Getting Started with Text

Text is one of the crucial components of interface design. It can help determine the legibility and appeal of your design.

Your decisions around Text can impact how successfully you convey your message. Everything from the placement and arrangement of text, to the choice of font, has a part to play.

In this article, we'll cover:

  1. Creating Text Layers
  2. Editing Text
  3. Text Styles
  4. Using Emoji

Figma uses its own custom text rendering. This ensures your designs look consistent, regardless of your browser or operating system.

Explore how our Text Properties work in our Understanding Text Properties article.


Creating Text Layers

To create a new Text layer:

  • Select the Text tool [T] from the Toolbar:
  • Press the [T] key to use the Text keyboard shortcut.

You have two default behaviors available when creating a new text layer:

  1. Single click on the canvas and start typing to create a Text layer. This will create a Text layer with auto-resizing set to Grow Horizontally. This allows the width of the Text box to grow as you add more Text. You may know this as Point Text, Paragraph Text or Area Text.
  2. Click and drag to create a Text layer with specific dimensions. This creates a Text layer with auto-resizing set to Fixed size. This allows you to enter longer strings of text and have them wrap and overflow on to a new line.

Note: If you want to change this behavior, you can adjust the Resizing settings for a Text object. The Resizing setting can be found in the Advanced Type menu: 

In addition to Grow Horizontally and Fixed Size, you can set your Text layers to Grow Vertically. This fixes the width of the Text box and allows it to grow vertically as new line are added.

Learn more about the Resizing settings in our Understanding Text Properties article: Resizing.


Editing Text Layers

You can edit or update any Text layer you have created. This allows you to change the contents of a Text layer, as well as adjust any properties relating to that layer.

  1. Editing Text
  2. Adjusting Dimensions
  3. Scaling Text
  4. Basic Text Properties
  5. Advanced Type Properties
  6. Applying Other Properties
  7. Flattening Text

Editing Text

To make changes to the content of a Text box, you will need to enter Text Edit mode.

You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • Double-click on the Text layer.
  • With the Text layer selected, press the [Enter] or [Return] key on your keyboard.

You will then be able to edit the contents of the Text box:

Tip! Once you are in Text edit mode you can click on any other Text object on the Page to edit.

Adjusting Dimensions

There will be a blue bounding box around every Text layer. This bounding box controls how we position and arrange Text on the canvas.

It's also an important component in setting and adjusting Vertical and Horizontal alignment.

If you would like to change the size of a Text layer, or how much space in the canvas it uses, you can adjust the bounding box.

  1. Select the Text layer you'd like to edit.
  2. Hover over the section of the bounding box you would like to change. Your cursor will change to the Scale icon: 
  3. Click and drag to change the dimensions of the bounding box.

The Text within the layer will be re-positioned based on its current properties.

Scaling Text

Note: Scaling a Text layer can result in fractional Font sizes. We recommend scaling Text layers by adjusting the Font size to ensure integers (whole numbers).

You can also use the Scale tool.

  1. Select the Scale tool in the Toolbar. You can find this in the drop down under the Move tool:
  2. Select the Text layer and hover over the bounding box until the Scale handle appears.
  3. Click and drag to Scale your Text. You will see the Font Size change in the Text section of the Properties Panel.

Basic Text Properties

You can change the properties of a Text layer at any time. You can apply these changes to a single layer, or multiple Text layer.

Selecting Layers

To select a single layer:

  1. Click on the Text layer(s) in the canvas to select them:

To select multiple Text layers:

  1. Select the first layer.
  2. Hold down the [Shift] key.
  3. Click on any additional layers to select them:

To select all Text Layers on the page:

You can use the  Select All Text Layers option from the main menu.

  1. Open the main menu. You can use the keyboard shortcuts:
    • MacOS: [⌘] + [ / ]
    • Windows: [Ctrl] + [ / ]
  2. Search for Select All Text Layers. You can also choose to select layers with the same properties

Applying Properties

You can find all properties related to text in the Text section of the Properties Panel.

From here, you can make changes to the Font and Paragraph settings of the selected Text layer(s). This includes:

  • Font Family, Style, and Size
  • Line Height and Letter Spacing
  • Paragraph Spacing and Indentation
  • Horizontal and Vertical Alignment

Tip! You can use the following Keyboard Shortcuts to quickly adjust Font Styles and Font Size:

macOS

  • Bold [⌘] + [B]
  • Italicize [⌘] + [I]
  • Underline [⌘] + [U]
  • Increase Font Size [⌘] + [Shift] + [>]
  • Decrease Font Size [⌘] + [Shift] + [<]

Windows

  • Bold [Ctrl] + [B]
  • Italicize [Ctrl] + [I]
  • Underline [Ctrl] + [U]
  • Increase Font Size [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [>]
  • Decrease Font Size [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [<]

Learn more about Text Properties in our article: Understanding Text Properties.

