How to Enter Text in Paragraph Type Mode in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Paragraphs are best allocated to captions, text descriptions, or slightly longer chunks of text that accompany an image and Adobe Photoshop CS6 has the perfect tool to work with paragraphs. Paragraph type is similar to the text you enter in a word processing program, except that it’s contained inside a border, called a text box or a bounding box.

While you type into a text box, the lines of text wrap around to fit the dimensions of the box. If you resize the box, Photoshop adjusts the wrapped ends to account for the new size.

You can type multiple paragraphs, use typographical controls, and rotate or scale the type. You can easily resize paragraph type (and point type, too) by entering a new point size value in the Character dialog box without having to reselect all the text. Make sure the text layer is selected in the Layers panel and the Text tool is active. This approach also works for all the other text characteristics.

To enter paragraph type, follow these steps:

  1. Open a saved image or create a new Photoshop document.

  2. Select either the Horizontal or Vertical Type tool from the Tools panel, or press T to select the type tool if the one you want is active.

    Press Shift+T to cycle through the four available type tools until the one you want is active.

    Your cursor looks like an I-beam, similar to the one you see in a word processing program.

  3. Insert and size the text box by using one of the following methods:

    • Drag to create a text box of an arbitrary size. After you release the mouse button, you can drag any of the handles at the corners and sides of the box to customize the size.

    • Hold down the Alt (Option on the Mac) key and drag a box of any size. The Paragraph Text Size dialog box appears. You can enter the exact dimensions of the box you want to create. When you click OK, a bounding box of the size you specified appears, complete with handles for resizing the box later, if you want.

  4. Select the type options you want from the Options bar, or Character or Paragraph panel.

  5. Enter your text. To start a new paragraph, press Enter (Return on the Mac).

    Each line wraps around to fit inside the bounding box.

    [Credit: © Image #12711518]

    Credit: © Image #12711518

    If you type more text than fits in the text box, an overflow icon (plus sign) appears in the bottom-right handle. You can resize the text box by gripping any of the eight handles and dragging.

  6. Click the Commit button on the Options bar. (The button looks like a check mark.) You can also press Ctrl+Enter (Command+return on the Mac).

    Photoshop creates a new type layer.

To convert point type to paragraph type or vice versa, select the type layer in the Layers panel. Then choose Type→Convert to Point Text or Convert to Paragraph Text.