How to Wrap Text in Photoshop

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Photoshop CC offers several ways to enter text: point text, paragraph text, text on a path and text inside a path. Of these, only text on a path cannot be made to wrap at all. Both paragraph text and text inside a path wrap when they reach the boundaries of their containers, called bounding boxes. Point text can either simulate wrapping with the insertion of new lines or be converted to paragraph text.

Converting Point Text to Paragraph Text

Step 1

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

Select the layer containing the text in the Layers pane.

Step 2

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

Click Type in the menu bar and select Convert to Paragraph Text from the expanded menu.

Tip

  • The same option is also available in the right-click menu for layers that contain point text, as well as the menu that appears if you right-click text with a type tool active.

When you convert point text to paragraph text, Photoshop automatically generates a bounding box matching the text's dimensions. Manipulate the bounding box dimensions to force the text to wrap. If you've previously separated the point text into multiple lines by pressing the Enter key, those hard breaks remain and must be manually removed by pressing Backspace.

Creating Paragraph Text

Click and drag on the image using a type tool to draw a bounding box. The current size of the bounding box is displayed on the image by a "marching ants" border, with a tooltip indicating its height and width.

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

When you are satisfied with the size of the bounding box, release the mouse button to create it. Add text by typing inside the bounding box.

Manipulating the Bounding Box

When paragraph text is in editing mode, the bounding box appears around the text.

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

The bounding box has eight handles, one at each corner and one in the middle of each side. If there is more text inside the box than the box has space for, the bottom-right handle displays a plus icon.

Manipulate the size and shape of the bounding box by dragging the handles.

  • Drag a side handle to change the box's height or width.
  • Drag a corner handle to change the box's height and width simultaneously. 
  • Hold the Shift key while dragging a corner handle to resize the box while maintaining its proportions.
  • Drag outside the box to reposition it. The cursor turns into an arrowhead with a four-pointed arrow beside it.
  • Position the cursor just outside the box and drag to rotate the box. When the cursor is positioned correctly, it turns into a curved, two-sided arrow.

Any change to the size or shape of the bounding box has an impact on the text and the way it wraps.

If you hold the Ctrl key, the box enters transform mode temporarily -- resizing or reshaping the box won't affect the text wrapping but rather its size and shape. For example:

  • Drag a side handle to skew the box and the text it contains. If you hold the Shift key as well, the box maintains the same height when you skew horizontally and the same width when you skew vertically.
  • Drag a corner handle to transform the box and the text it contains, proportionally increasing or decreasing the text size as you increase or decrease the size of the box. If you hold the Shift key as well, the box maintains its relative proportions.

While in transform mode, the outline of the box is solid instead of dashed.

Tip

  • Transforming the text outright is much easier in free transform mode, because you have more fine-grained control as well as additional options such as warping the text.

Creating Text Inside a Path

Step 1

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

Create a closed path or shape, using either the Pen tool or one of the shape tools.

Step 2

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

Switch to a type tool and click inside the closed path or shape to create a bounding box. When the cursor is positioned correctly, a dotted circle surrounds it.

Step 3

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

Type or paste your text inside the bounding box. The bounding box appears rectangular, but it displays the shape that constrains the text within it.

Tip

Altering the Way Text Wraps

The Paragraph pane holds buttons and menu options that change the way text wraps, including various text alignment settings as well as hyphenation options. If the pane isn't already visible, click Window and select Paragraph to display it.

Tip

  • If you are currently editing a text layer, any changes you make using the controls in the Paragraph pane apply only to the paragraph where your cursor is currently placed or, if you have selected text, to the paragraph or paragraphs to which that text belongs. If you have a text layer selected in the Layers pane, your changes apply to all the text in that layer.

(Image: Image courtesy of Adobe.)

The row of buttons at the top of the Paragraph pane controls text alignment. Your options are:

  • Left-aligned
  • Centered
  • Right-aligned
  • Justified, last line left-aligned
  • Justified, last line centered
  • Justified, last line right-aligned
  • Completely justified, including last line.

The five text fields control the left and right margin indentation, the indentation for the first line of each paragraph, and the spacing at the beginning and at the end of each paragraph. The check box controls whether or not text will hyphenate.

Tip

  • How words hyphenate is based on a built-in dictionary -- you can change the language in the Character pane. If you don't want specific words to hyphenate, you can set them not to hyphenate using the Character pane menu.

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