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Deke's Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

039 Kerning within a single character


From:

Deke's Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: 039 Kerning within a single character

Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, in this technique I'm going to show you a solution to what I find to be one of the most tragic problems facing the world today, which is bad kerning. Nothing irritates me on earth like bad kerning, I swear to you. I'll go into a public place with big signs and the characters are just horribly kerned. Ugh! It ruins, you know, a few minutes of my day, and I don't want that to happen to you. So I'm going to be showing you how to kern, not text-- you know how to kern text--how to kern inside of a single character.
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  1. 27m 43s
    1. 334 Straightening and “uncropping” a photo
      16m 17s
    2. 335 Restoring a missing photograph detail
      11m 26s
  2. 10h 11m
    1. 282 Ringing in the New Year with dynamic effects in Illustrator
      12m 59s
    2. 283 Dynamically transforming fills and strokes
      13m 41s
    3. 284 Tracing an avatar from a photograph in Photoshop
      12m 24s
    4. 285 Drawing a vector-based avatar in Illustrator
      19m 44s
    5. 286 Coloring and shading your avatar
      16m 0s
    6. 287 Exporting an illustration as a universally supported PNG file
      10m 54s
    7. 288 Upsampling a layered composition with great results
      13m 43s
    8. 289 Rebuilding a pattern at a higher resolution
      7m 29s
    9. 290 Painting happy little trees
      13m 46s
    10. 291 Shading and lighting the happy forest
      15m 15s
    11. 292 Enlarging a low-res photograph in Photoshop
      12m 20s
    12. 293 Enlarging a photo by tracing it in Illustrator
      13m 10s
    13. 294 Mastering Exposure in Camera Raw
      11m 40s
    14. 295 Super smooth and unflinchingly sharp
      10m 46s
    15. 296 Deleting an inadvertent photo bomber
      8m 13s
    16. 297 Correcting a distorted panorama
      17m 23s
    17. 298 Rebuilding bad stitching in a panorama
      14m 53s
    18. 299 Nondestructive dodge and burn
      8m 54s
    19. 300 Blending a shadow into any background
      8m 37s
    20. 301 Saving a PNG image with a translucent shadow
      8m 45s
    21. 302 Cleaning up a smart phone photo
      11m 17s
    22. 303 Using Photoshop 1.0
      5m 45s
    23. 304 Creating your own Chinese seal (or chop)
      26m 4s
    24. 305 Simulating hand lettering with art brushes
      20m 8s
    25. 306 Adding texture to your hand stamp
      3m 34s
    26. 307 Creating a black chop on red paper
      5m 55s
    27. 308 Auto-hiding iconic panels in Photoshop
      3m 44s
    28. 309 Creating a custom toolbox in Illustrator CC
      4m 21s
    29. 310 Creating the perfect passport photo
      20m 18s
    30. 311 Retouching your passport photo
      13m 38s
    31. 312 Turning a photo into a giant mural
      13m 11s
    32. 313 Enhancing the reality of your mural
      11m 8s
    33. 314 Creating a 3D bump map
      12m 7s
    34. 315 UV overlay and 3D bump paint
      14m 4s
    35. 316 Using Lens Flare for good (not evil)
      10m 48s
    36. 317 Using the Perspective Crop tool
      9m 29s
    37. 318 Reducing real-world camera shake
      10m 4s
    38. 319 Reducing glare in a photograph
      15m 25s
    39. 320 Restoring repeating details
      13m 43s
    40. 321 Integrating a detail captured with a phone
      9m 6s
    41. 322 Blending two exposures of a single scene
      12m 25s
    42. 323 Masking mountains away from sky
