Feb 7, 2007

25 Photoshop Tips for Type - By Trevor Morris


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1. Here is a very useful tip for achieving added control over the rendering of small type. Double-click on an existing type layer ( Type Layer ) to enter type / edit mode. Move the type in the image window (by holding down the Ctrl key) to cause the anti-aliasing to shift / rerender. Once you are pleased with the anti-aliasing, commit / accept the type changes (by pressing Ctrl+Enter). Finally, you may reposition the type as desired without affecting the anti-aliasing.

Tip: Also try different anti-aliasing methods for the above tip.

Note: You may adjust the anti-aliasing as often as you like by entering edit mode and moving the type. Once out of edit mode, you may move the type without affecting the anti-aliasing.

2. Anti-aliased type may be rendered inconsistently at small sizes (or low resolutions). To reduce this inconsistency, turn off the Fractional Widths option, in the Character palette menu (Palette Menu).

3. Paragraph Text Size Hold the Alt key as you click or drag a text box to display a Paragraph Text Size dialog box. The dialog box will display the current text box dimensions: enter the desired values for the Width and Height.

Note: Another alternative is to simply watch the Width (W) and Height (H) values in the Info palette [F8] (Window » Show Info) as you draw the text box.

Note: If you continue to hold Alt key down after the mouse button has been depressed (and you begin to drag), the text box will be drawn from the center. Upon releasing the mouse button, the Text Box Size dialog box will appear.

4. To convert point text to paragraph text (or vice versa), right-click with the Type tool [ T ] and choose Convert to Paragraph Text (or choose Layer » Type » Convert to Paragraph Text from the menus).

5. To modify the properties of several type layers simultaneously (i.e. font, color, size, etc.), link the desired type layers together and hold the Shift key while changing the type properties.

Note: This feature applies to changes performed in the Options palette (Window » Show Options), the Character palette (Window » Show Character), and / or Paragraph palette (Window » Show Paragraph).

6. Despite the fact that both the Edit » Fill command and the Paint Bucket tool [G] are disabled for type layers, Alt+Backspace (fill with foreground color) and Ctrl+Backspace (fill with background color) still work!

7. Using the Type tool [ T ], right-click on type layers (in the image window) to display a context menu with many useful formatting options.

Note: The right-click menu that appears in ImageReady has many more options available than the one that appears in Photoshop.

8. For fonts that do not have associated bold or italic equivalents, try using the Faux Bold and Faux Italic options in the Character palette menu (Palette Menu).

Tip: You may also access the Faux Bold and Faux Italic options by right-clicking on a type layer with the Type tool [ T ].

9. New! Hold down both the Shift and Ctrl keys while scaling type / paragraph layers to change the size and leading simultaneously.

Enhanced Functionality

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10. While in type / edit mode, use the View » Show Extras [Ctrl+H] command to hide a text selection.

11. To restrict the use of certain fonts to Adobe applications, place them in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Fonts\

12. Use the following click (and drag) features for enhanced type-selection capabilities:

HotKey Result
Double-click (and drag) select word (and then select one word at a time)
Triple-click (and drag) select line (and then select one line at a time)
Quadruple-click (and drag) select paragraph (then select a paragraph at a time)
Quintuple-click select all characters in a bounding box

13. If you are experiencing problems (or even crashes) when Photoshop attempts to load, try deleting the adobefnt.lst file (in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Fonts\ ). Deleting this file forces Photoshop to recreate its font list and possibly fix the problem.

14. Photoshop's font family field (in the Type tool Options palette) has an auto-complete feature; so, instead of searching through the font list, simply type the first few characters of the desired font and Photoshop will complete the name.

15. While in type mode, press Ctrl+T to display the Character and Paragraph palettes (or press the Palettes button in the Options palette).

16. New! To create a text selection with the standard Type tool [ T ], turn on Quick Mask mode [Q] ( Edit in Quick Mask Mode ), and then enter the desired text. After committing the text, it will automatically turn into a selection.

17. New! To quickly change the font while using the Type tool [ T ], press the Enter key to highlight the font family field and then press the up / down arrow keys (or use the mouse wheel) to choose a font.

