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Vectors: Text on Curves
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Vectors:
Text on Curves
Created by:Doro Sensen

With the vector feature of Paint Shop Pro you're now able to let text run along any curve! In this tutorial, we'll make three simple logos to show you how this feature works.



Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Centered text on an open curve

Begin with a new image:
Width = 350 pixels
Height = 150 pixels
Background color = White
Image type = 16.7 Million Colors


Tool Palette - Drawing tool
Click on the Drawing tool in your tool palette:
Type = Bezier
Width = 1
Line style = default line
Antialias = doesn't matter
Create as vector = checked
Close path = unchecked
Set your foreground style to Solid Color (click on the arrow in your foreground-style box and choose the brush icon on the left) and your background style as well as your textures to None (click on the arrows in your background-style and texture boxes and choose the icon on the right). Now click into your foreground style box and choose a colour to your liking (I have chosen black so you can clearly see what we're doing); since we'll be working with vectors you can change that colour afterwards. Make sure that the "Lock" option below your texture boxes is unchecked so that these settings remain the same for the Drawing tool throughout this tutorial.
Hold your Shift key pressed so that you get a straight horizontal line and draw a long line somewhere in the center of your image. Then click once above the left half of your line and once below the right half of your line so that you get a nice Bezier curve. In the layer palette, you can see that a new vector layer has been created for your vector curve.

Tool Palette - Text tool

Click on your Text tool and go to the middle of the curve with your mouse. When you move over the curve with your mouse, your cursor will change to an "A" with a curve under it that means that the text will run along that curve when you click here.

So click on that curve to open the "Text Entry" dialog box:
Name = Arial Rounded MT Bold (or another font of your choice)
Size = 16
Kerning = 0
Leading = -5 (minus 5)
Auto kern = unchecked
Style: Stroke = None, Fill = Solid Color, black
Textures: both Stroke and Fill = None
Text = "Paint Shop Pro Users Group", bold and centered
Create as: Vector = checked
Antialias = checked

Click on OK and deselect by right-clicking into your image. See your text on the curve! It is a bit above the curve, that's because we have set the value "-5" for the Leading option; with a value of "0" it would run exactly on the curve. We wanted a little distance, however, because we want to type a second line below the curve.

Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool

In case your text is not running along the curve now (i.e. if by chance your cursor got away from the curve while clicking) do the following:

Click on the Vector-Object Selection tool in your tool palette, right-click into your image and choose "Select All" from the pop-up menu. Right-click again and now choose "Fit Text to Path" now your image should look like the one above.

Unfortunately, each curve can only hold one text just try it out, go again with your mouse over the curve so that the cursor changes to the "A" with the curve below it, then click on the curve to open the "Text Entry" dialog box and type in "Self-Learning Programme". When you now click on OK you'll see that your old text has been replaced with your new one. Go to Edit || Undo (Ctrl+Z) to get your first text back.

Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool

So, we have to duplicate this curve for our second portion of text. Click on the Vector-Object Selection tool in your tool palette and click on the curve (alternatively, you can open the Vector layer in your layer palette by clicking on the little plus sign on the left to it, and just click on the "Bezier" layer).

Right-click either into your image or on the "Bezier" layer in the layer palette and chose "Copy" from the pop-up menu. Right-click again and this time choose "Paste New Vector Selection".

Now a second Bezier curve is at your mouse cursor. Move it over the first Bezier curve and click once to put it in its place.

Most probably, however, your curves are not really one above the other ... With PSP 7 we have got a nice alignment feature. To apply this, we have to select both curves. Your Vector-Object Selection tool is still activated.

If the vector layer in your layer palette isn't opened yet do that now by clicking on the little plus sign to the left of "Layer1". You see three sub-layers there, two of them called "Bezier" and a layer between them, with an "A" in front of it, which represents your text.

Click with your mouse on one of the "Bezier" layers, hold your Shift key down and click on the other "Bezier" layer. Now both your Bezier curves are selected.

Now go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas. Your Bezier curves have now both moved exactly to the center of your image see that the text has moved along with its curve?

Tool Palette - Text tool

Now click on your Text tool again and go to the curve with your mouse; when the cursor changes to the "A" with a curve below it, click on the curve. Change the following in the dialog box:
Leading = 15
Text = "Self-Learning Programme"

Click on OK and right-click to deselect. You should now have a second line of text running a bit under your curve.


Layer Palette - Layer visibility off




Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool







If you want to change anything in the appearance of your text, you can do that now. For example, you can just toggle the visibility of the Bezier curves off by clicking on the little glasses on the "Bezier" layers in the layer palette.

You can also change the colour of your text: First click on the Vector-Object Selection tool in your tool palette, then select the two vector text layers by clicking on one of the lines in the image, holding down the Shift key and clicking on the other line (alternatively you can of course select the two layers in the layer palette, like we did with the "Bezier" layers before). Then right-click on the image and choose "Properties" from the pop-up menu.

