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It's pretty annoying that you can't center text vertically in Ps automatically, like you can in Indd. It's even more annoying that the bounding box of text can't be 'collapsed' or 'fit to text', like in Indd.

I could convert the text to shape, but then I lose coloring. I could convert to smart object, but then its not vector anymore, for when I export to pdf.

Is there a work around anyone knows of that would make it easier to center text vertically?

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Although it's not automatic (you need to adjust it manually for each text), you can use Baseline Shift to 'imitate' a vertical centering:

enter image description here

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For positioning text you don't need a bounding box.

I never use bounding boxes for text in PS. I click the text tool without dragging and set the text cursor without a box. Once the text is entered, I can center it vertically or horizontally just like any other shape using the align buttons--assuming I have something to align it to.

I do the same thing in Illustrator. As an example, I was making an award ribbon, a circle with text in the center. I made the circle, then wrote three lines of text, center aligned with no bounding box, not even close to the center of the circle. I then selected both the circle and the text, and hit vertical align center, horizontal align center, and the text is perfectly centered in the circle.

centered text without bounding box

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I'd love to be proven wrong on this, but you can't vertically center text in Photoshop automatically. Just like you can't do it in Illustrator. You're stuck with manually adjusting the baseline shift.

Here is the inevitable...

but you can do this is InDesign.

Yes, and it's awesome. But PS and AI are stuck without it. :(

EDIT: Dang! I thought @Yisela's answer was part of the question. Sorry about that.

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Here's a script I wrote that might work. I've not tested it yet however.

centerTextVertically( app.activeDocument.artLayers.getByName( 'Text-Layer-Name' ) );

 * @param {ArtLayer} textLayer  The text layer to apply the vertical centering.
function centerTextVertically( textLayer ) {
    if ( textLayer.kind !== LayerKind.TEXT ) {
        return; // No-op: Not a text layer

    var verticalCenterOffset = textLayer.textItem.height / 2;
    var textCenterOffset = textLayer.textItem.size / 2;
    textLayer.textItem.baselineShift = verticalCenterOffset - textCenterOffset;
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