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Setting leading

From: Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials

Video: Setting leading

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.

Setting leading

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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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials
Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials

60 video lessons · 16519 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 6m 12s
    1. The pros and cons of setting type in Photoshop
      1m 27s
    2. Exploring type anatomy and terminology
      1m 8s
    3. Setting type preferences
      3m 37s
  3. 34m 28s
    1. Interacting with type layers
      1m 53s
    2. Entering and selecting point type
      6m 27s
    3. Copying a type layer
      3m 6s
    4. Choosing fonts
      3m 15s
    5. Sizing type
      2m 20s
    6. Understanding pixel/point size and resolution
      1m 49s
    7. Entering and selecting paragraph type
      2m 42s
    8. Finding and replacing text
      2m 20s
    9. Spell-checking your type
      55s
    10. Converting point type to paragraph type and vice versa
      1m 23s
    11. Creating returns and non-breaking spaces in paragraph type
      1m 18s
    12. Entering glyphs and special characters
      4m 28s
    13. Applying anti-aliasing to type
      2m 32s
  4. 39m 35s
    1. Changing fonts across multiple layers
      38s
    2. Changing type color
      4m 5s
    3. Sampling color
      3m 19s
    4. Working with transparency
      1m 46s
    5. Applying a gradient
      4m 22s
    6. Setting leading
      3m 56s
    7. Tracking type
      3m 7s
    8. Kerning type
      3m 44s
    9. Using horizontal and vertical scale options
      1m 39s
    10. Using Baseline Shift
      2m 39s
    11. Casing and underlining options
      2m 36s
    12. Giving emphasis
      41s
    13. Using smart quotes
      1m 3s
    14. Working with OpenType fonts
      5m 9s
    15. Resetting the Character panel
      51s
  5. 28m 31s
    1. Aligning paragraphs left, right, and center
      2m 17s
    2. Setting justified paragraph alignment
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning type on an axis
      2m 51s
    4. Setting forced justified paragraph alignment
      3m 4s
    5. Evenly spacing type elements with unique lengths
      2m 29s
    6. Aligning type with guides and Smart Guides
      2m 20s
    7. Aligning type along a radial axis
      2m 32s
    8. Grouping layers
      1m 29s
    9. Adding space between paragraphs and paragraph indents
      2m 9s
    10. Creating a bulleted list
      1m 46s
    11. Setting the hanging punctuation option
      42s
    12. Resetting the Paragraph panel
      51s
  6. 9m 19s
    1. Using type mask tools
      3m 10s
    2. Creating masks from type layers
      2m 36s
    3. Masking with a clipping mask
      1m 41s
    4. Masking with Pattern Overlay
      1m 52s
  7. 37m 24s
    1. Setting type around a circle
      5m 55s
    2. Setting type along a pen path
      3m 42s
    3. Setting type around a shape
      4m 29s
    4. Create a work path from type
      5m 59s
    5. Rotating type with Free Transform
      1m 15s
    6. Working with vertical type
      1m 54s
    7. Working with stacked type
      1m 44s
    8. Transforming type using the Warp tool
      4m 9s
    9. Distorting type
      3m 50s
    10. Converting type to shape layers
      4m 27s
  8. 17s
    1. Final thoughts
      17s

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