How to Swirl Text in Photoshop

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Photoshop's filters provide a way to add visual interest to your graphics with just a few clicks. Although you've likely used them mainly for images, they can also be applied to text. You should, however, take care when using them, since you could make the text unreadable. This is especially true for effects that distort the letter shape, such as the swirl effect.

1 Creating the Text

Type your text in Photoshop using the Text tool, like you normally would. Ensure the text looks precisely how you want it, in terms of font, color, anti-aliasing and other settings, and triple-check that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Applying the filter will rasterize the type layer, making the text un-editable. The longer your text, the more striking the effect will be.

2 Adding the Swirl Effect

Once you're satisfied that everything is as you want it, click "Filter," hover over "Distort" and select "Twirl." Photoshop prompts you to confirm that you want to rasterize the layer. Once you click "OK," the Twirl dialog box opens. Adjust the "Angle" slider while looking at the preview window in the Twirl dialog box until you're satisfied with the way your text will look and then click "OK." If you prefer, you can also rasterize the layer manually before applying the filter -- it makes no difference beyond giving you two steps to undo, rather than one, if you notice a mistake too late and wish to revert the text to a type layer.

3 Article Disclaimer

Information in this article applies to Adobe Photoshop CC. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.