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Photoshop Text Tips

You can do a lot with text in Photoshop through both simple and advanced techniques

Photoshop was and still is primarily a photo editing software and always will be but it does have a wide range of text editing tools and capabilities that often go untapped or unnoticed by us. The tips below will help you to make the most of text in Photoshop.

Box Over Point

Always create a text box rather than a text point. Click and drag when using the text tool to create a text box. This gives you more control and options when positioning and formatting the text.

Diagonal Text

You can have text going horizontally or vertically. If you want to put it diagonally, type it horizontally first then use Edit > Transform > Rotate.

Divide and Conquer

Give separate pieces of text, such as paragraphs, a text box of their own. This will maximise your editing opportunities if you want to make major revisions or changes later. This is especially true with posters, magazines or CD/DVD covers.

Quick Access

To return into a text box double click on the ‘T’ beside the text layer. This is the easiest, fastest and most fool proof method. You may think to just double click on the box in the canvas but you need to be using the text tool first to do this while with the other method you don't.

Colouring In

To change the colour of text you must enter into the text box, highlight it and then choose a colour from the text colour picker at the top of the screen, not the colour picker on your tool bar. You never use the paint bucket or paint brush as this will force rasterisation of the layer. A layer style > colour overall will also work but takes longer to add and to edit.

Don't Rasterize

Never rasterize text unless it is totally necessary, read any pop ups that appear and if it says you must rasterize the text cancel it unless you had intended it. The text will no longer be an actual text layer once rasterized so If you rasterize text you will lose all the text editing capabilities like changing the font style or using text warps.

Text Warp

When using text warp you should reduce the text box to snugly fit the text. This is because the text warp actually warps the text box and not the text directly, so a snugger text box gives you more control with the text warp.

Styles before Filters

Layer styles can be applied to text without rasterizing it but filters from the filter gallery cannot be applied to text without rasterizing it.

Customising Letters

To edit the shape of text by editing anchor points you first need to convert it to a shape. To do this, select the layer, go to layer> type> convert to shape. This will turn the text into a shape layer. You can then edit the individual anchor points using the direct selection tool.

Images as Text

You can use the horizontal or vertical type mask tool to “cut” text from an image. It works by selecting part of the image in the shape of the text you have typed. This can be a nice effect to have an image running through your text as opposed to a flat colour or gradient. This tool works like normal text but after you have typed the text you will then need to use the move tool to move the selection to the canvas or canvas area you want it on.

Character and Paragraph

The Character and Paragraph windows give you additional text editing options such as line height, letter spacing, text height, font weight, alignment and much more. Good text is very important in design, spend time working on it and experimenting with the different options that can be achieved.

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