How to underline text in Photoshop: 2 different methods [2022]


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Adobe Photoshop’s text editing capabilities resemble that of most standard word processors like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

The platform gives us not only the ability to create and edit the text within our Photoshop file but also the ability to control the appearance of text by giving us the ability to modify font size, font face, leading, kerning, tracking, scale, thickness, superscript, strikethrough, caps and of course, underlines.

In this Photoshop tutorial, we will be focusing on the latter – the underlining component.

Specifically, we will be talking about how it works, how to apply it, and how to dress it up on new or existing text.

Topics included in this article:

woman holds up sign featuring underlined text
(photo by kudla/shutterstock.com)

1. How to underline text in Photoshop

In Photoshop, basic font properties are controlled by the Character Pane.

The Character Pane, in most default workspaces, will be visible by default (usually located at the right side of the window). However, you can also toggle it on and off by going to the Window menu (located at the top of the Photoshop window) and selecting the Character option from the drop-down list.

To create a simple underline effect in Photoshop, use the following steps:

1. Launch Photoshop and create a new document.

2. Click on the Type icon (the Text Tool button) on the Photoshop toolbox to create a new text layer in the Layers Panel. (You may also use the keyboard shortcut “T”).

3. Click anywhere on your canvas to create a Single-Line Text element. Or, click and drag to draw a rectangle on your canvas to create a Text Area. When you see the cursor appear, begin typing.

5. Highlight the letter, word or words you wish to underline.

6. Navigate to the Character Panel (Window > Character).

7. Click on the Underline button (the 7th icon in the row of buttons at the bottom of the panel).

And voila – you’re done! You’ve just created your first underline in Photoshop.

woman holds up a sign featuring a fancy underline
(photo by kudla/shutterstock.com)

2. How to make a fancy underline in Photoshop

Unsatisfied with the simple underline you’ve just created and wanted to jazz it up a bit? No worries, I’ve got ya covered!

Naturally, you can alter the look and feel of any text in Photoshop using the Layers Style panel. However, the Layers Style panel doesn’t allow you to specifically target just the underline without impacting the entire text layer.

But never fear, there’s a workaround – you can just draw – or import – your own underline in any style you’d like!

Obviously, the drawback to creating manual underlines is that there is no way to link it directly to the text. This means, if you edit the text after underlining, there will likely be some manual adjustment involved. With this in mind, I strongly suggest waiting until the rest of the design has been finalized before adding manual fancy underlines.

To draw your own underline, use the following steps:

1. Launch Photoshop and create a new document.

2. Click on the Type icon (the Text Tool button) on the vertical tools panel to create a new text layer in the Layers Panel. (You may also use the keyboard shortcut “T”).

3. Click anywhere on your canvas to create a Single-Line Text element. Or, click and drag to draw a rectangle on your canvas to create a Text Area. When you see the cursor appear, begin typing.

4. When you are finished typing, return to the vertical toolbar and select the Line Tool.

5. Click and drag anywhere on the canvas to create your line. Hold down the Shift Key on your keyboard to keep the line straight as you draw.

6. Reposition and style as needed.

Pro-Tip: To create a different look, swap the Line Tool for one of the Shape Tools like the Rectangle Tool or a Custom Shape Tool!

Once you have your finished line, you can use Layer Styles and Strokes (located in the Appearance Panel) to alter the look of your new line.

Don’t feel comfortable editing Layer Styles and Strokes? Just do what I do and download a set of vector borders and strokes from a stock site like Shutterstock and import your own.

Do you have a tip or trick for creating a custom underline in Photoshop? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to connect with me on social media.

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