Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Entering and selecting point type, part of Photoshop for Designers: Type Essentials (2011).
There are two classes of type we work with in Photoshop: point type and paragraph type. Here we're going to be working with point type. When I choose my Type tool, wherever I click on my canvas becomes my insertion point. The type that I key in is going to be relative to that insertion point, according to which alignment option I have chosen. Currently, I'm left aligned, and I'm going to stay that way. Before I start typing though, I might want to set some of my type options like the font, the style. I'm going to leave those as they are, but I'm going to change the size to 120 pixels.
So when I click, there is my insertion point, and I'm now going to type. While I remain in this area of type, I can double-click to select a word or triple-click to select a line. Had I continued typing, my line would've gone beyond the bounds of the canvas. I can introduce breaks if I need to, by pressing Return. Here's a problem that you're bound to run into at some point. If I now come and choose my Move tool so that my type is committed, and we see over here on the type layer it's taken on the name of the actual text that I input, if I now wish to go and re-edit that type, come and choose my Type tool again, and I click anywhere other than inside that text, what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a new type layer.
And this is a problem that especially new users, but even veterans run in to, and it's not uncommon to see quite a few of these sort of 'dummy layers', if you will, just littering your Layers panel. So just be aware of that. If that happens--and it will happen at some point--then just drag that layer into the trash. One way of making sure that you get to the type is by double-clicking on the layer thumbnail. There we're taken directly into the type. Now if I were to press my right arrow, that will put my cursor at the end of the line, and I can go and add in my question mark that I need right there.
So having made this edit, I'm going to commit this edit by either coming and choosing a different tool on my Tool panel, or by coming and clicking on the check mark on the Tool Options bar. Something else I might want to do, I'll just point this out and it wouldn't really be appropriate at this point, but I'll point it out anyway. That is, I can change the text orientation, because we can work with vertical type as well as horizontal type in Photoshop. And if I now choose my Move tool, I can drag that around and we can see that we now have our text vertically oriented.
It would cause us to have to make a number of other mortifications in order to make this readable. So I'm going to undo this, Command+Z. Now if I need to back up more than one step, Command+Option+Z or Ctrl+Alt+Z to back up more than one step, or from your Edit menu you can choose Step Backward. We saw how I selected type with my Type tool so that I could edit the type, but sometimes we need to select the type with the Move tool so that we can move it around.
If we have multiple layers in our document, this can occasionally be a slightly tricky thing to do. So I'm going to come over to my Layers panel and I'm going to turn on a couple of other layers that we have here. So in this layer group, which now we'll expand, we have these two colored rectangles that overlap. One overlaps the other. I'm going to put my piece of type inside this group by dragging it onto that folder, so it's going to go into the group. And it's going to come into the group at the bottom of the group, so I'm going to drag it to the top, and then I'm going to reposition this type down at the bottom right here.
Now let's say that I had a different layer selected, the background layer--and I'm just going to select that by clicking on it--and I want to select my piece of type with my Move tool. So if I come and select it, it's going to think that I'm trying to move the background layer, which I cannot do. So I would need to go and click on the type layer in order to select it, and then I can drag it around. But there's a quicker way of doing it than that. I'll come back and select the Background layer. The quickest way to select a layer that you want to work with--and this is applicable not just to type layers but to any layer--is I think to use something called auto-select, but not by necessarily checking Auto-Select here because Auto-Select at the moment is set to Auto-Select a group as opposed to a specific layer.
So at the moment, the way Auto-Select is going to operate is it's going to select the whole group, and I'm going to end up moving all of those elements as one--not what I want to do, so I'm going to undo that. To start with, I would need to change Auto-Select to select just a layer, and now when I click on the piece of type, that's all I get. But with Auto-Select turned on in your Tool Options, you often find, or at least I often find, that I end up moving things that I don't intend to move, so I'd like to turn that off. And when I want to use the Auto-Select function, I hold down the Command key or the Ctrl key, and then I can just come and pick the layer that I want and drag that around.
So that's how you get to Auto-Select without being turned on in your Tool Options. Here are a couple of other interesting and useful tips when selecting your type. Let's say I have an insertion point with my type cursor, and I'm going to triple-click right there to select all of that type. Now I want to move it, but I want to stay in my Type tool. So when I move outside of the type slug, i.e., the area that becomes inverse video when you have it selected, when you move outside of that area, look what happens to your cursor.
It changes to your Move tool. So I can just then drag this down into position. Another way of doing much the same thing is if you're in your Type tool and you want to move your type but you want to stay in your Type tool, hold down your Command key, or your Ctrl key, and for as long as you have that key held down, you have a transformation box around your type, and you can pull these handles to resize your type. Or if you just click and drag from within the box, you can reposition your type. Let go and you're back in your Type tool.
You can also use your cursor arrows to nudge the type, and I'm just now going to nudge it up a couple of pixels so that it sits on that line.
- The pros and cons of setting type in Photoshop
- Setting type preferences
- Choosing fonts
- Sizing type
- Entering glyphs and special characters
- Tracking and kerning type
- Using Baseline Shift
- Working with OpenType fonts
- Justifying and aligning paragraphs
- Masking type with clipping masks
- Warping type
- Converting type to shape layers