Creating Distorted Text in Photoshop (2023)

Creating Distorted Text in Photoshop (1)

Written by Steve Patterson.

DarinPhotoshop-TypTutorial, let's take a look at the built-in Photoshopdistort textOptions and how they make it easy to rotate, stretch and distort the text in all sorts of interesting ways while keeping our text and the warp effect itself fully editable!

Warp text options have been around for a while, first introduced in Photoshop 6, and while the results we get from them may not have the same wow factor as many of the more advanced text effects, they do offer some important and impressive benefits .

First, no matter what warp option we choose, the text itself remains 100% live, type-editable, meaning we can go back and edit the text whenever we want. This is a great advantage over most of the more advanced text effects that we can create, since they often force us to convert our text into pixels or vector shapes, making us lose the ability to edit the text.

Another benefit of the warp text options is that the warping effects themselves remain 100% fully editable as well. Nothing we do with them permanently changes the look of our species. Photoshop simply remembers the settings we use and basically shows us a live preview of what those settings look like. We can always go back and change any settings. We can also switch to a completely different warp option, or turn off the warp options and return to normal text, all with no loss of image quality. While many advanced text effects require a lot of time and effort, not to mention some advanced skill, Photoshop's warp text options are quick and easy to use, even for a beginner!

In order to use the Warp Text options, we first need to add some text to our document. Here's a simple theme I opened up on my screen with some text in front of a background image:

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The original project.

If we look into my layers panel we can see that my document contains two layers with my text layer positioned above the image in the background layer:

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The Layers panel with the text layer on top of the background layer.

Notice that my text layer is selected (highlighted in blue) in the Layers panel. We need to have the text layer selected before we can apply any of the warp text options to it. We must have tooEnter toolselected, so I grab it from the tools window:

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Selecting the Text tool from the Tools panel.

Choosing a Warp Style

With the Type tool in hand and the Type layer selected in the Layers panel, click on thedistort textoption in the options bar. It's the icon that looks like a letter T with a curved line underneath it:

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By clicking the Warp Text option in the options bar.

This will open Photoshop's Warp Text dialog box, where we can choose which warp option we want to apply. Photoshop refers to the various warp options as styles, but by default they areStyleThe option at the top of the dialog box is set tonone, which is why nothing has happened to our text yet:

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The Warp Text dialog box.

If we click on the word "None" we will open a list with all the different distortion styles that we can choose from. There are 15 of them in total. If you've used Adobe Illustrator before, these text curvature options may look familiar, as they are exactly the same as those in Illustrator. We won't go through all of them here as you can easily try them yourself, but as an example I'll choose the first style from the list,See:

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Selecting the arch style at the top of the list.

Once I choose a style, Photoshop applies it to my text in the document, giving me an instant preview of what the effect will look like:

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Photoshop shows us a live preview of the result in the document.

Adjusting the distortion with the Bend option

After choosing a style, you can adjust the intensity of the warping effect withTo bendPossibility. By default, the Bend value is set to 50%, but we can easily adjust it by dragging the slider left or right. I drag the slider to the left to lower the Bend value to 25%:

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Decrease the bend value for the arch style to 25%.

And now we can see in the document that the warp effect has less "bend":

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The warp effect was reduced after decreasing the bend value.

If we drag the Bend slider further to the left, past the midpoint, we move to negative percentage values. I'll pull my Bend value down to -25%:

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Dragging the Bend slider to negative values.

This changes the shape of the fold from positive to negative, so the text now curves down instead of up:

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The text is now bent down with a negative Bend value.

The horizontal and vertical options

If you look just above the Bend option in the Warp Text dialog, you'll find two other options that control the direction of the warp.HorizontaleVertical🇧🇷 The horizontal option is selected for us by default and is usually the one you want to use, but we can also have our text distorted vertically. I choose the vertical option:

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Selecting the Vertical option.

When Vertical is selected, my text now slants left to right instead of up or down. It's interesting, but not exactly what I want for this particular project. In most cases, you should leave the Direction set to Horizontal:

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The Arc style now skews text from left to right when Vertical is selected.