      14m 22s
    43. 324 Creating a photographic caricature in Photoshop
      10m 7s
    44. 325 Exaggerating facial features with Liquify
      12m 48s
    45. 326 Masking a caricature against a new background
      11m 20s
    46. 327 Shading and sharpening a caricature
      10m 6s
    47. 328 Drawing a Möbius strip in Illustrator
      12m 21s
    48. 329 Shading the Möbius strip with gradients
      9m 0s
    49. 330 Adding twisting edges to the Möbius strip
      8m 9s
    50. 331 Creating an impossible Penrose triangle
      10m 37s
    51. 332 Shading the cubes in your Penrose triangle
      8m 15s
    52. 333 Selectively converting a photo to black & white
      7m 53s
  3. 17h 21m
    1. 185 Creating a custom 2013 calendar in Illustrator
      11m 44s
    2. 186 Adding dates to a calendar using tables
      9m 50s
    3. 187 Branding your calendar with a field of logos
      10m 54s
    4. 188 Crafting an Infinity symbol to match a specific font
      12m 6s
    5. 189 Op art experiment 1a: Inflated checkers
      10m 49s
    6. 190 Op art experiment 1b: Rounded windows
      6m 39s
    7. 191 Building a universal ISOTYPE man with strokes
      15m 6s
    8. 192 Building a universal ISOTYPE woman with strokes
      11m 7s
    9. 193 Drawing an ISOTYPE couple in love
      12m 55s
    10. 194 Creating a Warhol-style silkscreen effect
      14m 43s
    11. 195 Creating a series of Warhol-style variations
      10m 43s
    12. 196 Adding Warhol-style background variations
      8m 20s
    13. 197 Creating opaque colored shadows
      5m 20s
    14. 198 Assembling multiple variations into a single comp
      5m 9s
    15. 199 Creating a pattern of unique inset circles
      9m 55s
    16. 200 Changing a static blended color scheme
      7m 16s
    17. 201 Op art experiment 2a: Undulating pattern
      20m 26s
    18. 202 Op art experiment 2b: Concentric rings
      9m 43s
    19. 203 Developing a dramatic castle in Camera Raw
      13m 21s
    20. 204 Artificially coloring a photo in Camera Raw
      9m 38s
    21. 205 Creating an antique photo effect in Camera Raw
      7m 53s
    22. 206 Adding a weathered old-photo frame effect
      12m 0s
    23. 207 Drawing an Angry Birds-like character
      16m 59s
    24. 208 Stroking an entire layer in Illustrator
      9m 21s
    25. 209 Drawing a classic snarling cartoon face
      11m 10s
    26. 210 Drawing a radiant, cheerful cartoon background
      18m 29s
    27. 211 Stroking any kind of type in Illustrator
      5m 0s
    28. 212 Creating synthetic water droplets
      9m 29s
    29. 213 Simulating liquid reflections with effect
      5m 19s
    30. 214 Simulating liquid refractions with a dmap
      5m 30s
    31. 215 Creating an eye-catching splatter effect
      9m 8s
    32. 216 Defringing purples and greens in Camera Raw 7
      10m 4s
    33. 217 Making a danger sign more dangerous
      15m 9s
    34. 218 Using texture and depth to add realism
      10m 22s
    35. 219 Precisely aligning artwork to the bleed
      7m 16s
    36. 220 Creating and importing a tracing template
      6m 50s
    37. 221 Drawing a distinctive 2D video game character
      18m 52s
    38. 222 Adding features to the face of a 2D character
      14m 3s
    39. 223 Creating a vivid aura around an entire character
      7m 25s
    40. 224 Adding variable-width strokes in Illustrator
      11m 23s
    41. 225 Animating bird wings with Puppet Warp
      12m 15s
    42. 226 Animating text by onion skinning in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    43. 227 Creating an animated movie in Photoshop
      9m 15s