In the "Vector Properties" dialog box, you can change all sorts of things. In our case, with vector text and two vector objects selected, this is a bit restricted, though. Among others, you can change the style and texture of your object; I just changed the colour of my text to a purple colour.







Layer Palette - Create layer button



You'd like a shadow with your vector text? No problem with PSP 7, even with a vector object! With the two text lines still selected, right-click and choose "Create Raster Selection" from the pop-up menu.

Create a new layer by clicking on the "New Layer" icon in your layer palette and drag that layer below the vector layer with your mouse. Then go to Effects || 3D Effects || Drop Shadow and apply a shadow to your liking. Deselect with Ctrl+D (Selections || Select None). My shadow was:
Vertical and Horizontal Offset = 2
Opacity = 60
Blur = 3.5
Color = a deep purple

(For the image on the left, I preferred taking only a part of the image rather than reducing it in size so you can see the outcome better.)

Right- and left-aligned text on an open curve

For the logo above, we have centered the text on the Bezier curve. For our next logo, let's see what right- and left-aligning of the text will do!


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button
Begin again with a new image:
Width = 350
Height = 250
Background color = White
Image type = 16.7 Million Colors
Tool Palette - Drawing tool Click on the Drawing tool in your tool palette; don't change any of the settings as we're going to work with a Bezier curve again. The style and texture settings should still be the same as set above.
Hold your Shift key down and draw a line, not too long, in the center of your image; it should be about 180-190 pixels long, watch the first figure in the third brackets in your status bar for the length of your line while drawing it. Then click twice above the line: once a bit left and once a bit right of the center of the line. We want a curve that looks somewhat like the upper half of an ellipse.
Standard Toolbar - Copy button


Go to Edit || Copy (Ctrl+C), then to Edit || Paste || As New Layer (Ctrl+L). Now go to Image || Flip.

In your layer palette, you've now got two vector layers with one "Bezier" sub-layer each. We needed the second curve on another layer because we wanted to flip it. Now we would like to have it on the same layer as the first curve, so just take it with your mouse in the layer palette and drag it down to the first vector layer, below the first "Bezier" sub-layer. You can now delete the second (empty) vector layer.

Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool

Click on the Vector-Object Selection tool in your tool palette; take the second Bezier curve with your mouse at the center handle and move it below your first Bezier curve so that the ends meet.

Then press your Shift key and click on the other Bezier curve to select it as well, right-click and choose "Group" from the pop-up menu. (Grouping objects allows us to move them together.) Now go to Object || Align || Center in Canvas, then right-click again and choose "UnGroup" from the pop-up menu. Click somewhere into the image to deselect.


Tool Palette - Text tool


Now that we have prepared the curves we can apply our text, so click on the Text tool in your tool palette and go with the mouse to the upper Bezier curve. When the cursor changes to the "A" with the curve below it, click on the curve to open the "Text Entry" dialog box. Change the following:
Leading = -5 (minus 5)
Text = "Paint Shop Pro Users Group", right-aligned

Click on OK and deselect by right-clicking into your image. See what right-aligning does? Your text runs exactly to the right edge of your curve, and since it is longer than your curve it has to begin before the curve.

Now let's see how left-aligning works: Go with your mouse to the lower Bezier curve, and when the cursor changes to the "A" with the curve below it, click to open the dialog box. Change only the following:
Leading = 15
Text = "Self-Learning Programme", left-aligned

No big surprise now, the text begins at the left edge of your curve and, since it is longer than your curve, ends behind the curve. Neat effect, isn't it?



Tool Palette - Magic Wand toolLayer Palette - Create layer buttonTool Palette - Flood Fill tool






Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool







You can now fancy up this logo to your liking ... For example, you can click with your Magic Wand tool in the center of the image to select the area between the two Bezier curves (of course this only works if the ends of your curves meet correctly), create a new layer above the Background layer in your layer palette, expand the selection by 1 (Selections || Modify || Expand) and fill it with a gradient.

Now you can either turn your Bezier curves off or change them to a colour that corresponds with your gradient (select the two curves with your Vector-Object Selection tool, right-click and choose "Properties" from the pop-up menu); for the curves you can also change the line width and style. Change the colour of the text the same way, and maybe apply a drop shadow to some or all elements of your logo.

You can also put another (vector) text into the center of your curves, align it to the center of your image (Objects || Align || Center in Canvas) and give this one a shadow as well.

All these are only suggestions what you can do with a vector logo. For applying an effect like the inner bevel to a vector text, you can select the text, create a raster selection of it, create a layer above the vector layer and fill the selection with colour or a gradient. Now you've got the text on a raster layer and can do whatever you want!




Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Text on a closed curve

Let's make one last logo, this time not on a Bezier curve but around a circle! Begin again with a new image:
Width = 300
Height = 300
Background color = White
Image type = 16.7 Million Colors


Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool
Click on the Preset Shapes tool in your tool palette:
Shape = Ellipse
Retain style = unchecked
Antialias = doesn't matter
Create as vector = checked
Line width = 1
Line style = default line

Set both your styles to Solid Color and choose black for your foreground and white for your background colour.

