-Times Bold

- Tekton

Figure 15-9: Four samples of 180-pixel type set inside 180-pixel boxes. As you can see, type size is an art, not a science.

I Leading

Also called line spacing, leading is the vertical distance between the baseline of one line of type and the baseline of the next line of type, as illustrated in Figure 15 10. In Photoshop 6, you set leading via the Leading pop up menu in the Character palette, labeled in Figure 15-8. Again, either select one of the menu options or double-click the current value, type a new value, and press Enter. Leading is measured in the unit you select from the Type pop-up menu in the Preferences dialog box.

If you choose the Auto setting, Photoshop automatically applies a leading equal to 120 percent of the type size. The 120 percent value isn't set in stone, however. To change the value, open the Paragraph palette menu and choose Justification to display the Justification dialog box. Enter the value you want to use in the Auto Leading option box and press Enter.

Tip The easiest way to change the distance between one line and another is like so:

First, when adjusting the space between a pair of lines, select the bottom of the two. Then press Alt+up arrow to decrease the leading in 2 point (pixel) increments and move the lines closer together. Press Alt+down arrow to increase the leading and spread the lines apart. To work in 10-point (pixel) increments, press Ctrl+Alt+up or down arrow. (Again, if you work in millimeters, the leading value changes by 0.71 mm and 3.53 mm — the equivalent of 2 points and 10 points, respectively.)

Figure 15-10: Leading is the distance between any two baselines in a single paragraph of text. Here, the type size is 120 pixels and the leading is 150 pixels.


Technically, kern is the predetermined amount of space that surrounds each character of type and separates it from its immediate neighbors. (Some type-heads also call it side bearing.) But as is so frequently the case with our molten magma of a language, kern has found new popularity in recent years as a verb. So if a friend says, "Let's kern!" don't reach for your rowing oars. Get psyched to adjust the amount of room between characters of type. (Yes, there are people who love to kern and, yes, it is sad.)

You establish kerning via the Kerning pop up menu in the Character palette, labeled earlier, in Figure 15 8. Select 0 to use the amount of side bearing indicated by the specifications in the font file on your hard drive. This setting gives you the same result as turning off the Auto Kern check box in earlier versions of Photoshop.

Some character combinations, however, don't look right when subjected to the default bearing. The spacing that separates a Tand an h doesn't look so good when you scrap the h and insert an r. Therefore, the character combination Tand r is a special-needs pair, a typographic marriage that requires kern counseling. If you select Metrics from the Kerning pop-up menu, Photoshop digs farther into the font specifications and pulls out a list of special-needs letter pairs. Then it applies a prescribed amount of spacing compensation, as illustrated by the second line in Figure 15-11. In former versions of Photoshop, turning on the Auto Kern check box performed the same function as the Metrics option.

In most cases, you'll want to select Metrics and trust in the designers' pair kerning expertise. But there may be times when the prescribed kerning isn't to your liking. To establish your own kerning, click between two badly spaced characters of type. Then select any value other than 0 from the Kerning pop-up menu. Or double-click the current kerning value, type a value (in whole numbers from -1000 to 1000), and press Enter. Enter a negative value to shift the letters closer together. Enter a positive value to kern them farther apart. The last line in Figure 15-11 shows examples of my tighter manual kerns.

Figure 15-11: Three examples of the kerning options in Photoshop 6. I've added wedges to track the ever-decreasing space between the difficult pairs Fo and Tr.

Tip To decrease the Kerning value (and thereby tighten the spacing) in increments of

20, press Alt+left arrow. To increase the Kerning value by 20, press Alt+right arrow. jF You can also modify the kerning in increments of 100 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+left or right arrow.

Incidentally, the Kerning and Tracking values (explained next) are measured in ^000 em, where an em (or em space) is the width of the letter m in the current font at the current size. This may sound weird, but it's actually very helpful. Working in ems ensures that your character spacing automatically updates to accommodate changes in font and type size.

Fractional Widths

If kerning gives you fits, try turning off this option, found in the Character palette menu. (Click the option name to toggle the feature on and off.) When type gets very small, the spacing between letters may vary by fractions of a single pixel. Photoshop has to split the difference in favor of one pixel or the other, and 50 percent of the time the visual effect is wrong. Better to turn the feature off and avoid the problem entirely.

Tip Enabling Fractional Widths is handy when you set the Kerning pop up menu to 0

(which results in auto kerning) and set antialiasing to none, as demonstrated by the J 10 point type in Figure 15 12. Macintosh users will find Fractional Widths especially useful, particularly when working with preset screen font sizes such as 9-point Geneva.