    44. 228 Exporting an animation to QuickTime and GIF
      5m 44s
    45. 229 Correcting an underwater photograph
      10m 30s
    46. 230 Making a photo razor-sharp and porcelain-smooth
      7m 17s
    47. 231 Reducing noise in a high-ISO shot with Camera Raw
      8m 33s
    48. 232 Creating highly reflective sunglasses
      10m 43s
    49. 233 Adding drama to an outdoor portrait shot
      6m 35s
    50. 234 Creating volumetric forms with shape layers
      15m 52s
    51. 235 Creating a bloodshot eye effect
      7m 11s
    52. 236 Shading an image with shapes and layer masks
      13m 2s
    53. 237 Creating fabric textures with pattern layers
      7m 27s
    54. 238 Colorize any layer with Color Overlay
      3m 23s
    55. 239 Turning a portrait into a dot drawing
      7m 40s
    56. 240 Creating a full-color dot drawing
      3m 29s
    57. 241 Drawing an orthogonal cube with the line tool
      7m 9s
    58. 242 Creating a cube of differently colored cubes
      9m 27s
    59. 243 Recreating the Creative Cloud Logo in Illustrator
      16m 18s
    60. 244 Creating a psychedelic fabric texture
      9m 7s
    61. 245 Turning psychedelic fabric into rock letters
      5m 23s
    62. 246 Creating a more finely rendered dot drawing
      8m 29s
    63. 247 Converting from RGB to CMYK via Multichannel
      12m 31s
    64. 248 Creating printer-safe CMYK shadows
      6m 48s
    65. 249 Creating bright, golden motion trails
      12m 32s
    66. 250 Creating schematic art with grid
      12m 41s
    67. 251 Drawing precisely aligned arrowhead
      12m 8s
    68. 252 Adding arrowheads around a closed path
      6m 1s
    69. 253 Drawing the Pen tool without touching the Pen tool
      17m 13s
    70. 254 Merging frames for the best possible UAV photo
      16m 40s
    71. 255 Retouching details in an aerial landscape
      12m 13s
    72. 256 Editing a video and adding transitions in Photoshop
      10m 57s
    73. 257 Importing the quadcopter crash sequences
      9m 4s
    74. 258 Color correcting a video and adding a soundtrack
      8m 56s
    75. 259 Adding precisely timed titles to your video
      11m 43s
    76. 260 Hand-painting an image with a Wacom Cintiq
      13m 11s
    77. 261 Blending the final false-color artwork
      8m 41s
    78. 262 Creating a honeycomb pattern in Illustrator
      12m 50s
    79. 263 Building up strokes to create 3D honeycomb
      9m 8s
    80. 264 Turning yourself into a zombie
      14m 0s
    81. 265 Enhancing an ambience environment for the undead
      9m 26s
    82. 266 Creating dripping, gooey ghost letters
      16m 43s
    83. 267 Turning type into gooey green slime
      11m 19s
    84. 268 Creating heavy metal type (updated for Photoshop CS6 and CC)
      12m 27s
    85. 269 Cleaning up a crummy product shot
      11m 3s
    86. 270 Scaling and rotating photographic objects
      10m 10s
    87. 271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes
      11m 18s
    88. 272 Coloring line art using Live Paint Bucket
      18m 22s
    89. 273 Creating a pigture using shapes and letters
      18m 7s
    90. 274 Integrating a cartoon into a photograph
      7m 27s
    91. 275 Converting a photo into a Lichtenstein drawing
      16m 8s
    92. 276 Adding bring Ben-Day dots and a talk balloon
      15m 31s
    93. 277 Painting an eye using a custom brush
      11m 31s
    94. 278 Painting and smoothing straight-sided brushstrokes
      12m 0s
    95. 279 Simulating pressure with path outlines
      6m 3s
    96. 280 Developing a 32-bit HDR image in Camera Raw
      14m 42s
    97. 281 Converting from 32-bit to the more flexible 8-bit mode
      11m 15s
