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Photoshop CS4 offers an abundance of helpful shortcuts and hidden tricks that allow designers and photographers to get more done in less time. In Photoshop CS4 Power Shortcuts, Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user must know. He covers strategies for better document and panel management, and offers techniques for becoming quicker and more nimble when using layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the keyboard shortcut guide from the Exercise Files tab.
So, let's talk about changing text size and text color. A couple of tricks there for you. So, I'm going to get my Text tool here. I have selected my type layer. Let's talk about color first. There's a certain subtle difference here. You know there is a color well or color widget up here in the Options Bar, when you have the Text tool selected. But you also have your foreground color chip down the bottom of the toolbar. I'm going to encourage you to use this wizard instead and I'll show you why. Let's say I want to just change the word Washington. I'll just click on there with the Type tool, if I double-click, I select that word. When I click on the color widget inside the Options bar, notice that Photoshop nicely hides the selected text. It doesn't look selected anymore, but it's just hiding the selection inversion. Normally when you select text it inverts its color.
So, now when I use a different color, I get a live preview of what that new text color is going to like on my selected text. So that's kind of handy. Watch what happens when I exit out of there. I see my highlight again. When I click on the Foreground color chip and choose a different color this way, you notice that I'm not getting the live preview plus it's still inverse the text selections. So, if I click OK now and then deselect my text, I do get a new text color. Do that again. Do some random color like blue. I'm going to click OK.
So, this is a much better experience. It hides the selection preview and gives you a live preview of that text color changing. Here is another method though, where you don't actually have to select the text at all, if you just want the entire text layer to change, you just don't want one word or one letter to be a different color, you want the whole layer to be a new color. So in that case you either use your Color panel or your Swatches panel to pick a new color, or here your foreground color picker, when you choose a different color this way. Then just use your Fill command. So Option+Delete on the Mac or Alt+Backspace on Windows. We'll just fill that layer with its new color.
Because it's a type layer, it knows to preserve the transparency of the text and not fill the whole layer with that color. Just the characters change. So, that's changing text color. In terms of changing text size, yes, you can get you Text tool, you can select the layer you want and then go fiddle around with the Type Size. But if you don't happen to know what's specific point size you want, you just want to do it visually, a better way to do it is just to have your type layer selected and then use Free Transform, Command+T or Ctrl+T on Windows. That puts a bounding box around your type layer, then you can grab a corner handle. To scale your text proportionally of course hold down your Shift key.
Now, you can just visually decide how big you want your text to be. All right, so I'm going to make it a little bit smaller. When I'm done I just hit the Enter key to get it applied. Now if you are in it and you want it to be a specific point size, then just take your Text tool and you can see what the scaling or the Free Transform has done it. If I want to round that up to a whole number, I can just click on the Label of the text field and just going to type in 16, hit Enter and now it's a specific Type Size. So, a couple of different ways to select and modify text size and text color. Hopefully you find those little bit easier than the methods you've been using.
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