How to Make Bold Text in Photoshop

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Although Photoshop is sophisticated software, it’s primarily designed as a photo editor. That means tasks that seem simple on a text editor, such as bolding text, are not straightforward in Photoshop. However, learning how to make bold text in Photoshop will help you emphasize the key points in your text.

How to Make Bold Text in Photoshop

Bolding a text simply refers to the act of making a text darker by applying a thicker stroke weight on the letters, making the characters look heavier. Typically, this helps highlight the text’s most crucial part for emphasis.

An image of Photoshop in iMac

For instance, if you have longer text that spans several lines, bolding text can help to break the block of text into different headings and subheadings, making your text more organized and readable. Usually, this is important when creating posters and banners or adding a text overlay to an image to provide descriptions.

Although Photoshop is more versatile than a text editor and suits such projects, you might face challenges if you want to bold some characters or parts of your text. However, even if Photoshop doesn’t come with a straightforward tool for text bolding, you can still use the following tips.

Type the Text

Select the horizontal type tool in your Photoshop toolbar, usually displayed by a T icon. Alternatively, you can open the text tool by hitting the T key on your keyboard. This automatically creates a new text layer in the layers panel. Click on your canvas and begin typing your text.

If you want to create a new paragraph of text, hit the Enter key on your keyboard to create a new line. Click and drag out a text box to ensure the text is enclosed. Once you are through, hit the keyboard ESC key to save your text or click on the checkmark on the settings bar at the top.

Edit the Text

After writing the text, it’s advisable to start by adjusting the size and font before bolding it. Left-click and drag the cursor over the characters to select them and then navigate to the settings bar and locate the options to adjust the text’s size, font, and alignment.

You can manually change the font size or scale it using the Photoshop move tool. To manually change the size, navigate to Window, choose Character, expand the dropdown menu, and choose your new size. You can also enter your desired size if you want to use a large font.

To scale, press the V key on your keyboard to select the move tool and then select the transform box. You can make the text smaller by dragging inwards or larger by dragging outwards.

Bold the Text

Although Photoshop doesn’t have a dedicated tool for bolding text like the standard text editors such as Microsoft Word, it’s versatile, allowing you to use the following tools and options to bold text even when using third-party fonts.

An image of a person typing

Faux Bold in the Character Panel

Bolding using the character panel comes in handy if you use third-party fonts from the internet or a font not installed in your system. It works better than the settings bar method as it provides other detailed options such as line spacing, kerning, and ligatures.

Highlight the words or the entire text you wish to make bold using your mouse cursor, navigate to Window and choose Character to access the character panel. Usually, the character panel will display a list of T icons representing varying text styles. Click on the first T icon as it represents the Faux Bold option.

Alternatively, click the menu button to select the Faux Bold option from the character pane. The bold effect will be applied to the selected text or word. However, ensure you disable this option once, as it will be your next text project in Faux Bold by default.

Type Toolbar

The upper settings bar method is the most straightforward as it works effectively on fonts already installed in Photoshop. However, it does not support third-party or downloaded fonts. Simply click and drag on the phrases or text you want to bold using your cursor.

Using standard fonts, you should see a dropdown menu appearing as regular between the text size and the font menu. Note that if the menu doesn’t appear as regular, you are not using a standard font, and this method won’t work.

Click on regular to expand the varying font styles, and then select the bold option from the dropdown. This makes your selected text change to bold, leaving the unhighlighted text regular.

Text Selection

Before using this method, it is essential to note that it is destructive, and once you apply it to your text, it is impossible to reformat the changes. It is, therefore, advisable to create a duplicate layer to have a backup of your original text layer in case of mistakes.

  1. Using the Type Tool, write down your text and format, typically using the above steps. Since a new layer will automatically be created on the layers panel, navigate to the layers panel and right-click on the text layer.
  2. Select Rasterize Type to ensure your text is not editable. Using the Magic Wand Tool, highlight the text you want to make bold.
  3. Navigate to Select, Modify and then Expand. From the menu that appears, set the size and font of your bold effect. Since this method lacks the preview option that can let you see how bold your text is turning, it’s advisable to set the thickness to two pixels and click OK. Typically, you can input different values depending on your preference.
  4. Running ants will appear on the highlighted text, indicating a buffer between the selection and the edge of the text. Fill the buffer space using the Paint Bucket Tool. However, for the bolding to look natural, fill the space with a color similar to that of your text.
  5. After filling the space with color, deselect the text by pressing Ctrl + D if you are using a Windows computer or Command + D if it’s a Mac.
An image of a person typing on laptop

Stroke Effect

The stroke effect helps add a more dramatic bold effect to your text and works well with all font types. However, unlike the other methods, you cannot use it to bold parts of the text or individual words.

Highlight your text in the layers panel, click on Add New Effect, choose Stroke from the bottom of the layers panel, and then select the stroke color from the Layer Style window.

Set the Stroke Size slider to 3 pixels, Position to Outside, and Opacity to 100%. Highlight the preview box to view the bold effect, and once satisfied, click OK to confirm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Save My Bolded Text as a Custom Font in Photoshop?

You can save the bolded text as a custom font in Photoshop, and you will only load the font instead of bolding it. After bolding the text, highlight it, choose Paragraph Styles and then choose the Create New Paragraph Style option. Double click the name Paragraph Style 1 and enter a name for your font.

Can I Make Text Less Thick in Photoshop?

You can make the text less thick in Photoshop by adjusting the stroke color to match the background. Usually, this will make the text thinner as the stroke blends with the background color. For instance, change the stroke to white if the background is white and the text is black.

Final Thoughts

Learning to make bold text in Photoshop helps you emphasize the crucial details in a text block or divide it into headings and subheads. You can use the Faux bold option in the character panel using imported fonts or the selection expansion option for more precise results.