Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video What is text?, part of Photoshop CS6 Text Workshop.
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It seems to me that as you start exploring the possibilities of Text within Photo Shop, that one of the first questions we should address is, what is Text? And of course, I don't mean what are words or what are letters? Because I think we all know the answer to that, or at least, we have a sense of it. But what specifically is text in the context of Photo Shop? And it's actually a very important distinction. What I'm referring to specifically is the difference between Vector Objects and Raster Objects. Photo Shop is used in large part to work with Raster images, in other words pixel based images such as photographs.
Text on the other hand, is Vector, meaning that it is comprised of shapes and points. Much like many of the shapes you could create in Photoshop, using some of the Shape tools for example, or shapes you might create in Adobe Illustrator. Now, this might seems like a lot of semantics, but it's actually very, very important. When you're working with text, that has been Rasterize in Photoshop, you're at a serious disadvantage. And that's why many of the tools that allow you to work with text in Photo Shop, are much more powerful than you might realize. We're able to apply all sorts of effects to our text in Photo Shop. And still maintain the ability to resize that text, and otherwise edit it. Let me show you an example of why text is so valuable in the context of Photo Shop. You'll see here, I have 3 words, Book of Words.
But they're not all the same, they make look very similar. But there's an important difference between the word book, and the word, Words. Words is actually a Raster object, it is text that has been Rasterize which means in the context of text, it's no longer editable. And it also means that if I attempt to edit it, the quality may suffer significantly. I'll go ahead and select the Words layer here, and then I'm going to choose Edit Followed by Free Transform, from the menu. And then, I'll hold the Shift key, while I drag one of the corners, in order to resize this text. It's not actually text at all, but let's just assume that it was. We're resizing it, that's no problem, we could always change the font size for any other text.
But here there's an important distinction, here we're not working with a Vector Object. We're not working with real text, we're working with pixels. I'll go ahead and press Enter or Return on the keyboard in order to apply that resize of the text. And because it's not real text, because it's really just pixels, you'll notice that the edges have gotten soft and a little bit jagged. By contrast, if I double-click on the book layer, and then adjust the size of the text, I'm able to maintain perfectly smooth sharp text.
Because it actually is a text layer. I'll position these 2 layers closer to each other, so that you can really appreciate the difference between the 2. But that's only because I'm zoomed in beyond 100%, and compare that to the edge of the word, Words. And you can see, there's quite a bit of difference in terms of the crispness of that text. I'll go ahead, and zoom back out to 100%. And you can really get a sense of how much better the quality of the text is compared to the Raster object. Compared to the pixels that make up the word, Words.
And even better, no matter what sort of adjustments I apply to the text layer here, I maintain the ability to always go back and modify that text. I can change the font, the size of the text, the special effects applied to that text. I can even warp and transform that text, and I still retain the ability to go back and change the spelling, for example, or change the word altogether. The bottom line is that, even though Photo Shop might be thought of as in large part, a Pixel Editing tool, it does provide us with the ability to use text in very creative and powerful ways.
- Type tool basics
- Editing, moving, and aligning text
- Basic text attributes
- Character and Paragraph panels overview
- Kerning and tracking
- Vertical and horizontal scaling
- Transforming text
- Adding layer effects
- Putting an image inside text