I'm here to say it isn't! I finally figured out how to make word balloons in Manga Studio. While I won't say I've perfected text in Manga Studio (still can't figure out how to arc it like in Photoshop), I've found one more thing that it has over its competitors. Yay! I can make them look like real manga balloons! So how does one cast this arcane magic? Here we go!

How to Make Word Balloons in Manga Studio

I used Manga Studio EX 4.2 for this tutorial, but I know this works in Debut as well. This is one of the basic tools, so hooray!

First, select the text tool.

Then use the text tool where you want the balloon to go. Don't worry too much about the placement. You can move it around when you're done making the balloon and text. When you click where you want it, the Properties dialog box will come up with a bunch of options.

I suggest making the balloon first, so click the "Dialog Balloon Settings" tab. You'll see this dialog box after you click. You can use the "Generate Dialog Balloon" setting, but it's just a normal shape tool. It's not going to look as cool as the materials that Manga Studio comes with. Click "Select Dialog Balloon from Materials". After all, you bought Manga Studio for the materials. If you wanted to make word balloons yourself, you'd do what I used to do and make them manually in Photoshop, and that's fucking stupid. XD

Look at that selection! So many of your favorite manga word balloons. I'm going with "Exclamation - Bold Line" since Chiaki is yelling.

OMG! It's a floating word balloon! Before I would use the Materials and place it myself, but that meant I had to crop it, take out the white, etc., etc. But now, I've got a nice, contained word balloon that I can resize with the corner marks however I like. So convenient!

So now it's time to place some text. I like to use Centered text in balloons, so I selected that (set "Align" to "Align Center"), and I use LetterOMatic for comic text. I type out what I want, and then I can change the size with either the Text Size drag-down menu or directly change the size with the corner marks around the text. I prefer using the corner marks because it's easier.

The text and balloon aren't really centered yet, so after clicking OK on the dialog box, I keep the Text Tool selected. I can now move the balloon and the text around. So nice! It does it like magic.

And now we have a nice exclamation word balloon. So what if I want to do a normal word balloon with a tail?

Well, make a normal word balloon. This doesn't work with the exclamation ones. I selected "Deformed Circle 01", the most manga looking one.

So after getting it all straight and how I want it to look, I go and click the button that looks like a "Play Pause" combo in the word balloon's layer in the Layer window. Select "Layer Properties".

The Properties dialog box will come up. Select the "Text" tab.

Then select "Dialog Balloon Settings".

There are two kinds of word balloon tails you can use: Curve Tail...

Or Linear Tail. It's your choice. I like the curved ones myself, so we'll go with that.

Now, just draw the tail like you would with the Line Tool. The Curve Tail includes a extra step of pulling the curve of the tail like with the Curve Line Tool.

And there you go!

I didn't curve it all that much, but you get the idea. ^_^;;

There is a nice dialog box you can use that has all the tools on it if you want to use it. I don't because it takes up too much "real estate" on the screen. If you want to use the "Beginner's Assistant" just go to Window in the menu bar, and select "Beginner's Assistant", or use the shortcut F10.

And there's the Beginner's Assistant! It really is a useful tool when you're starting out.

So there's my tutorial on word balloons in Manga Studio! I hope it was helpful. If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to send me an email or post a comment on Facebook! I'm going to figure out how to curve and arc the text next. Oh boy...