Tie b 10-p anuria I iwltti Auto k err in j jnd Fradiolal yj/idtrs tLrr^rf on. The leder sparing t= ^mps

T i rn irg (iff ftiih V «j|nine icl*as ^om r. rr thp ■=: pa nir g ha irrl n^c? P ittunhg off Widths producer tha -ipcf clfoit

Figure 15-12: Examples of how automatic kerning and the Fractional Widths option work together to correct the appearance of small type when antialiasing is turned off.


The Tracking value, which you set using the pop up menu to the right of the Kerning pop up (see Figure 15 8), is virtually identical to Kerning. It affects character spacing, as measured in em spaces. It even reacts to the same keyboard shortcuts. The only differences are that you can apply Tracking to multiple characters at a time. And Photoshop permits you to apply a Tracking value on top of either automatic or manual kerning. (For folks experienced with Photoshop 4 and earlier, Tracking is more or less the equivalent of the old Spacing option, but measured in ems.)

Horizontal and vertical scaling

The Size pop up menu scales text proportionally. But using the two scaling options highlighted in Figure 15 13, you can scale the width and height of letters individually. A value of 100 percent equals no change to the width and height. Enter a value larger than 100 percent to enlarge the character or lower than 100 percent to shrink it.

Vertical scale

I Char' Kltr' ^

t PjrJir<fi [>J


iT pt

'1 £ Id

AW l^t-irs


1 ||JCij{ •-

tf |cpt

-Horizontal scale

Figure 15-13: Change the Horizontal and Vertical scale values to change the height or width of text.

Photoshop applies horizontal and vertical scaling with respect to the baseline. If you're creating vertical type, then the Vertical value affects the width of the column of letters and the Horizontal value changes the height of each character.

Tip You also can distort text after you create it by applying the Edit Free Transform command to the text layer. If you go that route and then decide you want the letters * back at their original proportions, just open the Character palette and enter scaling values of 100 percent.

I[J By converting text to shapes, as explained a little later in this chapter, you can reshape characters with even more flexibility, dragging points and line segments as you do when reshaping paths and objects created with the shape tools.


The Baseline value, which you set using the option box in the bottom-left corner of the Character palette, raises or lowers selected text with respect to the baseline. In type parlance, this is called baseline shift. Raising type results in a superscript. Lowering type results in a subscript. An example of each appears in Figure 15-14.

Figure 15-14: Baseline shift frequently finds its way into the worlds of math and science. The labels show the Baseline values.

You can also raise type to create a built fraction. Select the number before the slash (the numerator) and enter a positive value into the Baseline option box. Reduce the type size of the number after the slash (the denominator) but leave the Baseline value set to 0. That's all I did to get the fraction at the bottom of Figure 15-14.

Tip Press Alt+up arrow to raise the Baseline value by 1 or Shift+Alt+down arrow to lower the value by 1. To change the value in increments of 10, add in the Ctrl key.

Ij-1 Of course, now that Photoshop offers both a superscript and subscript type style, which you toggle on and off from the Character palette menu, you can use those options to create your fractions, too. But using the Baseline option gives you more control over how much your characters move up or down from the baseline.


'J Click the Color swatch on the Options bar or in the Character palette to display the Color Picker dialog box. In Photoshop 6, you can apply color on a per character basis. The color you select affects the next character you type and selected text. This new approach to color makes creating multihued lines of text much easier than it was in the past, when you had to create your text in a single color, select the colors you wanted to change, and then fill those characters by using Alt+Delete.

Tip When applying color to selected text, you can't preview the new color accurately because the selection highlight interferes with the display. Press Ctrl+H to toggle * the selection highlight (as well as all other on screen guides) on and off so that you can better judge your color choice.


The anti-aliasing pop-up menu, found on the Options bar in Photoshop 6 (refer back to Figure 15-8), offers four choices. Whichever option you choose, the entire layer gets the effect. You can't apply antialiasing to individual characters on a layer, as you can other formatting options.

Choose None from the pop-up menu to turn off antialiasing (softening) and give characters hard, choppy edges, which is good for very small type. Crisp adds a slight amount of antialiasing, thus retaining sharp contrast. If you notice jagged edges, try applying the Smooth setting. If antialiasing seems to rob the text of its weight, you can thicken it up a bit with the Strong setting. Crisp, Strong, and Smooth produce more dramatic effects at small type sizes, as shown in Figure 15-15.

AEpdef $& None


ARCdefl 23#$& Strong

AGCdeft 23#$& Smooth

Figure 15-15: The results of the four antialias settings, which you choose from a pop-up menu on the Options bar in Photoshop 6

Learn Photoshop Now

Learn Photoshop Now

This first volume will guide you through the basics of Photoshop. Well start at the beginning and slowly be working our way through to the more advanced stuff but dont worry its all aimed at the total newbie.

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