Then we'll look at horizontal warp and vertical warp, two interesting but potentially confusing options that have nothing to do with the warp style you choose.

Horizontal and vertical distortion

There are two more options in the bottom half of the Warp Text dialog -horizontal distortionevertical distortion🇧🇷 These two options can be a bit confusing because while the bend value controls the strength of the bend style chosen, the horizontal and vertical warp options are completely independent effects. What makes it confusing is that Photoshop forces us to choose a style in the style option before giving us access to the horizontal and vertical distortion sliders, but the distortion effects have nothing to do with the style we choose, and in fact we can use these sliders even if we effectively turn off the distortion style.

To show you what I mean, I'll leave my Warp style set to Arc, but I'll set my Bend value to 0% by dragging the slider to the middle:

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Leave Arc selected, but set the Bend value to 0%.

Although I've chosen Arc as my warp style and Bend is set to 0%, the style currently has no effect on my text since no bends are applied:

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A Bend value of 0% effectively disables the style.

I drag the horizontal distortion slider to the right to set the value to around 80%:

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Increase horizontal distortion to 80%.

This creates a 3D perspective effect, as if the text is approaching from left to right, but is actually just squeezing the letters to the left and stretching to the right. If you're trying to create a true perspective effect, you'll get better results using Photoshop's Free Transform command:

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The result of horizontally distorting text.

As with the Bend option, we can also set the Horizontal or Vertical Distortion options to negative values ​​by dragging the slider to the left. I drag the Horizontal Distortion slider to -80%:

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Reduction of horizontal distortion to -80%.

This gives us the same pseudo-perspective effect, but in the opposite direction:

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A negative horizontal warp value reverses the direction of the effect.

We can achieve similar results with the Vertical Distortion option, except that the effect is vertical instead of horizontal. I reset the Horizontal Distortion option to 0% and increase the Vertical Distortion to 25% by dragging the slider to the right:

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Increased vertical distortion to 25%.

This gives the text a familiar "Star Wars" look, but again, it's not a true perspective effect. The Free Transform command would still give better results:

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Text with 25% vertical warp applied.

As we saw with the Horizontal Warp option, we can reverse the result by setting Vertical Warp to a negative value. I drag the slider to -25%:

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Reduction of vertical distortion to -25%.

This time we have a reverse "Star Wars" effect:

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Text with a vertical distortion of -25%.

It's unlikely that you'll want to use the horizontal and vertical warp options very often, and as I mentioned earlier, they're completely independent of the warp style you choose. In most cases you will simply want to select a warp style from the Style option and then adjust the strength of the warp using the Bend slider, leaving the Horizontal and Vertical Warp options at their default values ​​of 0%.

Make changes to the warping effect

If you are happy with the results, click OK in the upper-right corner of the Warp Text dialog to close it. If you look in the Layers panel, you'll see the icon on the Type layer.thumbnailhas been changed to indicate that warp effects are applied to the text on this layer:

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The text layer now shows the warp text icon on the thumbnail.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the tutorial, one of the great advantages of these text warp options is that they are not permanently applied to the text. We can always go back and change all of the warp settings, including the warp style itself. To do this, make sure you have your text layer and text tool selected, then simply click the warp text icon in the options bar again:

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Click the Warp Text option again.

This will reopen the Warp Text dialog where you can make the necessary changes. I think I'll change my bending style from arc toflag, I set my Bend value to 25%:

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Change style from Arc to Flag and set Bend to 25%.

So I get a different warp effect applied to my text and I just had to choose a different style from the list. You can go back and make changes as many times as you like. So try out all 15 distortion styles to see what effect each one has for you. You'll find that some are way crazier than others. To cancel the warp effect and return to normal text, simply select "None" in the "Style" option:

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The same text with the flag style applied.


How do I make text look corrupt in Photoshop? ›

Grab the direct selection tool (A) (the white arrow) and zoom in on your text and start grabbing little chunks of the type and using Edit>Free Transform to move and rotate pieces of the type to make the whole bit of text look broken up.

