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Text on a Circle, Top and Bottom
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Text on a Circle,
Top and Bottom
Created by: Barbara Townsend & Tazz


The purpose of this tutorial is to teach, step by step, how to place text on a curved object such as a circle, on the top and on the bottom. The finished illustration is not a part of the tutorial itself but only a demonstration of what can be done once the lesson is learned. This tutorial can only be worked in its fullness in PSP 9 and PSP 10. Some of the techniques used are not available in older versions. It is a combined effort of Tazz and myself. It would not have been possible without Tazz's knowledge and tutoring. Thank you Tazz for all the hours and work you did to bring this to actualization.

For your convenience, I have included a checklist of the steps at the end of the tutorial, in the order that they are needed.


New Image
Open a new image:
– Size = 400 x 400 Pixels
– Background = Raster Background
– Color depth = PSP 9: 16 Million Colors (24 bit)
                       PSP X: RGB 16 bits/channel
– Color = White (#FFFFFF)

Ellipse Tool (PSP 9) 
PSP 9 
 Ellipse Tool (PSP X)

Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Solid Color Option Materials Transparent Option

Special Tip

Select the Ellipse tool on the Tools toolbar (letter "Q" on the keyboard). In the Tool Options palette, for "Mode" choose either Ellipse or Circle; for this tutorial we will use the Circle. Also make sure that the option "Create On Vector" is checked.

Click on the Materials boxes to open the Materials Properties dialogs and set the Foreground Color to #620D61 and the Background Color to #C7ABB5. Then click on the Transparency button of the Background Materials box to set it to Null for now.

Tip on Object Outline & Fill:
The Foreground Material is for outlining – the Background Material is for filling. If you want your object to be outlined only, click the Null button of the Background Materials box and that will turn the fill off. The Width/Stroke on the Tool Options palette of the Text and Preset Shape tools will determine the width of the outline. If you want fill only, turn on the Background Material and set the Foreground Material to Transparent (Null). Both can be used at the same time giving an outlined and filled image.


Draw out your circle to about three quarters of the size of your image.

Then go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas to center the circle in your image.

PSP 9:

Your 'Vector 1' layer has a "+"-symbol to the left of it. Click on this symbol to open the layer so you can see the object layers in that group.

Keep the layer open as we will be working with this group.

Right-click on "New Ellipse" in your Layers palette. On the drop-down menu, choose "Convert to Path".


Text Tool

Click on the Text Tool (T) in the Tools toolbar. Now turn off the Background Null button so that your background colour is active again. In the Tool Options palette of the Text tool, set the following:
– Create as = Vector
– Font = Times New Roman
– Size = 24 (PSP X: Pixels)
– Stroke width = 1
– Alignment = Center
– Warp text = checked
– Offset = 0

Note: The font size very much depends on the font you choose and the size of your circle. Also, as you can see further down, the font sizes seem to differ between PSP 9 and PSP X (I took 24 for both versions). So, experiment a bit for the effect you wish.

PSP 9: 
Text in bounding box (PSP 9)
Text in bounding box (PSP X)

In case you see nodes on your circle, deselect with Ctrl+D so you can better see the cursor in your image. Place your cursor at the top center of the circle and hover until the cross-hairs are on the circle (the cursor will change to the symbol on the left), then click.

The Text Entry box appears so you can type your text (I typed "PSP IS GREAT"). Click on the Apply button. Your text is now set in a bounding box.

Tip: To center this text if needed, use the handles on the bounding box or the center square; you can get it where you want it. Also, by holding down Ctrl+Shift you can move the text from left to right or vice versa with the keyboard arrows for 10 pixels per stroke. To move only 1 pixel at a time hold down just the Shift key.

PSP 9:
After you have clicked on the Apply button and have finished any moving of text, look at your Layers palette. You will see a new object layer with your text. Right-click on it and choose "Convert to Path" from the drop-down menu. The bounding box is still around your text. That bit is finished.
Pen Tool (PSP 9) 
PSP 9 
 Pen Tool (PSP X)

Before Reversing Contour

After Reversing Contour

Now for the part that is a bit more difficult: Click on the 'New Ellipse' object layer in your Layers palette to make it active. Select the Pen tool (V) from the Tools toolbar. You will see nodes appear at the top, bottom, left and right side of the Ellipse (they aren't always very clear, but they are there). We will now be working with the bottom node.

The mouse cursor now looks like a big arrow head. Place your cursor exactly on that bottom node and right-click. You should see a long, thin arrow pointing to the left. You will also see a drop-down menu. On this menu, choose Edit || Reverse Contour and you should see the arrow change direction and pointing right now (see bottom image on the left).


Text Tool



Make sure your colors are correct on the Materials palette, then activate your Text tool and check if "Offset" is still set to 0 (zero). Repeat what you did above for typing your text on the bottom part of the curve. Once again, deselecting with Ctrl+D will help you see the circle better. Type your text; I typed in "IT ROCKS AND ROLLS".

Do not click on Apply yet.

Your text is now on the bottom of the curve, but not underneath. This is where you use the Offset option on the Tool Options palette.

While watching your text move, keep lowering the number for the Offset option so that it becomes negative. You will see when you have the text where you want it. The final number depends on the size of your text. When you are satisfied click on the Apply button. Right-click on this text layer and choose "Convert to Path" from the drop-down menu.

Layer Visibility Off (PSP 9) 
PSP 9 
 Layer Visibility Off (PSP X)
If you don't want the circle to show on your final image now is the time for you to click on the eye in the 'New Ellipse' layer to switch it off.

Right-click on the 'Vector 1' layer in your Layers palette and choose "Convert to Raster Layer" from the drop-down menu.

Activate the 'Background' layer now as it is the layer to build from to create your final image effects.

Use any combination of effects, tubes etc. to complete the image you want to make. Don't forget to add additional Raster Layers as you are working and save your work often.

Barbara T. and Tazz


Checklist of Steps:

  1. Open new image
  2. Draw circle / Align circle
  3. Open vector layer in Layers palette
  4. Right-click on Ellipse layer / Convert to path
  5. Select Text tool / Type text / Apply
  6. Right-click on Text layer / Convert to path
  7. Click on Ellipse layer to activate
  8. Select Pen tool
  9. Right-click on bottom node / Reverse contour
  10. Select Text tool / Type bottom text / Set Offset option / Apply
  11. Right-click on new Text layer / Convert to path
  12. Turn off Ellipse layer
  13. Right-click on Vector layer / Convert to raster layer
  14. Activate Background layer / Add more raster layers as needed / Create effects for final image