Customizing the course with paths

You can use the shape tools or the Pen tool to create a custom path along which you add your text. (You find full information about paths and shape layers in Chapter 11.) To add type along a path, simply select the Horizontal Type or Vertical Type tool, click the path, and type. The flow of the type from the point on the path where you click is determined by the alignment option that you select from the Options bar or the Paragraph palette. If the text is left-aligned, characters are added to the right of the point where you click (called the point of origin for the type). Left alignment is great when adding type along an open path, such as the upper path in Figure 13-23. You might, however, want to choose center alignment when adding type along the top of an arc or circle, so you can click on the top of the arc and not worry about dragging the type later to center it.


Type point of origin (Left-aligned text)


(Center-aligned text)

6 6 |




■:1 opiciiy ;i[n]i <H

Lock a Fill 1100% g

It's all downhill from hert f " ' 1



Life his tti little f -W

Lave I

a r. -J Jl 1


K s aif downhH frvm hers Tvp. „


Lite has rts iVftte VPs' Type...


Figure 13-23: Text alignment determines where the text goes from the point where you click on the path.

If you want type to go in two different directions — say, pointed upward along both the top and the bottom of a circle — you need to create two separate paths and two separate type layers, as shown in Figure 13-24.

Figure 13-24: Sometimes you need to create two separate type layers, using two separate paths, to achieve your artistic goals.

After you add your type to the path, you can press the ^/Ctrl key and reposition the type along the path by dragging. When you press and hold ^/Ctrl, the type tool's cursor changes to an I-beam cursor with a heavy black arrow on either side, indicating which way you can drag the type. You see the type's point of origin as a hollow diamond on the path (not to be confused with the hollow squares that represent the path's anchor points). Take a look at Figure 13-25 for a zoomed-in look at the converted cursor and a comparison of the point of origin diamond and the anchor point square. Note, too, that not only can you drag type along a path, but you can also drag it across the path, flipping over the type.

After flipping type across a path, you might need to adjust the tracking (the space between characters), which is the second field from the top on the right in the Character palette. And don't be afraid to click in the type and press the spacebar a few times to adjust the placement of words along the path.

Figure 13-25: When you drag the cursor across the path a short distance, type flips over.

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