The Photoshop Elements 11 Type Tools - dummies

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photoshop Elements 11 has seven Type tools (found in the Tools panel), but two of them are simply vertically oriented versions of the main two text implements.

Don’t worry about the Vertical Type tools. Although you can use them, they’re designed for the Asian market, to enter Chinese and Japanese characters. The Horizontal and Vertical Type tools are identical in their attributes, and for the sake of simplicity, they are the Type tool and the Type Mask tool. The last three Type tools are new and all create text on a path in various ways.


You can use the paragraph or point type mode with the Type and Type Mask tools:

  • Type tool: Use this tool to enter point or paragraph type. This tool creates the type on its own type layer, except when used in Bitmap or Indexed Color modes, neither of which supports layers.

  • Type Mask tool: 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.

To create a path type, you must use the Text on Selection, Shape, or Custom Path tools:

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

  • Text on Shape tool: The second tool allows you to create any desired shape from your shapes drop-down list. You can then apply your text on that shape.

  • Text on Custom Path tool: The last tool lets you draw any custom path you want on your image. Enter text on that custom path, and it adheres to that path.

A path is composed of three elements — anchor points, straight segments, and curved segments. The path essentially hovers on 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 as you desire by using the Refine Path option.