Photoshop Text: Simple Ways to Add Text to Photos

If you’ve ever opened up Adobe Photoshop, you’re likely aware that there are tons of different little buttons that do tons of different things. Since none of these buttons have text that describe what they do, it can be extremely overwhelming if you have never opened up the program before. If you’re just starting out with Photoshop text and are trying to figure out how on earth to do this, rest assured that it is not as difficult as it may seem. By understanding a few key tools, you’ll be adding text and watermarks to your images in no time!

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Understanding the Necessary Tools

When you open up Photoshop, take a look at the lefthand side of the screen. You’ll see a line of different tools, ranging from a lasso to an eye dropper to a paintbrush. When creating text, you’ll need to focus on one particular tool: a capital ‘T’. This ‘T’ stands for horizontal type, and if you press and hold on this button you’ll see you have three other text options: vertical type, horizontal type mask, and vertical type mask. It’s important to understand what all of these do.

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The horizontal type tool allows you to insert text horizontally. If you click on the T and then click anywhere within your photograph, you’ll see a blinking vertical line appear. Once you start typing, whatever you type will show up on your photograph.

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You may find that your text is way too small or the color isn’t right. This can easily be fixed! Take a look at the top of your screen. You’ll see a drop down menu for fonts, another one that allows you to choose bold, italic or regular text and one that allows you to choose the size. Highlight the text you just typed, and then use those drop down menus to change it to your liking.

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Oh no! It’s not centered in the frame! This is another easy fix. On the left side of your screen, you’ll see a button that looks like this at the top of your toolbox:  Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 3.15.49 PM Click on it! This is the ‘move’ button, and you can now click and drag your text wherever you’d like it to be.

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What about the color? Click on the T button, and then take a look at the top of your screen again. To the right of the size of the font, you’ll see options for left alignment, middle alignment and right alignment, and then directly to the right of those you’ll see a rectangle – odds are your rectangle is black.

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Highlight your text, and then click on that black rectangle. A new box will pop up that will allow you to change the color. You can click anywhere within the colored square or the long rainbow rectangle behind it to choose your ideal color. Once you have picked one that you like, click ‘ok’.

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Now you have changed the color of your text! You can highlight different portions of your text and follow these same instructions to use multiple colors within one word or phrase.

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The vertical type tool works the same way the horizontal type tool does, it just enters words vertically.

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The horizontal type mask tool creates type-shaped selections. Choose this tool, and then click on an interesting part of your image. Type in your desired text, and then click the move button at the top of your toolbox. You’ll see your text is now selected.

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By selecting CTRL + C, you can copy your text. CTRL + D will deselect it, and CTRL + V will paste it back into your image in a new layer that will allow you to move it around and manipulate it. As you can see, the text is now filled with the part of your image that you typed it on. You can play around with your text to have it reflect different parts of your image.

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Choosing the vertical type mask tool works the same way as the horizontal type mask tool, except enters words in vertically.

Turning Your Text Into a Watermark

You may want to add a watermark into a particular image for company purposes or to reduce the risk of anyone stealing your personal images. Whatever the reason, turning text into a watermark requires simple knowledge of Photoshop Layers.

Select the horizontal type tool again and click anywhere within your image. Using the knowledge you have just learned, alter the font, color, and size of your text so that it appears the way you’d like your watermark to appear. When creating a watermark, you should choose a light colored text such as white or light grey. Once your text is the way you’d like it to be, use the move tool to move it wherever you’d like it. Here, I have chosen to move my text to the bottom right side of my photograph, and I chose a light grey color.

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This is beginning to look alright, but I don’t want my text as obvious on my image. If you take a look at the right side of your screen, you’ll see your Layers Palette, which will have one layer titled ‘Background’ and another layer on top of it that is named after your text. Click on the text layer.

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On the top of your layers palette, you’ll see what says ‘Opacity’, with a drop down menu saying 100%. Click on the little arrow on the drop down menu, and move the slider to the left until your text is light enough to work as a watermark. I decreased my opacity to 49%, but your opacity will change based on your text color and your image.

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You can play around with the opacity, color, size, and font of your watermark until you have perfected it. By understanding the simple steps needed to add text to your images, you open up a whole new world of creative possibilities. There are plenty of resources online that you can use to download free fonts that can further enhance your images.

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