Curved Text


This is a really great effect - curved text.

To fit text to a path there are two things that need to be done ...

  1. Create a Path for the text to follow, and

  2. Create the text (you already know how to do that, right?

To create the Path you need to create a Bezier Curve (ya - they also gave me fits at one point).

This is the Pen Tool - text effects pen tool - and this is what you use to make Bezier Curves.  This is not a tutorial on all of the aspects of Bezier Curves - we just want a curvy line so we can attach some text.

Here is the options bar for the Pen Tool ... set yours up this way.


text effects pen options

Select Draw Point To Point (the little blue box) and put checkmarks in those boxes on the right.


text effects transparentGo to the Materials Palette and make the Background and Fill Properties Transparent (it took me a couple of hours to figure out where the transparent button is but you get the information instantly).

See that tiny little box on the lower right of the Materials Palette - the one outlined in Red?  

That's where Corel hid the Transparency button.  Ya, I know its in plain sight but sheesh - could it be any smaller and any less conspicuous?  I think not ...

OK - the rant is over and the background color is transparent.  If you don't set it to transparent then the background color will fill in the curves and you don't want that.

This is the part where it's good to have a Bamboo tablet, by the way.  

With the Pen Tool selected and all of the options set as above it is time to make a Bezier Curve for the text  ...

  1. Start by left clicking somewhere on the left side of the screen - a little dot (called a node) will appear.

  2. Move to another spot somewhere to the right, left click and hold the mouse button down and then drag straight down - a curve will appear between the two dots and the control arms will be visible as well.

  3. Keep the left button depressed and move the control arm all over the place and watch the shape of the curve change - this is what will happen ...
    • the lower the control arm the higher the curve becomes
    • the higher the control arm the lower the curve becomes
    • as you move the arm horizontally to the right away from the last node the closer the top of the curve gets to the first node, and
    • as you move the arm horizontally the the left of the last node the closer the top of the curve gets to the second node.

  4. Mess around with it until you get a curve you like then click the little green checkmark in the opitons bar.

text effects bezier curve


The curve is set now its time to add the text.

Select the Text Tool and move it up under the curve until it changes into this - text on a curve text symbol  - which means the text will be attached to the curve.  Left click and start typing.

When you have added all of the little text effects you want click Apply and the text is now on the curve - isn't that great?

text effects curved text

Oops - the line is still there, isn't it?  Here's how to get rid of the line if you don't want it there ...

Select the Pick Tool, make sure you are on the correct layer, zoom in close on one end of the line and move the Pick Tool over the line.  The Pick will change to a little cross - double click to bring up the Vector Properties box.

text on a curve no line


Now it is a simple matter of decreasing the stroke width to 0 and th eline disappears and all that is left is the text and this is how it looks ...

text on a curve curved text

What Now?


OK - so you have this pretty curved text - what can you do with it?

text on a curve layers
This is the layers palette with the background layer (Raster 1) and the Vector layer which contains the curved text.

Now you can try to build a page around it but that would be an exercise in total and complete frustration.  If you save the file as a .jpeg then Paint Shop Pro will merge the two layers and having the curved text on a white background (or whatever color your background is) is not at all useful!

The best thing is to save the image with only the text (no background) and with Vector 1 layer totally transparent other than the text.

To do all of that just ...

  1. Right click on the background (Raster 1)  and select Delete from the available options.

  2. Convert the Vector 1 layer to a Raster layer by right clicking Vetor 1 and select Convert To Raster Layer.

  3. Crop away any part of the new Raster layer that you don't need.

  4. Save the curved text as a .pspimage - this will preserve the transparency so you can paste it on any page and only the text will be visible.
Max, my Staffordshire, voluntered to show off the curved text and here is the handsome boy ...


text on a curve max


To get the curved text on the picture of Max this is what happened ...

  1. Open the image where you want the text.

  2. Open the curved text file (the .pspimage).

  3. On the curved text Select > All and then Copy.

  4. Activate the image file and then select Edit > Paste As New Layer.

Now you can move the text around and resize it if that suits your needs (use the Pick Tool).

Isn't that just the collest thing?  Have fun with it ...!




Curved Text

text on a curve right column








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