  4. 14h 31m
    1. 091 Removing people from a photo
      10m 44s
    2. 092 Masking people back into a photo
      10m 58s
    3. 093 Hand-painting a mask
      10m 5s
    4. 094 Masking a real-life shadow
      10m 40s
    5. 095 Turning a photo into line art
      7m 44s
    6. 096 Adding a crosshatch shading pattern
      6m 46s
    7. 097 Creating type that inverts anything behind it
      5m 32s
    8. 098 Creating auto-inverting line art
      5m 7s
    9. 099 Creating movie poster credits
      8m 10s
    10. 100 Creating a dual-focus hybrid image
      6m 24s
    11. 101 Adding text to a hybrid composition
      7m 24s
    12. 102 Drawing with the reshape tool
      10m 39s
    13. 103 Hand-drawing a really great letter
      10m 6s
    14. 104 Creating a vanity frame
      5m 28s
    15. 105 Adding a frame to a photograph
      5m 3s
    16. 106 Drawing a highly graphic explosion with Illustrator
      10m 3s
    17. 107 Drawing a Ninja Turtle nose
      10m 22s
    18. 108 Mapping a dog face onto a duck
      8m 20s
    19. 109 Putting a tongue on a duck
      7m 6s
    20. 110 Making synthetic lightning in Photoshop
      11m 3s
    21. 111 Creating a driving rain effect in Photoshop
      4m 57s
    22. 112 Designing a railroad track
      12m 18s
    23. 113 Bending the railroad track around curves
      7m 46s
    24. 114 Creating a Star Wars hologram effect
      9m 23s
    25. 115 Creating leafy letters
      6m 12s
    26. 116 Creating topiary type
      6m 22s
    27. 117 Creating type in grass
      9m 0s
    28. 118 Rendering type in smoke
      7m 30s
    29. 119 Rendering type in brushed metal
      9m 57s
    30. 120 Adding brushed copper effect
      4m 14s
    31. 121 Reflecting type in water
      10m 57s
    32. 122 Reflecting water back into type
      11m 14s
    33. 123 Joining type to a circle
      7m 14s
    34. 124 Making flared type on a circle
      7m 17s
    35. 125 Making a person emerge from water
      5m 32s
    36. 126 Creating progressive water ripples
      10m 17s
    37. 127 Creating an upside-down face effect
      10m 17s
    38. 128 Achieving silky smooth skin with retouching
      6m 33s
    39. 129 Pearly white teeth
      7m 28s
    40. 130 Head-shrinking
      8m 26s
    41. 131 Getting a big head
      5m 11s
    42. 132 Adding a photographic texture to vector type
      4m 28s
    43. 133 Adding strokes in back of photo type
      5m 9s
    44. 134 Adding a border to an image in Illustrator
      4m 17s
    45. 135 Two ways to crop in Illustrator
      7m 29s
    46. 136 Inventing a 3D temple with a depth map
      10m 0s
    47. 137 Drawing a 3D object with Curves
      11m 41s
    48. 138 Creating a superhero shield in Illustrator
      16m 28s
    49. 139 Turning Illustrator paths into Photoshop shapes
      11m 42s
    50. 140 Creating a photorealistic superhero shield
      12m 39s
    51. 141 Pimping your ride in Photoshop
      9m 59s
    52. 142 Masking and blackening a car
      10m 20s
    53. 143 Drawing a multi-part vector mask
      12m 46s
    54. 144 Masking and painting a shadow
      8m 26s
    55. 145 Integrating blades of grass into tires
      5m 34s
    56. 146 Making a (ridiculously) dramatic sky
      6m 2s
    57. 147 Adding flame stripes to a car
      8m 23s
    58. 148 Creating interlocking octagons in Illustrator
      7m 44s
    59. 149 Hand-coloring line art
      13m 9s
    60. 150 Creating a custom wave pattern
      9m 56s
    61. 151 Simulating a screen print
      8m 30s
    62. 152 Drawing a perfect linear spiral in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    63. 153 Drawing a spiraling nautilus shell
