Applying paragraph formatting

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Photoshop 6 brings the addition of paragraph formatting options, including justification, alignment, hyphenation, line spacing, indent, and even first-line indent. With the exception of the alignment option, all these options appear only in the new Paragraph palette and affect text that you create inside a bounding box. (See the section "Creating and manipulating text in a frame," earlier in this chapter, for information about this method of adding text.)

Figure 15-16 provides a field guide to the Paragraph palette and also shows the palette menu. Like the Character palette menu, this one offers additional choices related to paragraph formatting.

Photoshop can apply formatting to each paragraph in a bounding box independently of the others. Click with the type tool inside a paragraph to alter the formatting of that paragraph only. To format multiple paragraphs, drag over them. If you want to format all paragraphs in the bounding box, click the type layer in the Layers palette, which selects the whole shebang. You also can click the type and then press Ctrl+A.

Tip When no text is selected, you can restore the palette's default paragraph settings by choosing Reset Paragraph from the Paragraph palette menu.

Indent options

Alignment buttons

Justification buttons

Justification buttons

Roman Hanging Punctuation

Roman Hanging Punctuation

Justification... Hyphenation...

✓ Adobe Single-line Composer Adobe E very-line Composer

Reset Paragraph Paragraph spacing options

Figure 15-16: If you create text in a bounding box, you can control how text flows inside the box by using the options in the new Paragraph palette.


The alignment options, found both in the Paragraph palette and on the Options bar, let you control how lines of type align with each other. Photoshop lets you align text left, center, or right. Figure 15-17 labels the alignment options along with the justification options, explained next. The lines on the alignment buttons indicate what each option does, and they change depending on whether you're formatting vertical or horizontal type.

Align left

Align center Align right

Figure 15-17: In addition to aligning individual lines of type with each other, you can apply paragraph justification to text in Photoshop 6.

I J-1 If you create bounding box text, Photoshop aligns text with respect to the bound aries of the box. For example, if you draw a bounding box with the right alignment option selected, the text cursor appears at the right edge of the box and moves to the left as you type. For vertical type, the right-align and left-align options align text to the bottom and top of the bounding box, respectively. You must choose a different alignment option to relocate the cursor; you can't simply click at another spot in the bounding box.

When you create point text — that is, by simply clicking in the image window instead of drawing a bounding box — the alignment occurs with respect to the first spot you click and affects all lines on the current text layer.

Tip You can change the alignment using standard keyboard tricks. Press Ctrl+Shift+L to align selected lines to the left. Ctrl+Shift+C centers text, and Ctrl+Shift+R aligns it to * the right.

Roman Hanging Punctuation

One additional alignment option controls the alignment of punctuation marks. You can choose to have punctuation marks fall outside the bounding box so that the first and last characters in all lines of type are letters or numbers. This setup can create a cleaner-looking block of text. Choose Roman Hanging Punctuation from the Paragraph palette menu to toggle the option on and off.


The justification options adjust text so that it stretches from one edge of the bounding box to another. The different options, labeled in Figure 15-18, affect the way Photoshop deals with the last line in a paragraph.

Choose left justify to align the line to the left edge of the box; right justify to align to the right edge; and center to put the line smack dab between the left and right edges. With force justify, Photoshop adjusts the spacing of the last line of text so that it, too, fills the entire width of the bounding box. This option typically produces ugly results, especially with very short lines, because you wind up with huge gullies between words. However, if you want to space a word evenly across an area of your image, you can use force justify to your advantage. Drag the bounding box to match the size of the area you want to cover, type the word, and then choose the force justify option. If you later change the size of the bounding box, the text shifts accordingly.

You can further control how Photoshop justifies text by using the spacing options in the Justification dialog box, also shown in Figure 15-18. To open the dialog box, choose Justification from the Paragraph palette menu. You can adjust the amount of space allowed between words and characters, and you can specify whether you want to alter the width of glyphs — a fancy word meaning the individual characters in a font. Here's what you need to know:

4 The values reflect a percentage of default spacing. The default word spacing is 100 percent, which gives you a normal space character between words. You can increase word spacing to 1,000 percent of the norm or reduce it to 0 percent.

Justify left

Justify center Justify right Force justify

Figure 15-18: The justification options let you control how Photoshop adjusts your text when justifying it.

♦ The default letter spacing is 0 percent, which means no space between characters. The maximum letter spacing value is 500 percent; the minimum is -100 percent.

♦ For glyphs, the default value is 100 percent, which leaves the characters at their original width. You can stretch the characters to 200 percent of their original width or squeeze them to 50 percent.

