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About Type Tools in Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements features horizontal and vertical type that tools are identical in their attributes, so here just look at the two horizontal type tools. For the sake of simplicity, call them the Type and Type Mask tools:

  • Type: Use this tool to enter type. This type is created on its own type layer except when used in Bitmap mode or Indexed Color mode, neither of which supports layers.

  • Type Mask: This tool doesn’t create actual type; instead, it creates a selection border in the shape of the type you want to enter. The selection border is added to the active layer. You can do anything with a type selection that you can do with any other selection.

The remaining three type tools all create type on a path in different ways:

  • Text On Selection: This tool enables you to draw on your image to create a selection, similar to the Quick Selection tool. The selection converts into a path upon which you can then enter text, which flows along that path.

  • Text On Shape: This tool enables you to draw any chosen shape from your shapes menu, upon which you then enter and apply your text.

  • Text On Custom Path: This tool lets you draw any custom path that you desire on your image. Enter text on that custom path and it adheres to that path.

    The three path type tools all create a type layer.

A path has three components: anchor points, straight segments, and curved segments. The path essentially hovers above the image in its own “space,” thereby not altering or marking the image in any way. The path in this context is merely a track upon which the text can flow. You can alter the path to your liking by using the Refine Path option.

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