How to Put Text on an Image in Photoshop

Sometimes images need a thousand words

Jordan Siemebs/Getty Images

A picture says a thousand words, but the right photo with the right words can say a lot more. Since Adobe Photoshop is one of the best and most popular picture editing tools in the world, it's a good idea to learn how to put words on pictures to make them really stand out.

How to Add Text to a Picture in Photoshop

Although Photoshop is an application that's almost purely focused on editing images, it does have a number of additional tools outside of that. One of the most important is the text tool, and it's the easiest way to add text to an image once you've learned how to use it.

  1. Open your chosen image in Photoshop. You can drag and drop it into the main window or select File > Open to find your image, then select Open to bring it into Photoshop.

  2. Once it's there, make any adjustments you might want to make to the picture itself using Photoshop’s tools, including creating that cool "out of bounds" effect.

  3. When you're ready to add text, select the Type tool from the tools menu. It's usually located on the left-hand side of the main window and looks like a "T". It’s typically the fifth tool up from the magnifying glass.

    If you don't see the Tools menu on your screen, you may need to enable it. To do so, select Window > Tools from the top bar menu.

  4. With the Type tool selected, select or tap anywhere on the image where you want to write. It will create an invisible text box for you to type in with a blinking line cursor.

    Alternatively, you can select or tap and drag a text box with more defined boundaries.

  5. Type whatever text you want to add to the image.

    Photoshop tools

    Don't worry if the text is too small, the wrong color, or even invisible. You can make any needed adjustments once you've written it.

  6. When you've finished writing, you can make some adjustments to it. Select the text or tap and drag.

    Alternatively, press Ctrl (or CMD)+A to select all text, or press and hold Shift and use the arrow keys to select specific words or letters near the cursor.

  7. If you want to change the line some of the text is on, place your cursor where you want to create a line break and press Enter.

  8. When you've selected the words or letters you want to edit, look to the top of the screen. Under the main menu bar, you'll see a dropdown menu for font and font size. To adjust those to your preferences, either select the font and font size you want, or type in your preference, then press Enter to finalize your decision.

    Photoshop tools

    The other tools in this menu let you make small adjustments to the words to make them stronger or sharper. Play with the options to see what you like best. You can also adjust the alignment of the text within the text box and change its color using the color palette.

  9. When you're happy with any changes you've made, either select the tick mark at the end of the top menu bar, press Ctrl (or CMD)+Enter, or select the Move tool at the top of the Tools menu bar.

  10. If you want to make changes to the text after this point you’ll need to select it again. Select the Type tool once again, then select one of the words or letters.

Make sure you’re careful with your selection, as being slightly off can create a new text box. If that happens, press Enter to finalize it, press Ctrl (or CMD)+Z to undo the creation, then select the original text as planned.

How to Edit Text on Pictures

The standard type tool options give you plenty of scope to create some great looking text on photos, but there are other changes you can make to the text to make it look even better, or to simply change its style and how it interacts with your image. Here are some further tips to consider.

Change Text Blend Mode

To create an image like the one in the header of this how-to guide you need to adjust the blend mode of your text. To do so, select Window > Layers, select the text layer, then adjust the blending mode using the dropdown menu. In this example, it’s set to Overlay to achieve the effect.

Other Type Tools

If you select and hold on the Type tool, you'll be given access to additional options, such as the Vertical Type tool, the Horizontal Mask tool, and the Vertical Mask tool.

Type tool

Respectively, they let you write vertically, turn your text into a mask, and do so vertically. Play around with them to see if they give you the effect you're looking for.

Paragraph Options

Select Windows > Paragraph and you'll be given access to additional text editing tools. They aren't strictly necessary to make most edits, but can give you more control over your text.

Rasterize

If you want to edit your text to have effects like Stroke outlines, or just tweak it like it's the same as any other image, you'll need to rasterize it first. To do so, right-click (or tap and hold) on the text layer in the Layers window and select Rasterize Type.