Enter your ideal value for each option into the Desired box. Whenever possible, Photoshop uses these values. The Minimum and Maximum options tell Photoshop how much it can alter the spacing or character width when justifying text. If you wind up with text that's crammed too tightly into the bounding box, raise the Minimum values. Similarly, if the text looks too far apart, lower the Maximum values. Enter negative values to set a value lower than 0 percent.

You can't enter a Minimum value that's larger than the Desired value or a Maximum value that's smaller than the Desired value. Nor can you enter a Desired value that's larger than Maximum or smaller than Minimum.

Tip If you want a specific character width used consistently throughout your text, use the Horizontal scale option in the Character palette rather than the Glyph spacing option. You can apply Horizontal scaling to regular text as well as paragraph text.

As for that Auto Leading option at the bottom of the Justification dialog box, it determines the amount of leading that's used when you select Auto from the Leading popup menu in the Character palette. For information on additional paragraph spacing controls, keep reading.

Indents and paragraph spacing

The five option boxes in the Paragraph palette control the amount of space between individual paragraphs in a bounding box and between the text and the edges of the bounding box. Figure 15-19 labels each option.

First line indent Left indent

Right indent

Right indent

Space before Space after

Figure 15-19: Enter values into the top three option boxes to adjust the paragraph indent; use the bottom options to change spacing before and after a paragraph.

Photoshop's indent options work the same as their counterparts in just about every program on the planet. But just to cover all bases, here's the drill:

♦ Enter values in the top two option boxes to indent the entire paragraph from the left edge or right edge of the box.

♦ To indent the first line of the paragraph only, enter a value into the first-line indent option box, which sits all alone on the second row of option boxes. Enter a positive value to shove the first line to the right; enter a negative value to push it leftward, so that it extends beyond the left edge of the other lines in the paragraph.

♦ Use the bottom option boxes to increase the space before a paragraph (left box) and after a paragraph (right box).

Note In all cases, you must press Enter to apply the change. To set the unit of measure ment for these options, use the Type pop up menu in the Preferences dialog box; you can choose from pixels, points, and millimeters. As is the case with options in the

Character palette, however, you can enter the value using some other unit of measurement by typing the value followed by the unit's abbreviation ("in" for inches, for example). When you press Enter, Photoshop converts the value to the unit you selected in the Preferences dialog box. (Chapter 2 explains other pertinent facts about units preferences in Photoshop 6.)


In most cases, you probably won't be entering text that requires hyphenation to an image. I mean, if you're entering that much text, you're better off doing it in your page-layout program and then importing the image into the layout.

But just to cover all bases, Photoshop offers the Hyphenate check box in the Paragraph palette. When you select this option, the program automatically hyphenates your text using the limits set in the Hyphenation dialog box, shown in Figure 15-20. Choose Hyphenation from the Paragraph palette menu to open the dialog box.

Figure 15-20: If you ever want to hyphenate text, set the hyphenation controls here.

This dialog box, like several others related to text formatting, comes straight from Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. In case you're not familiar with the controls, they work as follows:

4 Enter a value into the Words Longer Than option box to specify the number of characters required before Photoshop can hyphenate a word.

4 Use the After First and Before Last options to control the minimum number of characters before a hyphen and after a hyphen, respectively.

♦ Enter a number into the Hyphen Limit option box to tell Photoshop how many consecutive lines can contain hyphens.

♦ Finally, specify how far from the edge of the bounding box Photoshop can place a hyphen by entering a value into the Hyphenation Zone box.

♦ Turn off the Hyphenate Capitalized Words check box if you want Photoshop to keep its mitts off words that start with an uppercase letter. Hope I didn't insult your intelligence on this one.

Line breaks and composition methods

When you create paragraph text that includes several lines, you may not like the way that Photoshop breaks text from line to line. You may be able to improve the situation by changing the equation that Photoshop uses to determine where lines break.

If you choose Adobe Every-line Composer from the Paragraph palette, the program evaluates the lines of text as a group and figures out the best place to break lines. In doing so, Photoshop takes into account the Hyphenation and Justification settings. Typically, this option results in more evenly spaced text and fewer hyphens.

Adobe Single-line Composer takes a line-by-line approach to your text, using a few basic rules to determine the best spot to break a line. The program first attempts to fit all words on the line by adjusting word spacing, opting for reduced spacing over expanded spacing where possible. If the spacing adjustments don't do the trick, Photoshop hyphenates the last word on the line and breaks the line after the hyphen.

As I've mentioned before, these options may not come into play very often because most people don't create long blocks of text in Photoshop. If you want to control line breaks for a few lines of text, you can just create your text using the regular, text-at-a-point method instead of putting the text in a bounding box. Then you can just press Enter at the spot where you want the line to break, adding a hyphen to the end of the line if needed.

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