How do you add imperfections to text in Photoshop? ›

How to Add Textures to Text in Adobe Photoshop
  1. Step 1: Add Your Text. Using the Text tool, type out your text in Photoshop. ...
  2. Step 2: Find a Texture. ...
  3. Step 3: Place the Texture. ...
  4. Step 4: Create a Clipping Mask. ...
  5. Step 5: Adjust the Position. ...
  6. Step 6: Extend or Soften the Text Edges. ...
  7. Step 7: Save Your Image.
Apr 24, 2020

How do you manipulate text in Photoshop? ›

How to edit text
  1. Open the Photoshop document with the text you want to edit. ...
  2. Select the Type tool in the toolbar.
  3. Select the text you want to edit.
  4. The options bar in the top has options to edit your font type, font size, font color, text alignment, and text style. ...
  5. Finally, click in the options bar to save your edits.
Nov 16, 2022

Is there a distort tool in Photoshop? ›

The Distort tool in Photoshop allows you to straighten a rectangular object in a photo taken at an angle. You can also use it to skew a graphic or artwork to fit the side of a packaging or box.

Which tool is used to distort a text frame? ›

The Shear Tool can be used to warp frames and content by skewing them. Select the frame to be sheared.

How do I make sketchy look in Photoshop? ›

From the Layers panel, create a new adjustment layer, selecting Levels as the type. Then change the blending mode to Multiply. From here, you can tweak both the opacity and the layer levels themselves to make any final adjustments or tweak gradients until you've got a great-looking pencil sketch.

How do you make something look Sketchy in Photoshop? ›

How To Turn A Photo Into A Pencil Sketch With Photoshop
  1. Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer. ...
  2. Step 2: Desaturate The Layer. ...
  3. Step 3: Duplicate The Desaturated Layer. ...
  4. Step 4: Invert The Layer. ...
  5. Step 5: Change The Blend Mode To Color Dodge. ...
  6. Step 6: Convert The Layer Into A Smart Object. ...
  7. Step 7: Apply The Gaussian Blur Filter.

Can you skew text in Photoshop? ›

You can press P to activate the Pen tool to create simple curved text in Photoshop. For more control over the direction of the text, you can use the Warp Text command (CTRL/CMD + T) or the Liquify filter. Free Transform mode allows you to select the desired style and press the enter key to apply changes.

Where is the warp text tool in Photoshop? ›

With the Type Tool in hand and the Type layer selected in the Layers panel, click on the Warp Text option in the Options Bar. It's the icon that looks like a letter T with a curved line below it: Clicking on the Warp Text option in the Options Bar.

What are the different ways to manipulate text? ›

You can manipulate text in a variety of ways, from the length of space between letters in words of text, to the length of space between the words of a sentence, to the spacing between sentences in a paragraph, to how much space is used to indent the text contained in a paragraph.

How do you perspective warp text in Photoshop? ›

Go Edit -> Transform -> Perspective. Grab either the top or the bottom left corners of the transformation box. Pull the handle on the corner up or down depending on which corner you chose. This will apply a perspective transformation to the text shape.

How do you use a free distort tool? ›

With the Free Transform tool selected, drag a point on the bounding box to freely transform the artwork. Depending on the transform option set in the Free Transform widget, you can manipulate the artwork in different ways.

What is skew in Photoshop? ›

To apply a horitzontal or vertical slant to an image. The original image (left) has been skewed (right) by dragging the top-right handle of its bounding box to the right.

How do you warp text in design? ›

Select the Type Tool and click on your Artboard and type the text you would like to warp. Format the typeface, size and colour in the Properties panel. In this case, I used Gotham Black, 100 pt and black. Click the frame once with the Selection Tool and go to Effect > Warp > Wave.

How do I distort text in Adobe? ›

Select the text and go to the overhead menu Object > Envelope Distort, you'll see these three options: Make with Warp, Make with Mesh, and Make with Top Object.