Advanced Type Menu

You can access even more Text Properties via the Advanced Type Menu.

Click the three ellipses in the bottom-right corner of the Text section:

From here you can access the following settings:

  • Choose the Resizing behavior (Grow Horizontally, Grow Vertically, Fixed Size)
  • Justify alignment (only applies to objects with a fixed size)
  • Transform: Upper case, Lower case, Capital case.
  • Text decoration: Underline and Strikethrough
  • Historical Ligatures
  • Subscript and Superscript
  • Number formatting

Learn more about the Advanced Type Menu in our article: Understanding Text Properties.

Applying Other Properties

You can also apply properties outside of the Text properties to Text layers. This includes the Fill, Stroke and Effect properties.

  • Change the color of your text by clicking on the color swatch in the Fill section of the Properties Panel.

    Learn more about Using the Color Picker.
  • Apply a Stroke around every character in your selection.

    Click the [+] plus icon next to the Stroke property to add and edit the Stroke applied.
  • Apply a Drop Shadow to a Text object.

    Click the [+] plus icon next to the Effects property to add a drop shadow (default). Click the dial, or the name to make any changes to the Effect.

Flattening Text

You can also flatten your Text layers. Flattening Text layers will:

  • Combine selected objects or layers into one layer.
  • Convert Text layers from editable text to vector paths.

This is particularly handy when you want to create or customise aspects of the text for a logo or wordmark. Or, if you want to reduce the File size, or the size of any exports

Note: It's not possible to "unflatten" a layer. If you've made a mistake, then you can Undo the action using the Keyboard shortcut:

  • MacOS: + Z
  • Windows: Ctrl + Z

Or, restore a previous version of the File in your Version History.

To flatten a Text layer:

  1. Select the Text layer(s) you want to flatten:
  2. Right-click on the layers (in the canvas or in the Layers Panel) and select Flatten from the options:
  3. Or, use the Keyboard Shortcuts:
    • MacOS: + E
    • Windows: Ctrl + E
  4. The Layers will be combined into a single layer:
  5. You can double-click on the layer to enter Edit object mode:

Tip! If you want to convert Text layers to vector paths, without combining them into a single layer, you can use the Outline Stroke setting instead.

Right-click on the layer and choose Outline Stroke: 

Or, use the Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • MacOS: ⇧+⌘+ O
  • Windows: Ctrl + Shift + O

Text Styles

You can define a combination of Text properties using Styles. This allows you to reuse those combinations across your designs.

You can apply a  Text Style to an entire block of text, or apply it to just some of the text within a text layer.

You can use Styles to define the style of your headings (e.g. h1, h2, h3) and body text, as well as determining text styles within a paragraph (e.g. links).

Creating Text Styles

You can create a Style from an existing Text layer.

  1. Select the Text layer you want to create a Style of.
  2. Click the Style icon (four dots) in the Text section of the Properties Panel: 
  3. Click the "+" icon in the Text Styles menu to create a new style: 
  4. Give the Style a name and click Create Style to apply.

Applying Text Styles

You can then apply that Style to other Text layers within that File.

  1. Select the Text layer you want to apply the Style to.
  2. Click the Style icon (four dots) in the Text section of the Properties Panel: 
  3. Select the Style from the options to apply it to the selected Text layer:

You can Edit Styles at any time to adjust their properties. Those changes will be automatically reflected on any Text Layers using those Styles.

Learn more about Styles:


Using Emoji

You can add emoji to any Text object on your canvas, or in your Comments. Figma uses the Apple emoji style.

MacOS

You can add emoji to any Text object via the Emoji Picker:

  1. Create a Text object in the canvas.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + [Command] + [Space] to display the Emoji picker.
  3. Type the name of your emoji in the field provided.
  4. Select the emoji from the search results to add it to the Text object.

Windows

Before you can add emoji to Text objects, you will need to enable the Touch Keyboard:

  1. Right-click on the Windows task bar.
  2. Click on the Show touch keyboard button.

You can then add emoji to any Text object via the touch keyboard:

  1. Create a Text object in the canvas.
  2. Click the Touch Keyboard icon.
  3. Select the Emoji option.
  4. Choose the emoji you would like to use, to add it to your Text object.

Learn more

Learn more about Text in our articles:

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.