18. New! Double-click on the thumbnail associated with a type layer (in the Layers palette) to highlight all the text on the current layer. This is equivalent to choosing Select All [Ctrl+A] from the context menu in edit mode.

19. New! If you want to change the attributes for all text on the current type layer, it is not necessary to select the text: simply make the desired changes in the Character and / or Paragraph palette(s) and the type layer will be updated to reflect the changes.

Keyboard Shortcuts (HotKeys)

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20. Use the Enter key on the numeric keypad (on the right side of the keyboard), or Ctrl+Enter (on the main keyboard) to commit text changes. Press Esc to cancel / discard changes.

Note: You may also use the Commit Changes button ( Commit Changes ) in the Options palette (Window » Show Options) to accept any type changes. Use the Cancel Changes button ( Cancel Changes ) to discard any changes.

Quote Alt Code
21. Use the following Alt codes to add smart quotes to your text:

Note: To enter Alt codes, hold down the Alt key and enter the number shown using the keypad (on the right side of the keyboard).

22. New! Use the Alt key sequences below to add the indicated special characters to your type layers:

Alt Code Symbol Name
Alt+0153 TM trademark
Alt+0169 © copyright
Alt+0174 ® registered
Alt+0176 ° degree
Alt+0149 • bullet
Alt+0183 · mid dot
Alt+0133 … ellipse
Alt+0177 ± plus / minus
Alt+0247 ÷ division

Alt Code Symbol Name
Alt+0171 « left guillemet
Alt+0187 » right guillemet
Alt+0186 ยบ superscript 0
Alt+0185 ¹ superscript 1
Alt+0178 ² superscript 2
Alt+0179 ³ superscript 3
Alt+0188 ¼ quarter
Alt+0189 ½ half
Alt+0190 ¾ three quarters

Note: To enter Alt codes, hold down the Alt key and enter the number shown using the keypad (on the right side of the keyboard).

23. The table below provides the navigation and selection hotkeys that are available while in edit mode (working with type):

HotKey Result
Ctrl+H hide selection
Ctrl+A select all type
Home / End move cursor to beginning / end of line
Shift+ Home / End select type to beginning / end of line
Ctrl+ Home / End move cursor to beginning / end of story
Ctrl+Shift+ Home / End select type to beginning / end of story
/ move cursor to previous / next character
Shift+ / select previous / next character
Ctrl+ / move cursor to previous / next word
Ctrl+Shift+ / select previous / next word
/ move cursor one line up / down
Ctrl+ / cursor to previous / next paragraph
Shift+ / select one line up / down
Ctrl+Shift+ / select one line up / down to end of line

24. Updated! Below is a table of hotkeys for controlling the relative positioning of type:

HotKey Result
Alt+ / * decrease / increase tracking by 20/1000em
Ctrl+Alt+ / decrease / increase kerning by 100/1000em
Ctrl+Shift+ < / > decrease / increase type size by 2px (pt)
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+ < / > decrease / increase type size by 10px (pt)
Alt+ / decrease / increase leading by 2px (pt)
Ctrl+Alt+ / decrease / increase leading by 10px (pt)
Alt+Shift+ / raise / lower baseline by 2px (pt)
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+ / raise / lower baseline by 10px (pt)

* If a text selection exists, these keys will adjust the tracking instead of the kerning.
25. The table below provides hotkeys for controlling type / paragraph characteristics:

HotKey Result
Ctrl+Shift+C center-align type
Ctrl+Shift+L left-align type
Ctrl+Shift+R right-align type
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+A set leading to auto
Ctrl+Shift+Q set tracking to 0px (pt)
Ctrl+Shift+U toggle underlining on / off
Ctrl+Shift+K toggle all caps on / off
Ctrl+Shift+H toggle small caps on / off
Ctrl+Shift+ / toggle strikethrough on / off
Ctrl+Shift++ toggle superscript on / off
Ctrl+Alt+Shift++ toggle subscript on / off
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H toggle hyphenation on / off
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T toggle every-line composer on / off
Ctrl+Shift+X set horizontal scaling to 100%
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+X set vertical scaling to 100%
Ctrl+Shift+F justify paragraph (force last line)
Ctrl+Shift+J justify paragraph (left-align last line)

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