How do you make something look cartoony? ›

How to cartoonize a photo.
  1. Add your image. Choose the image you want to cartoonize into Photoshop.
  2. Convert your image into a Smart Object so you can make nondestructive edits. Go to the Filter menu and click Convert for Smart Filters.
  3. Apply the Poster Edges effect. ...
  4. Save your cartoonized photo.

Can you get caught using cracked Photoshop? ›

When you use a pirated copy of Photoshop, you're using software that was illegally obtained. This means that you could be subject to legal penalties if you're caught. The risks might not be huge, but it's still not worth it when you can just buy legitimate software and avoid any potential legal trouble.

How do you break words in Photoshop? ›

Each letter will be placed on a separate layer. To use this feature, select Layers > Split into Letters in the menu. Note that you cannot merge the resulting layers back to create one text layer (except using the Edit > Undo command).

What is a Photoshop crack? ›

On the net, any Photoshop crack file is usually available in the form of Photoshop KeyGen, patch or download master. In simple words, crack means removing the software protection created by the developers to limit or control the functional capabilities.

How do you make something look angry? ›

Facial Features
  1. EYE SHAPE: eyes wide with inside corners sloping down.
  2. PUPILS: constricted and small.
  3. EYE GAZE: Looking straight ahead as to intimidate.
  4. BROWS: lowered, arches up, inner corners down, brow extremely furrowed.
  5. MOUTH: wide open, snarled, screaming, lines around mouth.

How do you make glittering in Photoshop? ›

How to Add a Sparkle Effect to an Object
  1. Step 1: Open the Image in Photoshop.
  2. Step 2: Add a New Layer.
  3. Step 3: Select an Object. ...
  4. Step 4: Set Foreground Color to White.
  5. Step 5: Choose the Sparkle Brush Tool. ...
  6. Step 6: Duplicate the Layer and Add a Gaussian Blur.
  7. Step 7: Add Color with an Outer Glow Style Effect (Optional)

How do you make a picture look glitchy? ›

If you want to turn an image into a glitchy animation, give Photomosh a try. Load your photo into the online photo editor and select from 27 different effects, including moving effects like Jitter and Wobble. You can then save your work as a JPEG and have a cool glitch animation to show others.

How do you make a textured gritty in Photoshop? ›

How To Create A Gritty, Overprocessed Effect
  1. Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer. ...
  2. Step 2: Apply The High Pass Filter. ...
  3. Step 3: Change The Blend Mode Of The Layer To "Hard Light" ...
  4. Step 4: Duplicate "Layer 1" ...
  5. Step 5: Duplicate The Layer Again (Optional) ...
  6. Step 6: Add A New Layer Set To "Hard Light" And Filled With 50% Gray.

Is there a texture tool in Photoshop? ›

Achieve unique effects with texture overlays.

Photoshop textures are effects you can layer on your graphic design project or photo using blending modes to create unique effects and opacity settings to adjust how images layer on top of each other.

What is text morphing? ›

Essentially, it layers 2 text elements on top of each other, and blurs them depending on which text element should be more visible. Once the blurring is applied, both texts are fed through a threshold filter together, which produces the "gooey" effect.

How do you warp in Photoshop? ›

The warp tool can be accessed by going to Edit at the top of the screen, then selecting Transform, and then Warp. You can also access it by clicking Ctrl+T on a PC or Command+T on a Mac. Then right-click on PC or control-click on a Mac for the menu and select Warp.

What is distorting text into a variety of shapes called? ›

Warping or distorting a design to fit a particular shape is a tool commonly used in Illustrator to create the illusion of motion or fluidity. The effect is achieved with a tool called envelope distort, which basically requires merging one object—either text or a shape—to fit into the shape of something else.

How will you apply the skew effect in a text? ›

Skew/shear text in After Effects
  1. Create a new text layer with some text.
  2. Reveal the text layer properties by spinning down the twirly>
  3. Select the Animation button and add Skew.
  4. Select the rotation property for the text layer.
  5. Add this expression to Rotation using the pickwhip. ...
  6. Adjust the skew to change the angle.
Jan 24, 2020

How do I skew text in an angle in Photoshop? ›

Hover the cursor over one of the corner boxes until the cursor shows a small, curved double-headed arrow. Drag until the text is tilted to your preferred angle. Make sure the tilt keeps the text within the parameters of the Photoshop canvas and not off onto the gray background, where the text will be cut off.

