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For this installment of Photoshop for Designers, Nigel French explains the fundamentals of working with type in Photoshop, distinguishing when it is appropriate to set type in Photoshop rather than InDesign or Illustrator and what makes Photoshop unique for certain type treatments. This course demonstrates essential techniques, such as entering and editing text; interacting with type layers; and adjusting the color, transparency, character and paragraph formatting of type.
This movie is about adjusting the leading, or line spacing, of your type, and this is an option that you have on your Character panel. If your Character panel isn't open, then you'll find it under the Window menu. Now, at the moment I have what's referred to as Auto-Leading, and it's called leading because it used to be done with strips of lead. Now Auto-Leading is your point size plus 120%. So in this case that's going to work out to something like 24.whatever. Auto-Leading is okay, but it can often trip you up.
Firstly, let's have a look at how you can actually change what Auto-Leading is. It doesn't necessarily need to be 120%. So if I come and choose and Type tool so that I am working on this piece of type and then I can come to my Paragraph panel, this is where we actually set the Auto-Leading amount, and it's in the Justification settings. So here I can change the Auto-Leading, rather than have it be 120%, maybe 110% is going to be preferable.
That brings the lines closer together, makes more of a relationship between the lines. I think that's an improvement. So even though the layer says 120, I've actually changed that to 110. Here's the before. Then there's the after. Maybe we want to go tighter than that. That's 100%. Then maybe you just want to, in addition, add some of your own custom leading. Often, this is something you just need to do according to your taste. I've gone with negative leading here. I've actually made the leading value less than the point size.
Whether or not you want to do this is going to depend a lot on whether you have ascenders and descenders, or maybe you're working with type in all caps, in which case you wouldn't have either of those things, and you probably will want to tighten the leading, because the lines of type will look optically like they're slightly further apart. But if you do want to change the leading, with the type selected, the keyboard shortcut is Option+Up Arrow or Alt+Up Arrow to go tighter, down arrow to go looser.
When you do that, you are going in two-point increments or two-pixel increments, depending on what you have your type preferences set to. And I know you're wondering, can you change that increment? The answer, I'm afraid, is no. It is two points. You can come and click into the Leading field, and if you press the up arrow or the down arrow, you move in one-point increments. But if you are doing it using the keyboard shortcut, that's always going to be two-point increments.
Now remember, I said Auto- Leading can trip you up. Let's go and have a look at how Auto-Leading can trip you up. These three lines have Auto-Leading applied to them. Just take a look at those. It looks like the word eye is a lot further away from the first two lines. Even though the leading value is perfectly legit, there's no problem with it. It's set to Auto. The problem being that line two does have a descender. It has a descender on the y, but there are no descenders directly above this word.
This word, 'eye', has no ascenders. So it looks like this space is much bigger than this space, the comparable space between lines one and two, because there are descenders on the p and there is an ascender on the f. How do we fix it? Well, we just do it by eye. We select just the last line, Option or Alt, and we nudge it up. Now as I'm doing this, maybe I'm distracted by this highlighting, and maybe I want to hide my edges here. So I can press Command+H. My type remains selected, and then I can continue to adjust that according to my preference, and I reckon right about there is about right.
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