How to Stretch Font in Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop is a great tool for creativity. You can play around with images, texts, and graphics in ways you would have never imagined. With the rise of such a tool, there’s no end to learning and exploring.

To add more to your knowledge roster, today, we’ll talk about the easiest yet most important concept from the software—how to stretch font in Photoshop.

But before that, let’s understand the need for the concept—why and when should you consider stretching the font?

A stretched font will not only help the words stand out in a crowd of other words, but they are also sure to make a unique impression on the overall piece. It’s a great thing to include stretched fonts in a particularly long article, book cover titles, ad banners, product branding, design, pamphlets, and more to grab the attention of the readers. This effect is usually applied to text that highlights an important message, brand name, or title.

Stretching fonts is not only a must-have skill for graphic designers or web developers but also for everyone like you and me.

For example, you can use this skill to create social media posts for an invitation to a party, promote your blog, announce a course, and whatnot. The possibilities are endless.

Adding stretched fonts also lifts the overall look of your creative piece.

So, while all the benefits are in place, let’s look at a step-by-step guide on how to stretch fonts in Photoshop.

What is meant by “stretching fonts” in Photoshop?

Stretching fonts in Photoshop is simply changing the entire text or a portion of it as per your desired shape to create the look and feel. You can stretch the text horizontally, vertically, or in any direction of your choice.

Steps on how to stretch font in Photoshop

Start with a new project

  1. Open the Adobe Photoshop software.
  2. Go to the File menu. Select “New” from the dropdown.
  3. A dialog box appears. Fill in the relevant details like the name of the project, dimensions, and background color.
  4. Then click “OK.”

Your canvas is ready for use.

Add Font for stretching

In the layers tab at the bottom right, add a type layer by using either of the following ways:

Without Boundaries

From the toolbar, select the “Type Tool,” which is denoted by the letter T. Then, select the “Horizontal Type Tool.” Click on the point on the canvas where you want to add your text.

Once the “Type Tool” gets activated on the canvas, you’ll see a flashing cursor that indicates that you’re now ready to type.

Note: The text you enter appears on the same line until you press the enter button. This is because the typed text, by default, has no bounds.

With Boundaries

From the toolbar, select the “Type Tool” that is denoted by the letter T. Then, select the ‘Horizontal Type Tool.’

Then drag a box onto the canvas with the cursor. Your text box is ready to use. Whatever text you type appears constrained in this box.

Note: You can re-adjust the height and width of the text box by dragging the edges of its boundaries.

Type the word ‘FONT’ or any word of your choice. Then, click on the ✔ icon that appears on the toolbar at the top.

Clicking on the ✔ icon indicates that you approve any changes made on the canvas.

Sometimes, the font is not visible even if it’s typed on the canvas. This could be because your canvas color and font color are the same. To fix this, change the font color to contrast with your canvas color.

To do this, select the text whose color you want to change, then head to the character panel at the top. You’ll see a small box-shaped icon with a color inside it (called the ‘color picker for text’). Click on that icon and select the appropriate color.

You can further change the font size, style, and justification if needed, from the same character panel.

If you want to change the position of your text, select the text and drag it to your preferred location. If you have more than one text layer, simply click on the desired text layer on the Layers tab and make the changes.

Use any of the three methods to stretch the font

How to stretch font in Photoshop with The Simple Method (using the transform tool)

The transform tool is used to stretch, scale, flip, or even distort your text.

To use the transform tool, first, select the text you want to apply the effect to. This can be done by directly selecting the text or by selecting the appropriate text layer from the layers tab. Then, from the menu, click on the edit option and select free transform from the drop down.

You can even use shortcut keys such as Command+T for Mac or Control+T for Windows to activate the transform tool.

Once the tool is selected, a blue box appears at the boundary of your text. Simply drag this boundary with the cursor in the desired direction to stretch your text.

To keep the proportions intact, simply stretch the text lengthwise or sidewise. If you don’t want to keep the proportions, then hold the shift key (for both Mac and Windows) and drag the text boundary.

In a nutshell,

Using the transform tool, you can only stretch your font from the top, bottom, left, right, and corners. Also, the alphabets are stretched uniformly. It’s an easier alternative, but the stretching effects are limited.

To get more creative and stretch sections of a character, go ahead and try the next two methods.

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How to stretch font in Photoshop with The Longer Method (Using the rectangular marquee tool)

  1. After finalizing the text (i.e. clicking on the ✔ icon), select the rectangular marquee tool (M) from the toolbar at the left. It’s usually the second tool in the toolbar icon list from the top.
  2. Select the section of the alphabet you want to stretch.
  3. Copy the selected section using Control+C or Command+C for Windows and Mac, respectively. Paste the section using Control+V or Command+V. When you paste the selected section, a new layer is automatically created in the layers tab.
  4. Now, use the ‘Move Tool’ (the first tool from the top of the toolbar list on the left).
  5. Select the pasted section and drag it down in such a way that it attaches itself to the foot of the alphabet. This way, you can see that the length of the alphabet stretches from the bottom.

In a nutshell,

Stretching your font using the rectangular marquee tool is a good way to make your text longer in some areas. But, it is a limited and tedious approach if you want to stretch the font quickly and freely.

How to stretch font in Photoshop with The Shorter Method (using shapes)

For this method, you have to select your font and convert it into a shape. The three ways to bring this into effect are:

  1. Select the text layer in the layers tab. Right click on it and select “convert to shape”.
  2. From the top menu, select ‘Type’ and then click on “Convert to Shape” from the drop down.
  3. Right-click on the font you want to stretch, then select “convert to shape.”
  4. Then, select the ‘direct selection tool’ from the toolbar at the left. You will find this tool below the “Type Tool.”
  5. Once this is done, you will see little blue boxes and lines on the border of each alphabet. You can select an individual letter as well. Let’s look at how to stretch the font.

Tip: Before starting out on stretching the font, check if the text is positioned well, or else make the necessary changes right now.

Stretching the entire alphabet

Select the alphabet using the direct selection tool and stretch it in your desired direction.

Stretching a section of the alphabet

Select the section of the alphabet by using the left click button after selecting the direct selection tool. Once the selection is done, you will notice that the entire alphabet is selected. But, if you look closely, the selected area is enclosed with blue squares, while the non-selected area is highlighted in white tiny squares.

Now press and hold the shift key, and use the down arrow to stretch the letter downwards. You can use the top, right, and left arrows depending on the direction you want to stretch the word.

You can do this process with multiple alphabets at a time. Simply select multiple alphabets using the direct selection tool and repeat the above steps.

Tip: To stretch the letter perfectly straight, hold down the shift button (for both Windows and Mac) while doing so.

The Bottom Line

This brings us to the end of our article. Go ahead and try all three methods to find which one suits your needs the best. Try these steps for different texts for practice until you master the art. You can further create attractive effects by coloring each letter differently and then stretching them.