October 2016

With Text-O-Matic 2.0, you can go crazy with text! Envelope text provides a way to warp text within a shape “envelope” that has various control points depending on the shape.

When you first convert a text layer to an envelope text layer, it starts as a wave shape. Note that it is easier to manipulate the envelope control points if you start with a larger font size before converting it to envelope text.menu_envelope_text

(In the image above you can see that the layer preview is different than the actual envelope text. This is because I edited the text contents before I took this picture.)


To change the shape of the envelope, drag one of the control points.menu_edit_envelope

The green control points change the shape of the envelope, while the gray control points change the size. The corners can be dragged up and down, and the curve control points can be dragged almost anywhere.


To change the shape of the envelope, tap the Envelope icon.menu_envelope_shapes

There are fifteen shapes to choose from. The curved shapes have Bezier control points with which you can adjust the shape of the curve or curves. The control points for the angular shapes change the position and acuteness of the angles.


Envelope text is special in that it is the only text type that can have outlines.menu_envelope_stroke

With Text-O-Matic 2.0 you can place text on a curve or a circle. The curve path can be changed by adjusting control points, while the circle can be squashed into an ellipse and its radius changed.

When a Path Text layer is first created, it is placed on a curved line and the text fills the line side to side.menu_text_on_a_path
You can also justify the text left, right, or center, place the text above or below the line, or select the curve shape, or a circle. Placing the text below the line flips it over as well.
To edit the curve shape, drag the control points at the ends of the dotted lines. Drag the control points at the end of the line to change its length.menu_path_text_edit_path

Text-O-Matic is all about… text! It’s no surprise that the bulk of the editor features deal with text. This is one of three articles about text layers. The other two are about Envelope Text Layers and Path Text Layers, which are available as part of the Advanced Typography Add-on.

To add a text layer to your project, tap the TEXT icon in the floating menu as shown below.


Once you have typed in your text and tapped Create, a new text layer will be added with the default font and the default color. The floating editor will open to the text controls for the newly selected layer.

To change the size and inter-character spacing of the text, tap the Size icon which will open the font size and character spacing tray.menu_font_size

Drag your finger around the circle, or click and drag, to change the size value. You can also tap or click around the circle to jump to a size. Finally, you can fine-tune the size with the plus and minus icons. Swipe your finger above or below the size control to change to the Character spacing tab. You can also tap or click on the tab itself to change.

To change the text color, tap the color icon which will open the color tray seen here.
The color controls are quite extensive, and are covered in a separate article.

To change the font…

The font menu presents two lists; built-in, and system. The built-in fonts are carefully curated to provide a wide range of styles, including hand-drawn fonts, in multiple variations. If you want to share projects with your designer friends, using the built-in fonts assures that they will be able to open and edit the files on their devices.

The System tab shows the fonts that are currently installed on your Windows device. This allows you to use typefaces you may find elsewhere and install on your device. Keep in mind that if you share a project containing system fonts with your friends, then they must have the same font installed on their devices.


By default, text is displayed in a single line. You can enter line breaks in the text create/edit dialog to make multi-line text. Or, you can assign a fixed width to the text to force word-wrapping.menu_fixed_width

Once text is in a fixed-width block, you can adjust justification and line height. Set the block width to zero again to reset to a single line of text.


The next icon around the control dial is Rotate, though it also contains much more.menu_rotate

In the image above you can see that the text is mirrored horizontally, then rotated. Tap the H Mirror or V Mirror buttons to flip the text (or any selected object). The CCW and CW buttons will force rotation in the cardinal 90 degree increments. For example, if you tapped CW on the object above, it would snap to zero degrees. Tapping again would snap to 90 degrees, and so on.

The Nudge tab is where fine adjustments to an object’s position can be made in one or ten pixel increments.menu_nudge

Just like the Rotate button, the Nudge tab is available for all layer types. You can leave it open and move it around while you make fine adjustments on various objects. If your device has a keyboard, you can also nudge with the arrow keys. The arrows move one pixel at a time, and if you hold the Ctrl key with the arrows, objects will move ten pixels at a time.


