Applying character formatting

After you click your image with the type tool, the text orientation, Type Mask, and Text Layer buttons disappear, leaving you with the collection of formatting controls shown in Figure 15 8. The Character palette and its palette menu, also shown in the figure, offer some of these same controls plus a few additional options. If you use Adobe InDesign, the palette should look familiar to you — with a few exceptions, it's a virtual twin of the InDesign Character palette.

To open the palette and its partner, the Paragraph palette, click the Palettes button on the Options bar. Or choose View ^ Show Character or press Ctrl+T to display the Character palette by its lonesome.


Vertical scale Baseline

Font Size

Style Tracking Leading

Font Size

Style Tracking Leading


Vertical scale Baseline

Horizontal scale

Horizontal scale

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Figure 15-8: Photoshop 6 provides several new character-formatting options; look for them on the Options bar and in the Character palette.

Ij-1 In Photoshop 6, you can apply formatting on a per character basis. For example, you can type one letter, change the font color, and then type the next letter in the new color. You can even change fonts from letter to letter.

The next several sections explain the character formatting options. All apply to both paragraph and regular text. You can specify formatting before you type or reformat existing type by selecting it first.

Tip If you ever want to return the settings in the Character palette to the defaults, make

A sure that no type is selected. Then choose Reset Character from the bottom of the jF palette menu.


Select the typeface and type style you want to use from the Font and Style pop-up menus. Rather than offering lowest-common-denominator Bold and Italic check boxes (as was the case for Photoshop 4), Photoshop now is smart enough to present a full list of designer style options. For example, while Times is limited to Bold and Italic, the Helvetica family may yield such stylistic variations as Oblique, Light, Black, Condensed, Inserat, and Ultra Compressed.

The Character palette menu contains a bunch of additional style options, which you can see in Figure 15 8. Click these options in the menu to toggle them on and off. A check mark next to the style name means that it's active.

4 Faux Bold and Faux Italic enable you to apply bold and italic effects to the letters when the font designer doesn't include them as a type style. Use these options only if the Style pop-up menu doesn't offer bold and italic settings; you get better looking type by applying the font designer's own bold and italic versions of the characters.

4 Choose All Caps and Small Caps to convert the case of the type. You can't convert capital letters to Small Caps if you created those capitals by pressing Shift or Caps Lock on the keyboard.

Pressing Ctrl+Shift+K toggles selected text from uppercase to lowercase, as it does in QuarkXPress and InDesign. Remember that this shortcut works only when text is selected. If you're working with the type tool and haven't selected text, the shortcut affects any new text you create after the insertion marker; with any other tool, it brings up the Color Settings dialog box.

4 Superscript and Subscript shrink the selected characters and move them above or below the text baseline, as you might want to do when typing mathematical equations. If Superscript and Subscript don't position characters as you want them, use the Baseline option to control them, as I explain in the upcoming section "Baseline."

4 Underline Left and Underline Right apply to vertical type only and enable you to add a line to the left or right of the selected characters, respectively. When you work with horizontal type, the option changes to Underline and does just what its name implies. Strikethrough draws a line that slices right through the middle of your letters.

Tip Keep in mind that you can always produce these styles manually by using the pencil or paintbrush — a choice that I prefer because it enables me to control the thickness, color, and opacity of the line and even play with blend modes.

4 The Ligatures and Old Style options become available only if you select an OpenType font and only if the font designer included the required type variations. A ligature is a special character that produces a stylized version of a pair of characters, such as a and e, tying the two characters together with no space between, like so: Old Style creates numbers at a reduced size, which may extend below the baseline.


You can measure type in Photoshop 6 in points, pixels, or millimeters. To make your selection, press Ctrl+K and then Ctrl+5 to open the Units and Rulers panel of the Preferences dialog box. (You must exit text mode to do so.) Select the unit you want to use from the Type pop-up menu.

Tip You can enter values in any of the acceptable units of measurement, and Photoshop automatically converts the value to the unit you select in the Preferences dialog box. Just type the number followed by the unit's abbreviation ("in" for inches, for example). After you press Enter, Photoshop makes the conversion for you. See Chapter 2 for more information about measurement units in Photoshop 6.

If the resolution of your image is 72 ppi, points and pixels are equal. There are 72 points in an inch, so 72 ppi means only 1 pixel per point. If the resolution is higher, however, a single point may include many pixels. The moral is to select the point option when you want to scale text according to image resolution; select pixels when you want to map text to an exact number of pixels in an image. (If you prefer, you can use millimeters instead of points; 1 millimeter equals 0.039 inch, which means 25.64 mm equals 72 points.)

Whatever unit you choose, type is measured from the top of its ascenders — letters like b, d, and h that rise above the level of most lowercase characters — to the bot torn of its descenders —letters like g, p, and q that sink below the baseline. That's the way it's supposed to work, anyway. But throughout history, designers have played pretty loose and free with type size. To illustrate, Figure 15-9 shows the two standards, Times and Helvetica, along with a typical display font and a typical script. Each line is set to a type size of 180 pixels and then placed inside a 180-pixel box. The dotted horizontal lines indicate the baselines. As you can see, the only font that comes close to measuring the full 180 pixels is Tekton. The Brush Script sample is relatively minuscule (and Brush Script is husky compared with most scripts). So if you're looking to fill a specific space, be prepared to experiment. The only thing you can be sure of is that the type won't measure the precise dimensions you enter into the Size option box.

Tip You can change type size by selecting a size from the Size pop up menu or double clicking the Size value, typing a new size, and pressing Enter. But the quickest option is to use the following keyboard shortcuts: To increase the type size in 2-point (or pixel) increments, press Ctrl+Shift+greater than (>). To similarly decrease the size, press Ctrl+Shift+less than (<). Add Alt to raise or lower the type size in 10-point (or pixel) increments. If you select millimeters as your unit of measurement, Photoshop raises or lowers the type size by 0.71 mm, which is the equivalent of 2 points.


Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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