      11m 4s
    64. 154 Designing a hex pattern in Illustrator CS6
      11m 10s
    65. 155 Making a hex pattern in Illustrator CS5 and earlier
      7m 4s
    66. 156 Creating a Facebook cover in Photoshop
      9m 25s
    67. 157 Matching a profile picture to your cover
      6m 37s
    68. 158 Cloning yourself in Photoshop
      11m 16s
    69. 159 Lighting the clone party
      8m 29s
    70. 160 Hand-carving letters into wood
      8m 0s
    71. 161 Creating a Spirograph-like pattern
      7m 34s
    72. 162 Tracing scalloped gear teeth around a circle
      4m 55s
    73. 163 Applying custom carve and shadow styles to type
      8m 50s
    74. 164 Turning a pencil sketch into digital ink
      12m 55s
    75. 165 Adding a graph-paper background
      13m 42s
    76. 166 Creating a continuous single-line Spirograph
      13m 2s
    77. 167 Scaling circles into complex patterns
      7m 15s
    78. 168 Creating a money-like design
      8m 43s
    79. 169 Attack of the killer pumpkin
      14m 49s
    80. 170 Simulating a glowing Jack-o-lantern
      12m 24s
    81. 171 The headless stranger in the mist
      12m 25s
    82. 172 Creating 3D punched letters
      13m 29s
    83. 173 Designing a double-wave line pattern
      11m 2s
    84. 174 Assembling a seamless pattern brush
      9m 53s
    85. 175 Creating a hand turkey in Photoshop
      18m 42s
    86. 176 Creating a depth-of-field cast shadow
      7m 29s
    87. 177 Creating a lustrous round jewel
      13m 56s
    88. 178 Cutting and brushing light on a gem
      8m 30s
    89. 179 Creating a shiny button with inset text
      11m 5s
    90. 180 Creating a jaunty six-sided star
      15m 1s
    91. 181 Interweaving star shapes and adding gradients
      8m 28s
    92. 182 Casting shadows between interwoven shapes
      9m 12s
    93. 183 Creating a Hobbit-like text effect
      15m 6s
    94. 184 Enhancing a landscape photo in Camera Raw 7
      9m 16s
  5. 13h 11m
    1. 001 Creating ice type
      8m 39s
    2. 002 Branding type on a texture
      7m 6s
    3. 003 Creating an image-branding machine
      7m 13s
    4. 004 Capturing effects with layer comps
      7m 35s
    5. 005 Rendering type in gold
      8m 9s
    6. 006 Creating a hammered metal background
      5m 48s
    7. 007 Creating heavy metal type
      8m 13s
    8. 008 Creating a molten letter effect
      6m 43s
    9. 009 Setting type on fire
      11m 20s
    10. 010 Using an anti-edge mask
      7m 20s
    11. 011 Blending textures onto a face
      9m 28s
    12. 012 Rendering a face as a cave painting
      7m 34s
    13. 013 Creating a reflection in shattered glass
      8m 32s
    14. 014 Creating a face in a tree
      11m 20s
    15. 015 Building a synthetic star field
      8m 21s
    16. 016 Making 3D type with Repoussé
      10m 14s
    17. 017 Casting 3D shadows and reflections
      9m 35s
    18. 018 Adjusting 3D light sources
      10m 51s
    19. 019 Masking highlights and shadows
      6m 27s
    20. 020 Masking glass
      10m 39s
    21. 021 High key high contrast
      8m 33s
    22. 022 Simulating sub-pixel rendering
      10m 58s
    23. 023 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Photoshop
      9m 41s
    24. 024 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Camera Raw
      8m 51s
    25. 025 Correcting red-eye like a pro
      11m 56s
    26. 026 Turning a photo into an ink drawing
      10m 42s
    27. 027 Turning a photo into a pencil sketch
      8m 43s
    28. 028 Creating a seamlessly repeating pattern
      10m 56s
    29. 029 Repairing seams in a repeating pattern
      10m 47s
    30. 030 Creating a 3D pie chart
