I am pretty new to Photoshop and am trying to do 2 things. I'm pretty sure this is the right site for this question.

How do I horizontally and vertically center a Layer, or Text or an Image on the canvas, and how do I give Text a multi colored gradient, as shown in the picture below?

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Horizontal and Vertical Alignment

Regarding your first question, you can't actually vertically align text inside a layer. What you do instead is explained in the first answer to this question, that I think is very valid for any type of element:

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.

So basically what you move around and align using the alignment tools is the layer rather than the text inside a textbox. If you want to use a textbox still, there is a workaround using baseline shift.

For the horizontal alignment, you just need to use Center Text in the Paragraph panel.

But as mentioned, for all layers (be it text, shape, etc), you should use the Align tools. You can find a nice guide on how to get you started with alignment in the Adobe site.

Gradient Overlay

Now about your second question, the gradient. The easiest thing you can probably do is just use Blending Options > Gradient Overlay. Now if you want all your texts to have the exact same gradient regardless of size, you could:

  • Draw a rectangle the same size as the expected text;
  • Apply a multiple-color gradient to the rectangle;
  • Use the gradient layer as a layer mask so only the letters show the colors.

A quick example of these options. In the first one the gradient adapts to the length of the word, in the second it remains the same.

enter image description here

Note: This is killing my eyes too.

  • Thank you so much for the detailed answer. Very much appreciated! Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 5:36

Use shortcuts!

I can recommend you to use align tools shortcuts. enter preformatted text hereIf you get used to using it, it's pretty fast! Just go Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts then open the Layer bookmark and then find Align (it's somewhere down) and after this just set Vertical Centers and Horizontal Centers on some keys (i recommend Command+W and Command+D)

Hope this'll improve your workflow.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.