Photoshop CS6 Text Workshop
Illustration by John Hersey

Photoshop CS6 Text Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Aligning multiple text layers

More often than not when creating text in Photoshop, I'll actually create series of individual Text layers. So, that I have maximum flexibility for arranging and positioning that text. So, for example, here I could have typed hills of the Palouse in a Text box, I could have typed hills, Enter, of the, Enter, and Palouse. So that each of those lines was on a separate line. But instead, I created individual Text layers. So, I have a layer that says Hills, I have a layer that says of the, and a layer that says Palouse. And now, I can align these layers in any way I'd like. Of course, at the moment, they're not aligned at all. They're just, sort of, scattered around in the image. But let's take a look at some of the ways that we can align our Text layers. One thing you can do is take advantage of the snap behavior. If I have one of my Text layers selected and I'm using the Move tool. I generally work with the Auto Select option turned off, so that I don't inadvertently select the wrong layer.

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 Text Workshop
1h 33m Intermediate Dec 10, 2012

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Chances are, when you think of Adobe Photoshop, working with text isn't the first thing you think of. And yet Photoshop offers powerful tools for creating and customizing text. In this course Tim Grey explores all the possibilities—from basic tools and techniques for adding and formatting text to advanced options like presets, styles, layer effects, and text on a path. Plus, learn how to fine-tune the text you've added to an image, get tips for creative things you can do with words and letters in Photoshop, and be introduced to some of the new features in Photoshop CS6 that make working with text surprisingly easy and efficient.

Topics include:
  • Type tool basics
  • Editing, moving, and aligning text
  • Basic text attributes
  • Character and Paragraph panels overview
  • Kerning and tracking
  • Vertical and horizontal scaling
  • Transforming text
  • Adding layer effects
  • Putting an image inside text
Subjects:
Design video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Aligning multiple text layers

More often than not when creating text in Photoshop, I'll actually create series of individual Text layers. So, that I have maximum flexibility for arranging and positioning that text. So, for example, here I could have typed hills of the Palouse in a Text box, I could have typed hills, Enter, of the, Enter, and Palouse. So that each of those lines was on a separate line. But instead, I created individual Text layers. So, I have a layer that says Hills, I have a layer that says of the, and a layer that says Palouse. And now, I can align these layers in any way I'd like. Of course, at the moment, they're not aligned at all. They're just, sort of, scattered around in the image. But let's take a look at some of the ways that we can align our Text layers. One thing you can do is take advantage of the snap behavior. If I have one of my Text layers selected and I'm using the Move tool. I generally work with the Auto Select option turned off, so that I don't inadvertently select the wrong layer.

I can drag a layer around within the image, and If I bring it close to the edge for example, the edge of the document it was snap. So, notice that I move this text layer and when I get relatively close all of a sudden the text snaps to that edge. If I pull away, you'll notice that it takes a moment, it sort of sticks a little bit, and that is that snapping behavior. And that makes it very easy to align my text into a particular position for example. So, I might move the text into the corner of the image. And then, with the Move tool active, I can press Shift down arrow a couple of times to move it away from the top edge. And Shift right arrow a couple of times to move it away from the left edge. In addition though, I can align the individual layers of my text. I'll go ahead and select all three of my Text layers. I'll click on the topmost Text layer and then Shift-click on the last of those Text layers.

And then, with the Move tool selected, I'll go to the Options bar and you'll see that I have a series of options for aligning the currently selected layers. So, for example, in this case, I might want to align the left edges, so I'll click on the Align Left Edges button. Or I could align the right edges of those layers, or I could align the centers of those layers. I could also adjust the vertical alignment, but of course in this case that won't work out all that well because then the text will be overlapping. If I, for example, choose to align the tops you'll see that the top of all the texts lines up. Now, this could be helpful in certain situations if, for example, I wanted to align all of these Text layers side by side.

I'll go ahead, for example, and align the bottoms of the texts. And then I could choose the Palouse layer and use the Move tool, holding the Shift key and the Right arrow button to move that text over toward the right. And then I can move the "hills" text over to the left. And then I can move the "of the" text so that it fits, hopefully, in between the two. And that allows me to take advantage of the option to have the bottoms aligned or the tops aligned, for example, but then still move the layers laterally. I can also even out the spacing between the layers.

I'll go ahead and move these layers around just a little bit. And then perhaps I'll select all of those layers and align their centers. So that the individual layers are moved left and right and we're centering the layers horizontally here. And then I can even up the spacing between the individual layers. So, I can even up the spacing based on the tops, middles, or bottoms of those layers. Note that you need to already establish the approximate spacing for those layers but then you can even that out with the click of a button. In this case, for example, I had the "of the" text very, very close to being perfectly centered between "hills" and "Palouse,." But it wasn't precisely centered, and so clicking that button takes care of that.

I can also, by the way, align those text layers relative to the Background layer. So, at the moment, all of my text is aligned along a vertical axis, but it's not aligned relative to the background. Well, if I include the background layer in that selection, so I'll click on the Background layer and then shift click on my top most layer. Now, if I align the centers, the text will now be centered horizontally speaking along that background object. And of course, I can still select the individual text layers and then move them around. So, in this case, for example, moving them vertically and that's a very common approach that I will take. I'll adjust whatever alignment I consider to be critical. So, in this case for example, adjusting the horizontal, the left and right alignment.

Now I don't want to move the layers horizontally, I only want to move them vertically. So, instead of using the move tool to simply drag my text around, I'll select the individual layer and with the Move tool active. I'll use the up and down Arrow keys in order to move that text around. So, I'm moving it in this case up and down without moving it horizontally. So, that's looking pretty good. I'll go ahead and select all of the layers. And then even out the spacing vertically between those individual layers. So, I'm able to align the individual layers of text, with each other and also relative to the Back ground layer or anotherImage layer that's part of my document.

And then I can fine tune using the Move tool with the Up and Down, Left and Right Arrow keys on the key board.

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