      11m 9s
    31. 031 Splitting and modifying 3D meshes
      11m 52s
    32. 032 Using the Ground Plane Shadow Catcher
      6m 58s
    33. 033 Creating a talk show-style curtain
      7m 57s
    34. 034 Assembling a flawless panorama
      10m 5s
    35. 035 Removing people with image stacks
      11m 44s
    36. 036 Creative stacking with Maximum and Range
      11m 44s
    37. 037 Creating synthetic wood grain
      9m 23s
    38. 038 Making slats of uniquely textured wood
      10m 52s
    39. 039 Kerning within a single character
      10m 31s
    40. 040 Creating a raised bevel effect
      11m 49s
    41. 041 Putting wings on a horse
      10m 41s
    42. 042 Creating a classic heart in Illustrator
      7m 15s
    43. 043 Glossing up a heart in Photoshop
      8m 42s
    44. 044 Shooting and assembling a stereoscopic photo
      8m 15s
    45. 045 Extending 3D beyond the screen plane
      6m 13s
    46. 046 Adding stereo 3D text and shapes
      9m 9s
    47. 047 Tilting text and shapes toward the viewer
      8m 13s
    48. 048 Creating a shooting star in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    49. 049 Using blends to draw path outlines
      8m 8s
    50. 050 Inventing custom starbursts
      7m 33s
    51. 051 Making a fictional creature
      12m 5s
    52. 052 Transforming a creature into a monster
      6m 14s
    53. 053 Capturing a monster in motion
      11m 45s
    54. 054 Changing the color of a car
      7m 12s
    55. 055 Painting a colorful car black
      8m 16s
    56. 056 Coloring the stripes on a zebra
      10m 47s
    57. 057 Drawing trendy swirls in Illustrator
      10m 59s
    58. 058 Creating variable-width and brushed swirls
      10m 46s
    59. 059 Drawing trendy ornaments in Illustrator
      8m 49s
    60. 060 Designing a magically updating pattern
      8m 40s
    61. 061 Automatically collapsing a selection
      7m 43s
    62. 062 Adding a magnifying glass into a design
      7m 5s
    63. 063 Healing one eye onto another
      7m 15s
    64. 064 Creating a giant command key
      9m 15s
    65. 065 Drawing common symbols part 1
      6m 29s
    66. 066 Drawing common symbols part 2
      9m 26s
    67. 067 Filtering images with Camera Raw
      7m 52s
    68. 068 Creating a vivid HDR effect
      5m 29s
    69. 069 Creating an ambigram in Illustrator
      10m 45s
    70. 070 Making a two-word ambigram
      7m 47s
    71. 071 Drawing a Halloween scareflake
      10m 45s
    72. 072 Creating true clones in Illustrator
      11m 7s
    73. 073 Taking your scareflakes into Photoshop
      7m 20s
    74. 074 Making a faux HDR image in Lab
      8m 38s
    75. 075 Turning a guy into a zombie
      7m 3s
    76. 076 Miniaturizing the world in Photoshop
      6m 45s
    77. 077 Creating a synthetic rainbow
      8m 53s
    78. 078 Casting an artificial shadow from a layer
      7m 2s
    79. 079 Rendering a portrait in type
      8m 58s
    80. 080 Rendering a portrait in tile patterns
      7m 43s
    81. 081 Rotating a pattern layer in Photoshop
      4m 16s
    82. 082 Tracing an image with path outlines
      7m 50s
    83. 083 Turning path outlines into a vector mask
      6m 0s
    84. 084 Drawing rays of light in Photoshop
      5m 40s
    85. 085 Drawing concentric glow rings
      7m 24s
    86. 086 Designing an Indiana Jones-style logo
      8m 50s
    87. 087 Achieving mitered corners in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    88. 088 Masking with Blunt Instruments in Photoshop
      11m 8s
    89. 089 Creating a stained-glass ornament
      8m 26s
    90. 090 Designing a stained-glass window
      10m 23s

