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- 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
Skill Level Intermediate
There are several ways to create a type mask in Photoshop. This is my least favorite and least flexible of the methods, but I am going to show it to you anyway. This involves using a type mask tool, either the horizontal or the vertical type mask tool. I am going to use horizontal. When using this, you can work with either point type or paragraph type. So I am going to come and click on the layer that I want to apply the mask to, and I am going to work with paragraph type, so I am going to click and drag to define a type area.
Then what we have is this. Everything is covered with this red transparent overlay. Everything at the moment is masked. Just what I type is going to be the portion of this image that will ultimately be revealed. So I will start typing in, and I might want to adjust my type size and my font, etc., but this is fine for now. So I will key in my type, I will press Command+A to select my type, and then we get this really dizzying, confusing visual feedback here.
We have the red of the mask, and then we have the inverse video of the selection. If we want to, if we are finding this a little bit too confusing, we can come to the View menu and we can choose to hide the extras. The type remains selected, but we just don't see that inverse video. So now I will increase the size of the type. You can get an idea of what's happening here. I can also, if I want to, come and click on that type area and I can adjust the width of the text frame. It's a bit hard to see where that handle is without my Extras turned on, but I could do that too if I wanted to.
Then when I choose another tool or when I press my tick up on the Tool options, now I commit to the type. So I am going to do that. What I have now is just an active selection. This is not editable type, and this is why I don't like this technique, because at this point we kind of stuck with it as it is. If I choose my Move tool and making sure that I have the Move symbol on the Move tool, well, no that's not going to work, because that's just going to move the picture. I was hoping that that might move the selections.
So if I want to move the selection, I would need to go to one of my selection tools, move inside the active selection, and I can drag it around. In my Move tool, if I have the scissors icon, then when I drag it, I am going to get this. It's actually going to cut that selection, and I will see through to the background layer. Not what I want at all. So assuming that this is positioned in the right place and I would say that it is, I then come over to my Layers panel and I click on the Add Layer Mask icon, and then what we've created here is a layer mask where everything that was selected is shown in white, everything that was masked is in black.
Applied to the image, that's the result when we see through to the color of the background layer beneath. Like I said, I don't like this technique, never use it because I can't now go back and edit that type. That's the big drawback. So we will see there are much better and much easier ways of achieving this technique.