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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.
Now, the keyboard shortcuts for kerning and tracking are actually the same, just depends on what you have selected. So let's get our Text tool here, press T for the Text tool. If you click in between two characters and use the shortcut, I'll tell you in just second, you'll be kerning in between individual characters. If you have a range of text of selected, then the same shortcut will do tracking instead of kerning. So, let's begin by tightening up the overall space. We'll do a select all. We can either do this just as Word or we'll do Command+A, Ctrl+A. Then to change your kerning and tracking if you hold down your Option key on Mac of the Alt key on Windows, and then use your left and right arrow keys.
So, Option+Left Arrow will tighten up the tracking. If you take a look at the Character panel opened here-- If it's not already open for you, you can of course open it by clicking this little toggle button up here in the Options Bar. You see when I did the Option+Left Arrow, I tightened it twice, so it's at -40 tracking now. Option+Right Arrow or Alt +Right Arrow goes the other direction. So, if you want to spread it out, you can do it as well. f you want to do it in tighter increments, just add Command to that or in Windows Ctrl. So Command+Option+Left and Right Arrow or Ctrl+Alt+Left and Right Arrow. That just does it in larger increments. So, you can get faster to where you want and then maybe fine-tune it.
So, I've tightened everything up and then I want to go fix the space between the W and the A Washington. So I just click in between those two characters, then Option+Left Arrow again or Alt+ Left Arrow on Windows to do the individual kerning between characters. Or I can just use my Arrow keys without the modifier key down to navigate between the individual letters. Then Option+Left Arrow to tighten up the space between individual character pairs. I can use the Up Arrow to go up there as well, if I want to separate the two Ts just the touch, I can do that. Bring the E a little bit over to the S and just to side where I want to open up the numbers on the 2009.
So, there you have it. Same shortcut for kerning and tracking just depends on whether or not you are clicking between individual letters or you have a range of text selected. As I said earlier if you want to cancel out of this, just you have done a bunch of editing, you want to just get back to where you started, just hit the Escape key on your keyboard, upper left hand corner and that just takes you back to where you began.
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