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Deke's Techniques
55h 43m Intermediate Jan 11, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.

Subjects:
Design Raw Processing Design Techniques
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

039 Kerning within a single character

Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, in this technique I'm going to show you a solution to what I find to be one of the most tragic problems facing the world today, which is bad kerning. Nothing irritates me on earth like bad kerning, I swear to you. I'll go into a public place with big signs and the characters are just horribly kerned. Ugh! It ruins, you know, a few minutes of my day, and I don't want that to happen to you. So I'm going to be showing you how to kern, not text-- you know how to kern text--how to kern inside of a single character.

Now, I know. You're looking at me thinking hmm, never really needed to do that Deke. Yes you have. Check it out. A 1, a 0, a 0 and a percentage sign, all kerned nice and tight together, but the contents of that percentage sign, which are ultimately a superscripted 0, a fraction character and a little 0, there are gaping holes between those little sort of subcharacters there. That's the problem because you can't go in to a percentage sign and start kerning it. That's not humanly possible. Well, actually, yes, it is.

And I'm going to show you exactly how to do it to get these professional-quality results, which will not irritate people like me. Please don't do that. Here, let me show you how it works. All right, gang! So here I am looking at my progress so far inside of this document. I've managed to establish this synthetic wood grain. I've also duplicated it in order to create a couple of additional slats, each of which sports its own unique texture pattern. Now, what I want to do is take this big white text here and go ahead and emboss it against the wood background.

However, before I do that, I want to show you this truly geeked-out technique that I think is super useful, very exciting, for those of you who are way into kerning. If you love to kern text, or more importantly, you hate the look of badly kerned text, then you will absolutely love this technique. It goes beyond any kerning thing I've ever seen. So I'm going to switch over to my document at hand. Notice that 100% is not kerned well at this point. We have way too big of gaps between the various characters, and that tends to happen when you're working with very big type.

And so the solution, of course--we all know this, right--the solution is to hand-kern the type. So you go ahead and grab your Text tool here inside of Photoshop, and you can get that by pressing the T key, and then you click between a couple of characters and then to kern them together, you go ahead and press the handy keyboard shortcut that works across a lot of Adobe applications, which is Alt+Left Arrow, or Option+Left Arrow on the Mac. And then you click between a couple of other characters, Alt+Left Arrow a few times again. That's too far, so I do an Alt+Right Arrow or an Option+Right Arrow on the Mac to scoot them back apart, and then click between the 0 and the percentage sign and press Alt+Left Arrow a couple of times to kern those together as well.

All right, so, so far so good, right? Not really. Look at the big problem here. So I've managed so far to kern the various characters together, but you can't kern inside of a character. So what do you do about the fact that we have these big gaping gaps inside of the Percentage sign, between the 0 and the fraction character and the other 0? Well, there are two solutions, one of which is to find those little subcharacters. They exist inside this and many other fonts. This is Adobe Garamond Pro, which is one of the classic, big-character fonts, and it goes so far as to include a designer superscripted 0 that matches the weight of the other characters, as well as the small 0 and a fraction character.

And then you could find all those characters, if only it was obvious where they are, you have to go to the Character Map software that's included with your operating system, or you could take advantage of the Glyphs panel in Illustrator or InDesign. It doesn't exist here inside Photoshop. But there is a simpler way to work. Check it out. I'm going to press the Escape key in order to return to my big gaping characters, like so. Then I'll switch back to a different tool, the Rectangular Marquee tool will do just fine, and I'll press Shift+Tab to bring back my right-side panels. There is my Layers panel. The Text layer is active. I'm going to duplicate it by pressing Ctrl+J, or Command+J on the Mac, just to jump it to a new layer.

Then I'll turn off the original layer-- my reasoning being I might want to come back to it later, so I don't want to mess it up. So I've got my new version of the layer. I'll go up to the Layer menu, choose Type, and choose Convert to Shape. That's going to convert my type to independent objects, to independent path outlines. Now I can modify those path outlines by hand just with the aid of the Black Arrow tool, or at least mostly with the aid of the Black Arrow tool. We'll where things go wrong, once again. They get a little tricky, once we start dealing with that Percentage symbol.

I'm going to go ahead and select that Black Arrow tool here inside the toolbox, and then I'm going to marquee around these characters, around the 1, the 0, and the 0. Just because I want to make some very specific numerical adjustments, I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform Path. That's Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, and I want you to remember that keyboard shortcut because I'm going to be using it a lot here. I'll go ahead and choose the command for now though, and then turn on this little Delta sign, the triangle, and that'll allow you to make relative changes. And I'm going to change the X value to 53, because I just want to scoot those characters over 53 pixels, and press the Enter key two times-- that would be the Return key a couple of times on the Mac--in order to apply my adjustment.

It gets a little tedious because we have to do this a few times, but I'm going to go ahead and marquee the 1 and the 0 this time independently of the other zero, and press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, in order to enter the Free Transform mode. Delta is still down, so this is still going to be a relative adjustment. I'm going to change the X value this time around to 39 pixels. You might say, Deke, how do you know these values? Well, obviously, I've practiced this in advance. I actually just sat there and nudged the characters around using the arrow keys on the keyboard in order to do this originally. Anyway, now I'm going to marquee the one to select it independently.

