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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.
In this exercise we are going to explore what it means to have vector-based type inside of Photoshop, a pixel-based application. I am still working away on this document TV movie ad. Now if you know anything about vector-based type, it's scalable type, which means that it's always smooth no matter how you print the image or how you zoom in on the image or any of that. That's not quite the way it works inside of Photoshop. So in other words let's say we were to zoom in on this text right here and I'm going to press and hold the Z key here in Photoshop CS4 and Click inside of this text like so in order to zoom, zoom, zoom in on it. Now we are very, very close so I'll release the Z key. If this were Illustrator or InDesign or some other vector-based application, then we would still see very sharp smooth text.
We could zoom in on it to the maximum zoom ratio, whatever that might be and still see very smooth outlines. Inside of Photoshop we see pixels. So you can't view the text any better than 100%. However, if I had a PostScript Printer then you could output this layered document directly from Photoshop and this text would print at the maximum resolution of that printer regardless of the resolution of your image. It's a wonderful thing; try it out, if you have a PostScript Printer. If you don't have a PostScript Printer, then you're only going to print at the maximum resolution of your image, not your printer. Just something to bear in mind.
However, this text is still ultimately scalable and ultimately vector-based. So even though we are seeing pixels Photoshop is ultimately referencing the vector data in order to draw out the pixels. All right. So let's press Ctrl+1, Command+1 on the Mac to zoom out to the 100% zoom ratio, and I'm going to switch over to the Rectangular Marquee tool. So just so we don't get mixed up doing weird things with the Type tool here. I'm going to go ahead and pan this image over a little bit and I'm going to press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac in order to invoke the Free Transform mode.
Bring up the Free Transform command under the Edit menu or at least call that command. Now I can go ahead and transform my text by scaling it like so and I'm just dragging a corner handle in order to scale the text any old which way. If I wanted to scale the text proportionally, so I don't end up stretching it, then I would press and hold the Shift key. And notice that as I make this text bigger and bigger and bigger, that it's always rendering out smoothly. So it never gets choppy the way an image does, if you upsample it. That's because it's always referencing that mathematical vector information.
Free of any penalty I can also rotate the text by dragging outside of this transformation boundary and so on. And we will discuss transformations in more detail in a later chapter. But I'll go ahead and press the Enter key on the PC or the Return key on the Mac to accept that modification, zoom out a little bit as well so that we can see this big old, smooth old text right here. Notice that it's just sitting here in the uncle's hands like so, and I move that text by the way by Ctrl+Dragging it or Command+Dragging it on the Mac, because that gets me the Move tool on the fly.
That even works incidentally when text is selected. Let's check that out. It affords me the opportunity to show you another tip as well along the way. Let's say I want to select all of this text. I was telling you I can go to the Type tool and then Click inside the text and then press Ctrl+A or Command+A to select all that text, but I can also just go over here to the Layers palette and Double-Click on the T thumbnail and that will automatically switch me over to the Type tool in one easy Double-Click. The whole reason I did that was just to show that I can. If I want to press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and access the Move function like so. Go ahead and press the Enter key in the keypad in order to accept that modification right there.
Oh! And notice what just happened by the way. When I press the Enter key in the keypad, I returned to the Rectangular Marquee tool, because I had just temporarily gone to the Type tool, I sprang right back to the Rectangular Marquee. That's cool. Now when the text is not active like this, I do have the option of applying formatting attributes to all of the text on the layer if I want to, but not from the Options bar. I always see Formatting attributes up in the Options bar when the Type tool is active. If some other tool is active, I need to actually go to the Character palette.
So I go to the Window menu and choose the Character command for example, and then I could say, gosh, I want change the type size to something like, let's say, to 67 points or something alone those lines. Now notice it's going to change all of the text to 67 points. Nephew is no longer as wide as Chief Executive and you go, oh, gosh, I don't want that to happen, then you just make sure to escape out the Character palette and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. I could though without really any penalty here turn off All Caps and then turn All Caps back on. So just to give you a sense that you are affecting all of the text inside of this text layer. I don't really want the text at a jaunty angle on these two fellow's hands right here. So I'm going to back step, quite a few steps. I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z on the Mac over and over again until I get the text back the way I want it, like so.
Now one last thing we are going to do here and this is for real, this is something that needs to be done. We need to move the text into a better location so that it's aligned with these guidelines. So make sure that you are seeing these guidelines inside of the photo illustration and if you don't see those guides, go up to the View menu, choose Show and choose the Guides command. It should have a checkmark in front of it. Go ahead and escape out of there. So once you have done that, then what you should be able to do is Ctrl+Drag or Command+Drag this text down here and it should snap into alignment with the guides. You can visually align it of course if you want to, but I want some snapping to occur. It's not snapping and that's because you actually have to select the Move tool for snapping to work properly in many cases inside Photoshop CS4. This was a bug in CS3 as well. They just haven't fixed it.
And now I drag this guy, notice snapping occurs. That's where we want to be. We want to see Chief Executive Nephew down here at the bottom of our wonderful photographic composition. In the next exercise we are going to switch over to area text.
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