I find that when using Photoshop CS6, the type cursor will have a dotted square around it (rather than a dotted circle) when hovering over a shape layer.

How will clicking and typing be any different than if I were to click and type outside of the shape layer?

Thank you.

  • 1
    Have you tried clicking to see what happens?
    – KMSTR
    Sep 24, 2013 at 10:22
  • Yes, but it wasn't clear enough to me what the actual difference was. Sep 24, 2013 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


The dotted square is the default type tool, yielding point text (on a click) or frame text (on click & drag). The dotted circle is the 'use path as frame' tool: click with this cursor on the shape layer, and start typing away. Your text will use the shape as a frame. This means that it will flow inside the shape, and automatically generates line breaks to do so, but will never show outside of the shape.

  • Thank for this, although would it be possible to clarify slightly what "use the shape as a frame" means here? Does it mean that the text will be exactly centered within the path? I'm not sure what the benefit is. Sep 24, 2013 at 14:32
  • @zakgottlieb rather than wrapping to the path you create via click and drag, or freely typing text without boundaries, the text will wrap to the boundaries (path) of the shape layer.
    – Dom
    Sep 24, 2013 at 14:46

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