Why You Need to Convert Text to Shape?

Some time ago I needed to convert text to shape in Photoshop to create photoshop clock shapes with numbered dials. I typed numbers in Photoshop with the Type Tool, and converted them to a photoshop shape. Here is how you do it:

  1. Step 1. Make sure you select the text layer you want to convert in the Layers palette:

    Select the text layer you want to convert to shape

    If you don’t see the Layers palette shown above, choose Window / Layers from the main menu.

  2. Step 2. Choose Layer / Type / Convert To Shape from the main menu:

    Choose Layer - Type - Convert To Shape from the main menu

    You will see in the Layers palette that your text layer became a layer with a vector mask:

    You will see in the Layers palette that your text layer became a layer with a vector mask

  3. Step 3. Make sure the converted layer is selected and then choose Edit / Define Custom Shape from the main menu:

    Make sure the converted layer is selected and then choose Edit - Define Custom Shape from the main menu

    Type a name for the new shape and click ‘OK’ button.

  4. Step 4. You can view the new shape in in the shape pop-up panel in the options bar. Choose the Custom Shape Tool to view the shape pop-up panel:

    Choose the Custom Shape Tool to view the shape pop-up panel

  5. Step 5. From the Options Bar click the Preset Picker triangle icon (encircled red) to view the shape pop-up panel. You will be able to see your new shape layer converted from text. If you don’t, just scroll down the shape pop-up panel, your brand new shape will be the last one:

    You will be able to see your new shape layer converted from text in the shape pop-up panel

  6. Step 6. Save the new shape as part of a shapes set by choosing Save Shapes… option from the shapes pop up drop down:

    Save the new shape as part of a shapes set by choosing Save Shapes option from the shapes pop up drop down

    Please note that all shapes shown in the shapes panel will be saved as a shapes set (CSH file format), not only your brand new shape converted from text.

  7. Step 7. In the opened Save dialog window type in a name for the shapes set and choose a preferred location on your hard drive where you would like to store the shapes.

    Now you have converted you text layer into a photoshop shape and saved it as part of a shapes set. To use your new shape, just load it into Photoshop when needed.

Drawbacks of Converting Text to Shape

  1. Once you have converted text to shapes, the text layer becomes a layer with a vector mask. This means the layer is no longer a text layer. You will not be able to edit characters in the layer as you normally do with text layers. However, you will be able to do everything you do with vector layers – edit vector mask, apply photoshop styles, and so on.

  2. You cannot create shapes from fonts that don’t include outline data (bitmap fonts).

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Author: Oksana Khristenko

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