How do I distort text in Photoshop 2022? ›

6. Click the Edit menu and hover the cursor over "Transform." Choose "Distort" from the fly-out menu. Note that the text on the canvas is surrounded by a border with small white boxes around it.

How do I stretch and warp text in Photoshop? ›

Hold down shift to pull out, hold down ALT to give it height, hold down SHIFT + ALT to stretch and give it height at once. Do three letters, two letters, or one letter until you get the effect you want.

What is program used for text manipulation? ›

NimbleText is a text manipulation and code generation tool available online or as a free download. It magnifies your ability to perform incredible feats of text and data wrangling.

How do you freely Warp in Photoshop? ›

Photoshop's warp tool lets you do just that – warp an image. You can take a selection and drag to reshape it however you want. The warp tool can be accessed by going to Edit at the top of the screen, then selecting Transform, and then Warp. You can also access it by clicking Ctrl+T on a PC or Command+T on a Mac.

How do I free deform in Photoshop? ›

From the menu bar, choose Edit (Win)/Photoshop (Mac) > Preferences > General, then select Legacy Free Transform.

How do you use the free transform tool on text? ›

With your object selected, you can hit keyboard shortcut E in Illustrator to use the Free Transform tool.

How do I use the distort tool in Photoshop? ›

In the Edit workspace, select an image, layer, or a specific area. Choose Distort > Pinch from the Filter menu. Drag the slider to the right, into positive values, to pinch a selection inward toward its center; or to the left, into negative values, to shift a selection outward. Then click OK.

How do you warp in Photoshop 2022? ›

Select a layer or region in the image you want to warp. Choose Edit > Transform > Warp from the menus or press Command+T (Mac) or Control+T (Win). Click the Free Transform / Warp Modes button in the options bar.

How do you distort and skew in Photoshop? ›

Distort - Place your cursor over a handle, hold down the CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) key so that the cursor becomes white, and grab a handle to distort. Skew - Place your cursor over a handle, hold down the CTRL (Windows) or COMMAND (Mac) + SHIFT keys so that the cursor becomes white, and grab a handle to skew.

How do you reshape words in Photoshop? ›

To convert text into a shape, right-click on the text layer, and choose “Convert To Shape”. Then select the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow tool) by pressing Shift A and click-and-drag the points in the path to give the characters a new shape.

What is free distort? ›

Free Distort

This mode lets you move each corner handle independently from the others. To distort an object, drag one of the corner handles to a new position. Original image Free Distort tool used. Holding down the Option key, you can transform an object symmetrically.

What is the difference between transform and free transform in Photoshop? ›

If you right-click inside the transform box, you have access to the same options that you have with Free Transform, including Skew, Distort, Perspective, and even Warp. But with Transform Selection, these options apply to the selection outline itself.

What is free transform in Photoshop? ›

As of Photoshop CC 2019, the default behavior of Free Transform is to scale images proportionally. So no matter which handle you drag, you'll scale the image with the aspect ratio locked in place. Here I'm dragging the top left corner handle inward: Dragging a handle to scale the image proportionally.

Can you free distort text in Illustrator? ›

Free Distort

Step 1: Select the text and go to the overhead menu Effect > Transform & Distort > Free Distort.

How do you add curvature to text? ›

Create curved or circular WordArt
  1. Go to Insert > WordArt.
  2. Pick the WordArt style you want.
  3. Type your text.
  4. Select the WordArt.
  5. Go to Shape Format > Text Effects > Transform and pick the effect you want.

How do I distort text in in design? ›

  1. • Select the object with the Selection tool. • Click on the Shear tool tool. ...
  2. • Select the object or text with the Selection tool. • Double click on the Shear tool. ...
  3. • Check Preview to see the change take place. • Click OK to finish. ...
  4. • Select the top copy with the Selection tool or highlight text with the Type tool.


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