Hold your Shift key down (so you get a circle), right-click into the center of your canvas and, with your right mouse-button, draw a circle of about 150x150 (watch the 3rd pair of figures in the status bar for the circle size).






Tool Palette - Text tool



This time, let's first try out about the text below the circle. You remember with the Bezier curves, we just adjusted the Leading to let the text run nicely below the curve. Let's try that out here:

Click on the Text tool in your tool palette, go to the circle (your cursor will change to the "A" with the curve throughout the circle), click anywhere on the circle to open the "Text Entry" dialog box and change the following:
Name = Arial Black
Leading = 130
Text = "Users Group", centered

Click on OK and look at your text weird, isn't it? At the first glance it looks like mirrored text, so let's try to "de-mirror" it: Go to Image || Mirror but now it looks even stranger!

It seems that we have to go another way for writing text below a closed curve like a circle ...






Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool

This is because text is always aligned to the upper part of a closed curve. To align it to the lower part of a circle, we first have to "reverse the path".

To do that, click on the Vector-Object Selection tool in your tool palette and first click on the text, right-click and choose "Clear" from the pop-up menu to get rid of that screwed-up text.

Now click on the circle to select it, right-click and choose "Node Edit" from the pop-up menu. In Node-Edit mode, right-click again and go to Edit || Reverse Path. Right-click once more and choose "Quit Node Editing".

Tool Palette - Text tool

Now click on the Text tool again and then on the circle. In the dialog box, change the following:
Name = Arial Rounded MT Bold
Leading = 15
Text = "Users Group", centered

Click on OK. Your text is now, head-over, outside the upper half of the circle.

Now just go to Image || Flip, then to Image || Mirror, and your text looks like it should.
Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool Now we need a second circle for the text above the circle. Set your background style to None, then click on the Preset Shapes tool in the tool palette and (holding down the Shift key) draw another circle. Don't worry about the size of that circle, we're going to learn about another nice new feature of PSP 7.

Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool

Click on the Vector-Object Selection tool in your tool palette. Now, either directly in the image or in the layer palette, first select the circle that you drew first, then (pressing the Shift key) select the circle that you drew last.

Now go to Objects || Make Same Size || Both. Both circles now have the size of the circle that you selected first. Now go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas to align them properly one above the other in the center of your image. Click somewhere into the image to deselect.


Tool Palette - Text tool


Click on the Text tool in your tool palette and go with your mouse to the circle. As long as you are above the first circle with your mouse (the circle that has already text with it), the cursor will look like an "A" in brackets. That means that if you click now you can edit the text that's already there.

Go with the mouse to the outer circle line until it changes to the "A" with the curve below it, now you're over the second circle that is still without text. Click once and in the dialog box change the following:
Size = 26
Leading = -3 (minus 3)
Text = "Paint Shop Pro"

I chose a size for the new text that lets the text run around the complete upper half of the circle. Now, compared to the upper text, the lower one is much too small.

Just go with the mouse over the lower text (the cursor should look like the "A" in brackets) and click to edit the text. Change the following settings:
Size = 24
Leading = 21

Click on OK and right-click to deselect.

Layer Palette - Layer visibility off

To place a big "SLP" in the center of the circle, you'll have to toggle the first circle invisible, otherwise you can only edit your text below the circle instead of adding new text. Hover with your mouse over the Ellipse layers in your layer palette, and you can see one circle that's transparent and one filled with white (should be at the bottom of your vector layer). Click on the little glasses on that layer in the layer palette to toggle it off.

Now just click into the circle with your Text tool and add another (uncurved) text:
Size = 48
Leading = 0
Text = "SLP", centered

Click on OK and go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas to have it exactly in the center of your image and thus in the center of the circle.

Now you can fancy up your logo to your liking. For this one, I changed all the text colours to purple, with the "SLP" I added a Stroke of deeper purple. I edited the black-and-white circle and made the fill a gradient. The black circle with transparent in the center got a line width of 2, colour also purple.

Then I added a shadow to the text around the circle and the upper circle like we did before, only this time on a layer above the vector layer (otherwise the circle shadow would have been covered by the gradient circle). For the "SLP" text, the shadow got a bigger offset than the other shadows.

Now that you know about the principles of text on curves play around with this great feature and develop your own logos, let your text swing over your greeting cards etc.

Of course you're not restricted to round curves and shapes, all this works just the same on angled lines and any other shapes as long as they're vectors!

Special Tip One last tip: If you ever have a vector shape and want to place text on it, but don't want the text to run around the shape just press the Alt key when going with your mouse over the shape, and you won't get the "A" with the curve below it. Hold the Alt key down until you have clicked for the text dialog box, and your text will run straight over, not around, the shape.