most likely be black, change the color to something funky. (Hint: You don’t need to highlight the text to change its color. As long as you have it selected in the layers panel and the type tool on you just need to pick a color.)

5. Now rotate the text so it on a 45 degree angle with the first letter in the bottom left corner and the last one in the top right.

6. Readjust the size so the text again takes up as much space as it can without going outside the document.

7. Now underline it.

8. Now in the bottom right corner type the name of the font and where you found it, so we can find it too.

9. Save it as a .jpeg

Great I would love to see how that turned out for you, post a picture in the comments below. They might seem kind of boring at the moment but it’s all about the process right, this will lead you onto some really awesome art. Here’s mine.


Thank you for reading through another of my tutorials. As promised below is a list of some of my favorite font sites and a list of the font’s that I used in this tutorial.


  • Habbo – Sulake Corp., Dafont
  • Matchbook – Brian Haines, fontsquirrle
  • Terminal – This is a windows standard font.
  • Handwriting Draft Free-Version – FontsCafe, Dafont
  • Cool Stuff – Didik Pratikno, Dafont
  • Diamond DustHyperfonts
  • Bookmark Old Style – This is a windows standard font.
  • Carnivalee Freakshow 1001 fonts
  • Mailart Rubberstamp – Keith Bates, DaFont

Favorite Font Shops


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