Alibony Lessons for Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Digital Photography

Follow me View flickr Subscribe to Twitter View Facebook page

Photoshop Elements: Add Text to a Photo

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 7

May 19, 2009

In this basic lesson, add a title and a small text box to a photo. To learn how to style the text, watch Lesson 19: Make a Colorful Postcard

Title and Text Box
Text added to photo

Text Basics

When you add text to a photo, Photoshop Elements creates a new Type layer to hold the text. Type layers are a special type of layer, a vector-based layer. On a vector layer, text can be resized and reshaped easily without losing any sharpness or detail.

The options bar for the Horizontal Type tool contains many settings that you can select to define and style your text. In this lesson, we will use only a few of the options. The following image shows the settings on the options bar:

Text options

Add Text to a Photo

To add a title and a textbox to a photo:

  1. Open the photo you want to use.
  2. Add the title:

    1. From the toolbox, select the Horizontal Type tool.
    2. On the options bar, select the font, font size, and color. For titles, select a dramatic font like Impact or Trajan.
    3. On the options bar, make sure that the Anti-aliased option is selected to avoid jagged edges.
    4. Click in the photo and type your title. Don't be concerned with the size and spacing; we'll fix that in the next step.
    Add title
  3. Adjust the title size and spacing:

    1. In the Layers palette, click the layer name to select the Type layer.
    2. From the toolbox, select the Move tool. A bounding box appears around the text.
    3. Click and drag the anchors on the bounding box to adjust the type size, width and height.
    4. Click Commit (green checkmark) to finish.
    Adjust title
  4. Add a small text box:

    1. From the toolbox, select the Horizontal Type tool.
    2. On the options bar, select the font, font size, and color. For text, select a font that is easy to read, like Times New Roman or Arial.
    3. On the options bar, make sure that the Anti-aliased option is selected to avoid jagged edges.
    4. Click and drag in the photo to create a box to hold your text.
    5. Click in the text box and type your text. The text will conform to the boundaries of the box, wrapping to the next line as needed.
  5. Edit your text:

    1. In the Layers palette, double-click on the layer thumbnail in a Type layer to select the text and the Horizontal Type tool.
    2. Click anywhere in the text to add or delete text.
    3. Make sure that the entire text string is selected if you want to change the characteristics of all characters. Alternately, you can select a single character to change only that character.
    4. With the desired text selected, change the options on the options bar. For example, you can change font, font size, font color, and alignment. Note: While the text is selected, you will not see color changes.
    5. Click anywhere outside the text selection to view the results.
    Change text options
Teaching a class? You have my permission to use any of my articles or videos in your classrooms for educational purposes. You may copy and distribute articles and videos in class, but not online. Commercial use is not permitted.

Updated on July 31, 2013