The final button is Transform which will change your text block into either warp-able envelope text, or text on a curve or circle, or path text.menu_advanced_text

While you can change the attributes (font, color, etc.) of your text after it is converted to one of these advanced typography types, it makes it easier to get it close to the desired size before converting it.

That’s it! Please check out the Envelope Text and Path Text articles to learn about the Advanced Typography layer types.

Welcome to Text-O-Matic 2.0!

* Were you automatically updated without your permission? See below.

Text-O-Matic 2.0 for Windows 10 devices brings improvements and new features to more fully unleash your creativity! The greatest difference between the two versions is in the floating editor. As you can see in the comparison image above, Text-O-Matic 2.0 is lighter and more refined, allowing you to focus more fully on your designs.

Get to know the floating editor. Almost all of the functionality of version 1.0 has been moved into the floating editor. You have a rich toolbox at your fingertip, and you can drag it anywhere on the screen. There are several help articles about the floating editor and its various functions.

Key Features

As a user of Text-O-Matic 1.0, we are excited to bring you the following (and more) new features!

  • New Floating editor controls can be easily positioned away from your work area while still being handy
  • New Advanced Typography features, through an optional in-app purchase, provide for curved, warped and outlined text – and more typography features are coming all the time!
  • New, more powerful image effects
  • New Ink Layer allows drawing or coloring in layers just like all other Text-O-Matic objects
  • New Ink Layer supports pressure-sensitive pens and palm-rejection, with three different tip types, for realistic drawing
  • New .TOMX file format to make storing and sharing your projects possible
  • New more accurate font handling
  • New built-in typefaces to make a hand-drawn style possible
  • New and ever-growing catalog of design resources such as templates, shapes, and images
  • Text-O-Matic templates and design resources are in the cloud, so you only download what you want
  • Redesigned user-interface for ease of use in tablet, desktop, or mobile modes
  • Text-O-Matic is a Universal Windows Platform app, and will run on any Windows 10 device

Instant Photo Booth

Are you an Instant Photo Booth user? Do you use Text-O-Matic to create photo layout backgrounds and overlays? If so, then you will be very pleased by the improved communication between the two apps! Now when you create art for your photo layouts, Text-O-Matic can automatically connect it to the correct photo layout in Instant Photo Booth.


*Automatic Update

windowsstoreautoupdatesettingIf you were a user of Text-O-Matic 1.0, then you may have been upgraded without asking. We apologize for this, but it is a default setting in the Windows Store. You can change that behavior in your Windows Store Settings as shown here.

But now that you are running Text-O-Matic 2.0, we hope you will be empowered for even more creativity! We at Gizmomatic are not only the developers of Text-O-Matic, but we are avid users. The app was born out of our own desire to more easily create graphics. This update brings greater functionality and ease-of-use, and it provides avenues for us to connect with our users. Please use the Feedback tool to communicate with us and to help us make Text-O-Matic even better!

Using Ink Layers

Text-O-Matic is a layer-based art app. For example, a simple Text-O-Matic project might have a photograph as the bottom layer, with text on top of that. Perhaps the text is on top of a solid shape to set it apart from the background image.

Ink layers are transparent images with the strokes of your drawings that can be placed anywhere in the Text-O-Matic layer order. This opens up tremendous creative possibilities, especially since the ink strokes in these layers can be edited later. A simple example of this is coloring.



Ink Layer Editor


Above is what the Text-O-Matic ink drawing mode looks like, ready to draw. The editor opens with the first pen type selected and the pen attributes open and ready to adjust. If the menu is in the way, just tap on its face (i.e. not a button) to minimize it. Tap again to open it. But even if it overlaps your drawing, you can draw like it isn’t there. The ink ignores the menu and will draw underneath it.

