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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
I am still working inside the document called Itching for obscurity.psd. The only thing I did in the previous exercise was to switch the Anti-Aliasing setting from Sharp to Strong. That's as far as we made it. In this exercise, we are going to talk about Fractional Width, the Every-line Composer, we are going to justify our type, we are going to change the color. All right, so I'm working here on the Body copy layer. I'm going to Click inside of my text just to make sure that it's active, and we are going to switch over to the Character palette right here, which you can also get of course by pressing Ctrl+T or Command+T when your text is active, or you can go up to the Window menu and choose the Character Command, that guy right there.
I want you to Click on this little icon. That brings up the fly-out menu for the Character palette and we are going to choose this command right there. But what Fractional Width allows you to do is it allows the characters to be fractions of a pixel away from each other. So instead of whole pixel increments, they can be jostled around a little more, and you get better spacing. Generally speaking, you want Fractional Widths to be turned on. You'll notice that all of the characters adjusted very slightly there. I want you to know that that's there, because you do have that level of control over the spacing of text inside of Photoshop.
Now, I want you to switch to the Paragraph option, and let's go ahead and move these guys back down, like so. I move them down to the bottom of the list, so I can keep an eye on my text a little better as I change it. I am going to go to the Paragraph palette, and the Paragraph palette contains options that affect whole paragraphs at a time, and these tend to not be misleading, pretty much all of these are exactly what they claim to be. One of the really great ones is this Single- line versus Every-line Composer option.
The Single-line Composer makes determinations about how to breakup lines of text on a line-by-line basis. It also makes determinations about how to automatically hyphenate words on a line- by-line basis. What Every-line Composer does is it looks at the entire paragraph at a time and hyphenates that paragraph accordingly, so that you have less raggedness going on, on the right side of the text. So check this out. I want you to keep an eye on a text especially like Uncle Ted needs, which is way over here to the right, when compared to controversial asthma. So I'll go ahead and choose Every-line Composer and that is dealt with much better now. So what is sticking out pretty far, but not nearly as much as Uncle Ted needs, what we saw on before.
So Every-line Composer is typically going to give you the best results, which is why it's turned on by default. I've created this demo file in advance and turned it off inside the demo file, just to show you the difference. But if you find the things aren't working out the way you want them, or the hyphenation is working out weird, or the spacing is just not what you want it to be, you do have another way to reconcile things by setting it back to Single-line Composer, which is the way text wrap is calculated inside of every non-Adobe application. So your Microsoft Words and everybody else, they are using the Single-line Composer, which is just the Every-line Composer turned off essentially.
Now let's get out of the obscurity, and let's talk about just justifying this text. Wouldn't it be great if we were justified instead of ragged right here? Of course, we can switch between things like Centered, which is a terrible idea for paragraph text by the way. Right-align, you may find it useful for doing some kind of wrap around. I'm going to go with Justify text. Now, you can justify everything, justify every single line and notice that, Every- line Composer kicks in and make sure that, that last line is not just torn apart at the seams. If I were working with the Single-line Composer, we get something along these lines who are entire separated by a gigantic goal from family. So I'd switch it back to Every-line Composer and then things reconcile pretty darn nicely actually.
So you do have that option, that's Force Justification, this is what it's also called, or you can make that last line Left, which is typical. You can align the last line right if you want to, left is the best way to go. That also has a keyboard shortcut by the way which is Ctrl+Shift+J or Command+Shift+J on the Mac. So each one of these incidentally has a keyboard shortcut. By Shift+Ctrl+L or Command+Shift+L on the Mac, applies Left-Alignment, Ctrl+Shift+C or Command+Shift+C on the Mac does Center, Ctrl+Shift+R or Command+Shift+R on the Mac does flush right, and if you want to do Force Justification, that last option over here, you do Ctrl+Shift+F, or Command+Shift+F on the Mac. And every one of those keyboard shortcuts works only if the text is active. If we have a blinking insertion marker or some of the text is selected like so.
Anyway, we want Ctrl+Shift+J, Command+ Shift+J on the Mac, and then finally, I'm going to change the color of some of this text here. I want all this text right there to be blue. I'm going to do that by either Clicking on this little Color Swatch up here in the Options bar, or I could Click on the Foreground Color Swatch, or I could bring up the Color palette. I am going to switch over from RGB to HSB sliders, like thus. And then I'm going to change the Hue value to 200, and I'm going to change that Saturation value to 20. You are looking at the text thinking two ways. That it should be nice and light blue, with 200, 20, 100, that is HSB 200, 20, 100 respectively.
But instead, it's appearing to be used weird dark bluish color I guess. Well, press the Enter Key or the Return Key on the Mac to make sure none of these color values here are highlighted anymore. Then you can hide the highlighting by pressing Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac, which of course invokes that View, Extras command right there, turns it off. Even though it has a check mark in front of it, it is now turned off. Oh well. Anyway. Now, we can see the color of our text. Even though the highlighting went away, the text is still selected, offering me the option of changing that color if I want to. All right, I didn't want to, so I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. It took me back to white text; well that's no good.
Let's go ahead and switch that back to 220 right there like so. So 20, 100, and that looks pretty darn good to me. When you are done, press the Enter Key on the keypad and you will go ahead and accept your wonderful modifications. Nice work, I must admit. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you, just in case you are curious, the wide realm of keyboard shortcuts that are available to you, when formatting type inside of Photoshop. I even have a table for you, so that you can examine it at your leisure.
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