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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to apply a few of the more obscure formatting attributes that are available to you inside of Photoshop. Many of which affect all of the text inside of a text block at once and many of which are unique to an image editing application, they are not the kinds of options that would appear necessarily inside of your vector program, such Adobe Illustrator and QuarkXpress and those sorts of folks. Alright, so I am going to go ahead and zoom way into this text here in order to see the pixels big and beautiful on screen, so that we can see those pixel transitions for example then I am going to click inside the text, just click anywhere inside the text with the Type tool in order to make that text active.
Notice, this option right here inside the Options bar that says Sharp by default it's the anti-aliasing method and it decides how Photoshop draws sort of soft transitional pixels around your characters in order to prevent them from looking jagged, when the text is rasterized inside of the image. Now, if you want to see what things look like without anti-aliasing, go ahead and set this option to None and you will see some very jagged type, pretty ugly as well. Might be useful for a low color web graphic, but that's about it.
Alright, let's see the better options that are available to you. First you have Sharp, which is the slightest of the anti-aliasing method and it ensures the sharpest text inside of the image. If you want to round off your corners ever so slightly, you can switch to this guy right here Crisp, notice things got slightly rounder. You also have an even rounder option purportedly called Smooth, but it doesn't really make much of a difference. Crisp and Smooth are almost identical to each other as it turns out in almost all situations, so don't really have to worry too much about that one.
Then we have got Strong, that's what I want you to select because it bolsters those letters and makes them thicker, great for white text also great for small text like we have going inside this image. Next, I am going to go ahead and zoom out from my image a little I am doing that by just pressing "Ctrl+-" or "Command -" on the Mac and I am going to scroll around using my Page Down keys here, because I don't have any scroll bars because I am working inside of the Full Screen mode and of course, I can't spacebar drag, because I have some text active.
So what I am doing instead is pressing Shift along with the Page Down key and now I am pressing Shift+Ctrl along with Page Down, that would be Shift and Command at the same time with Page Down on the Mac. Alright, so that's a good position for my text, it's just that I need to bring up my Character palette at this point. So I am going to click on my little Character icon or because my text is active, I could press Ctrl+T for character that is for Text actually. And here's an interesting option, if you click on the menu item here to bring up the Character palette menu, then you will see this item called Fractional Widths.
Now, before I selected I want you to notice something, most of the options that are available to you inside the Character palette affect individually selected characters only and most of the options are available to you inside the Paragraph palette, the other formatting palette affect entire paragraphs at a time. However, there are few items inside the Character palette that affect all text at once inside of a text layer, that includes the anti-aliasing option right here and it includes this guy that I am about to show you Fractional Widths. Fractional Widths allow better spacing inside Photoshop when it's turned on, better letter spacing, it should be turned on by default, it's not, so go ahead and turn it on in order to better space the text inside of your paragraph that is the individual letters, the kerning between specific letter pairs if you will, because Photoshop can now, with Fractional Widths turned on it can calculate the gap between letters in fractions of a pixel, something that it should be doing anyway.
Alright, it takes a little more effort, a little more work on Photoshop's part, but it's well worth it. It's another subtle change, but it can mean the difference between amateurish looking text and really great looking text, especially when you print it. Okay, now I want you to switch over to paragraph. Here's another option that distinguishes the imaging children from the imaging adults and that's this guy right here, the single line composer versus the every line composer. The single line composer again is easier for Photoshop to calculate, because Photoshop has to just calculate one line at a time, when it's deciding where its line break should be and where its hyphen should be.
Whereas, the every line composer looks at all of the lines inside of a paragraph at a time, when trying to determine spacing and hyphens, so go ahead and turn that option on and you will see that you will get much better spacing, notice that our text is not nearly as ragged as it was before, this is the original version of the text and this is the every line composer version, so much less ragged right going on here. And then finally, I want to justify my type and I am going to do by turning on this little Justify Last Left option, which means that all of the lines will be justified except the last line and it will be flush left and you cal also get to that typical formatting option that's the no-brainer of the various justification options that are available to you and that's Ctrl+Shift+J or Command-Shift-J on the Mac.
WinText is active. Alright, one last thing that I want you to do, I want you to color this text, but before we do that I need to zoom out here, so I am going to press "Ctrl -", so that I can see a little bit of the pumpkins in the background here. And what I am going to do is I am going to select all of the text except for the first two words here. So I will double-click on what, and I will start dragging down that's one way I could work, or I could notice this, I could press Shift Down Arrow, in order to advance that selection or I could press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow or Command-Shift-Down Arrow to advance all the way to the end of this text block.
Alright, so I have got all the text except for Happy Jack selected, now I want to go ahead and recolor that text and I am going to do that by bringing up the Color palette right here, switching to the HSB sliders, which you can do by clicking on this palette menu icon and choosing HSB sliders. And then the values that I want you to enter are 40 and then 50 and then 90 and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept those values. Now, the amazing thing about modifying the foreground color, WinText is active, is that it does affect the text, alright so I did just change the color of the text, even though the foreground color doesn't necessarily always represent the color of the text that's going on, but it will affect it, in other words, alright, so any changes you make here to the Color palette, do affect your text.
If you are having a problem seeing that the text is effective, because after all it's inverted and it looks blue at this point, then you can press Ctrl+H or Command-H on the Mac in order to hide that selection outline. Alright, so the text is still selected, but I have just hidden the highlighting by pressing Ctrl+H, if you want it back, just press Ctrl+H again, or Command-H on the Mac. Alright, but I want to see my text as it really looks, here it is "Happy Jacks" in white the rest of the text in sort of this peach color that I have dialed in and properly anti-aliased, we have got some Fractional Widths going on, we have got the every line composer, we have got Justify Type it looks totally awesome.
In the next exercise, we are going to take a little break from this image for just a moment, we are not done with it yet, but I want to explain to you a few other ways to manipulate text from the keyboard, a few other keyboard tricks that are available to you here inside Photoshop CS3.
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