There are three pen types:

  1. Ballpoint pen – This is a hard-edged drawing tool that responds to pen pressure to vary thickness. The image above uses the ballpoint pen tool for the arrows. You can adjust maximum tip size, color, and opacity. Note that while you are actively drawing a stroke, it is fully opaque. As soon as you release the drawing tool, the opacity is applied.
  2. Pencil – This is a special drawing tool. It is transparent and textured by nature, although the transparency and size vary with pen pressure, just like a real pencil. You can adjust maximum tip size and color, but not transparency.
  3. Calligraphy – This behaves much like the ballpoint pen except that the pen tip is oblong, like a real calligraphy pen. You an select the pen tip shape and make all other adjustments like the ballpoint pen.

The two checkboxes adjust how the ink is applied. The smooth mode makes your ink strokes into smooth curves. When unchecked, you see more detail in your strokes, which can be useful if you are trying to achieve a “hand-drawn” look. Use pressure allows you to turn off pressure-sensitivity which is useful if you want a consistent stroke size.

To draw, select a pen type, adjust its properties, and draw! Text-O-Matic supports drawing with a pressure sensitive active stylus (the best choice), a mouse, or your finger. However, to use your finger, you must toggle the last icon which allows touch drawing. Keep in mind that when you’re drawing with touch, you cannot drag the menu out of the way, so make sure it’s in a good place before you start. Touch drawing is the only option supported on mobile devices at this time.

At this time Text-O-Matic does not support the eraser button found on some active pens. To erase, toggle the eraser icon, and then draw over the strokes you wish to erase. Note that each continuous ink stroke is a single stroke. The eraser will erase the entire stroke.

The last icon is the Ruler tool. Just try it! You move and rotate the ruler with two fingers. (Note that you can only rotate the ruler with your fingers.) When you draw ink near the ruler, the ink snaps to the ruler for a perfectly straight line. To hide the ruler, toggle the ruler icon again.

Main Floating Menufloatingmenu

The Text-O-Matic editor menu is always handy, ready to add or edit objects. If it happens to be in the way of your artwork, just tap on the face of the menu and drag it out of the way. Tapping the back arrow minimizes the menu. Tapping the minimized menu opens it again in the add object mode.

Text Object Menu

textmenuWhen you add a new text object, or select an exiting one, the text menu (shown above) appears.

Image Menu

imagemenuWhen you add a new image layer, or select an exiting one, the text menu (shown above) appears.

Ink Image Layer Menu


Ink layers are special objects. When they are created or edited, then a dedicated ink-drawing user interface appears. (See the Ink Layer article.) Once drawing is completed, the ink is rendered to an image. When you select an ink image layer, then the menu above appears which allows you to manipulate the layer like an image, or choose to edit the ink it contains and then be re-rendered as an image again.

Shape (Clip-Art) Object Menu

shapemenuWhen a shape (clip-art) object is added or selected, then the menu shown above will appear.

The Layer Manager, which is accessed via the left-most button in the editor bottom command bar, is the tool to use when your project starts to get complex. For example, it is not possible to tap-select a small object that may be under, or even near a larger object. But with the Layer Manager, you can select any object, or even more than one at a time.

Let’s take a look at the various controls.


  • Checkbox – shows which layer is, or layers are, selected. The first layer selected is highlighted in blue. Any layer alignment operations will use the first selected as the master to which other layers are aligned. Note that when multiple layers are selected, a few operations can be done on all of them such as nudge and color.
  • Lock – allows you to lock a layer so it cannot be accidentally moved. This is very useful if you have an image as a background.
  • Pencil – tap this to open the floating editor controls for the selected layer.
  • Eye – allows you to toggle the layer’s visibility.


The bottom of the Layer Manager contains three controls:

  • Checkbox – with this all layers can be selected or unselected.
  • Pages (copy) – this is enabled when a single layer is selected so it can be copied.
  • Trash can (delete) – this is enabled when a single layer is selected so it can be deleted.