You could also just click on its path outline. I'll press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, in order to enter the Free Transform mode, select that X value and change it to 69 and press the Enter key a couple of times--that's the Return key a couple times on the Mac. Now then, I actually I want to move the Percentage character over a little bit by itself. So I'll just click on any portion of the Percentage symbol. Notice that selects the entire darn thing here with the Black Arrow tool. Press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, change the X value this time to 13 pixels. Press the Enter key a couple of times in order to accept that modification.

Okay now, how do we start kerning inside of the character? Well, the first step is to grab the Direct Selection tool. Second step is to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Mac on these specific path outlines that you want to select. So I'm going to click off the characters to deselect them, and then I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on this outline right there just to grab that outline independently of the other ones. Shift+Alt+Click or Shift+Option+Click on the interior of that little zero, and Shift+Alt+Click or Shift+Option+Click on the fraction character. All right, now, just to totally get them apart from each other, to unglue this character, I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Cut command, or press Ctrl+X, Command+X on the Mac.

Now then, I'll click off the characters to deselect them. Make sure, however, that the vector mask is still selected here inside the Layers panel. You should still see those gray path outlines. Then go up to the Edit menu, choose the Paste command-- Ctrl+V, Command+V on the Mac. That goes and pastes those characters in front of the other ones in the very same position from which you cut them. Now, I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to click off those path outlines, Alt+Click or Option+Click on the outside of the circle, Shift+Alt+Click or Shift+Option+Click on the interior the circle. Let's now unglue it from the Fraction character by going up to the Edit menu, choosing the Cut command-- Ctrl+X, Command+X on the Mac. Then click off everybody to make sure they're deselected.

Go up to the Edit menu, choose the Paste command-- Ctrl+V, Command+V on the Mac--in order to paste that into place. Now, we can switch back to the Black Arrow tool here, and I can go ahead and marquee these two characters in order to select them. Notice they are now independent; the little 0 and the Fraction sign are now independent of the high 0 there, the superscripted 0. And I'm going to press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, and I'm going to change the X value this time to -72 and press the Enter key a couple of times, or Return key on the Mac in order to accept that modification. Go ahead and marquee or just click on the outline of the little 0.

Press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac in order to enter the Free Transform mode. Change the X value to -70 this time, is what I figured out. Press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac a couple of times in order to invoke that change. I've now managed something that is really, I have to say, fundamentally impossible inside of every application on the planet, because of the nature of fonts, I've managed to kern a single character, which is an essential thing to do when you're dealing with fractions or symbols like this one, parentheses, anything that's got multiple parts associated with it.

Now my other problem that I have with this guy, I'm going to go up to the View menu and I'm going to choose Show, and I'll go ahead and choose Guides. You can also just press Ctrl+Semicolon, Command+Semicolon on the Mac. Notice that I've setup a few guides. These interior guides right there define the size of the middle slat. These farther-out guidelines here, they're pretty much following the size of the 1. Notice that pretty much from the top of the 0's down to the bottom of the 1 is actually what's going on. Notice that the Fraction character exceeds that area, and it drops down here into this other text.

It just didn't find that visually appealing. Well, because these are shape outlines, I can edit this character and make it exactly what I want it to be. So I'm going to switch back to White Arrow tool. I'm going to marquee the top of this character like so, this fraction character. I'm going to drag it down till it snaps into alignment with that guide. I'm also matching the angle of the fraction character, so I don't change that angle. All right. Then I'll do the same thing down here at the bottom. I will go ahead and marquee this guy and I'll drag it up as well so that we're snapping into alignment with the bottom guideline and I'm matching the angle of the fraction character, and that's it.

Now I'm going to zoom out, and I'm going to press Ctrl+Semicolon or Command+Semicolon again in order to hide those guidelines. I'm going to click on the vector mask thumbnail here inside the Layers panel just to go ahead and hide those gray path outlines, and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode. Now we have--if I press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom out, so that we can take in the entire image--you can see that I've managed to hand-kerned every single bit of this large display type by converting editable text into a shape layer here inside Photoshop.

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