Vertical Text


Today’s Question: I sometimes include text along the edge of a photo in Photoshop, and in certain cases want that text to appear vertically. I don’t mean that I want to rotate the text so it appears “sideways”, but rather that I want the letters to appear in the normal orientation, but with each letter of a word appearing directly below the letter above. I’ve been pressing Enter on the keyboard after every letter I type, but was thinking you might know a better approach. Is there a feature I’m missing that you know about?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There is actually a special Type tool in Photoshop that does exactly what you’re looking for. It is called the “Vertical Type Tool”, and it can be found “hiding” behind the normal Type tool (the “Horizontal Type tool”) on the toolbox. Simply click-and-hold your mouse on the button for the Type tool on the toolbox to bring up a flyout menu, where you can choose the Vertical Type tool. Then add text in the normal way, and it will “magically” appear in a vertical orientation.

More Detail: There are a wide variety of ways you can interact with (and manipulate) text in Photoshop, while still keeping the text fully editable. The Horizontal Type and Vertical Type tools provide some basic options for adding text, but you might also want to explore other options for adjusting the appearance of text.

For example, just as you can use the various Transform commands to skew and stretch image layers, so too can you apply these transformations to text.  You can apply the Transform commands (found on the Edit menu) directly to a text layer, and also click the “Create Warped Text” button on the Options bar to further distort the appearance of your text.

And, don’t forget, there are a variety of effects you can add to text (such as an emboss effect or drop shadow) by clicking the “fx” button at the bottom of the Layers panel after selecting a text layer. The bottom line is that text in Photoshop is tremendously editable, both in terms of changing the actual text, changing the font attributes, and applying transformations to the text layer itself.