Using the Type Tool

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In a drawing or desktop publishing program, the type tool typically serves two purposes: You can create text with the tool or you can edit existing text by highlighting characters and either replacing them or applying formatting commands. In Photoshop, the type tool not only enables you to create and edit text, but also to create a text-based selection outline.

Figure 15-4: This image is the result of going nuts for 15 minutes or so using the commands in the Filter menu. I used Emboss, Radial Blur, Colored Pencil, Craquelure, and Wave.

Adobe completely revamped the type tool in Photoshop 6, as I mentioned earlier. The following steps show you the basics of using the new tool and its accompany ing options. Note that these steps assume that you're creating text for the first time in your image (more about adding to existing text later).

STEPS: Creating Text in Photoshop 6

1. Select the type tool by clicking its icon in the toolbox or pressing T.

Photoshop activates the type tool, displays the text cursor in the image window, and displays type controls on the Options bar. You can access additional formatting options by displaying the new Character and Paragraph palettes, shown in Figure 15-5. Don't bother hunting for the old Type Tool dialog box — all its controls are now found on the Options bar or in the palettes.

2. Click the Text Layer button (labeled in Figure 15-5) if it's not already selected. When the button is selected, the type tool creates regular, filled text (the default setting). If you choose the Type Mask button instead, you create a text-based selection outline.

3. Click a type orientation button (also labeled in the figure). When the left button is selected, you create ordinary, horizontal text. Click the other button to lay down characters vertically. (See the next section for more details.)

Text layer

Type mask Insertion marker Horizontal type Vertical type

Text palettes

Text palettes

Figure 15-5: Photoshop 6 provides a full complement of text creation and formatting options, which you access from the Options bar, Character palette, and Paragraph palette.

4. Select the font, type size, and other formatting attributes from the Options bar and palettes. The upcoming sections explain your options.

5. Click or drag in the image window. If you click, Photoshop places the first character you type at the location of the blinking insertion marker, just as when you type in a word-processing program. Adobe calls this creating point text. Each line of type operates as an independent entity. Press Enter to begin a new line of text.

Alternatively, you can create paragraph text by dragging with the type tool to draw a frame — called a bounding box — to hold the text. Now your text flows within the frame, wrapping to the next line automatically when you reach the edge of the bounding box.

If you create your text this way, you can apply standard paragraph formatting attributes, such as justification, paragraph spacing, and so on. In other words, everything works pretty much like it does in every other program in which you create text in a frame. Pressing Enter starts a new paragraph within the bounding box.

6. Type your text. If you mess up, press Backspace to delete the character to the left of the insertion marker. Press Delete to wipe out the character to the right of the insertion marker.

7. Edit the text, if necessary. To alter the character formatting, select the characters you want to change by dragging over them or using the selection shortcuts listed in the upcoming Table 15-1. Then choose the new formatting attributes from the Options bar, Character palette, or Paragraph palette. If you don't select any text, paragraph formatting affects all text in the bounding box. Otherwise, only the selected paragraph responds to your commands.

8. Click the Commit (check mark) button on the right end of the Options bar to commit the text. Don't worry — "committing the text" simply takes you out of text-editing mode. As long as you don't convert the text to a regular image layer, work path, or shape, you can edit it at any time.

If the Options bar is hidden or you just don't like reaching to click the button, you can commit text by selecting any other tool, clicking any palette but the Character or Paragraph palette, or pressing Ctrl+Enter.

While you're in text edit mode, most menu commands are unavailable. You must commit the text or cancel the current type operation to regain access to them. To abandon your type operation, click the Cancel button — the large X at the right end of the Options bar — or press Esc.

When you create the first bit of type in an image, Photoshop creates a new layer to hold the text. After you commit the type, clicking or dragging with the type tool has one of two outcomes. If Photoshop finds any text near the spot where you click or drag, it assumes that you want to edit that text and, therefore, selects the text layer and puts the type tool into edit mode. For paragraph text, the paragraph is selected as well. If no text is in the vicinity of the spot you click, the program decides that you must want to create a brand new text layer, and responds accordingly. You can force Photoshop to take this second route by Shift-clicking or Shift-dragging with the type tool, which comes in handy if you want to create one block of text on top of another.

Tip Photoshop automatically uses the first characters you type as the layer name. You can change the layer name by Alt double clicking on the layer name in the Layers jF palette to bring up the Layer Properties dialog box.

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