Photoshop Type Tool

The Type options in Photoshop give a tremendous amount of scope for a wide range of effects.  This tutorial is not intended to show the almost limitless type effects which are possible (there are many sites that go into this subject), but to give an introduction to this tool.

Like all tool icons in the Photoshop toolbar, any with a tiny black triangle in the bottom-right corner means there are other tools lurking beneath.  Try the image to the right to see what options the Type Tool offers!

Type Tool
An important fact about Photoshop's Type Tool is that the letters you create are vector objects and, for the full range of effects to be made available (Filters, for example or some within the EDIT...Distort options), the text must be converted to bitmap objects by rasterizing them.
When you select the Type Tools, as usual, you are presented with options in the Options bar at the top of the screen:
Type Tool options
  • In the example above, 'Impact' is the font chosen and a 'drop-down' shows the fonts available with a handy preview of what they appear like.  Extra fonts - for free - can be found on the 'net.

  • Next along ('Regular') shows what alternatives are available for this particular font. It might be italic, bold etc. depending on the font.

  • Going along to the right, the box showing 500 px is the height of the font.  A drop-down allows you to choose various sizes, or you can type a dimension directly into this box.  Tip: If you prefer to work in points or millimetres, this can be changed by going to EDIT...Preferences...Units & Rulers and changing the designated measurement in the 'Type' area.

  • Continuing to the right, 'Sharp' is the anti-aliasing of the font.  It could show 'Crisp', 'Strong' etc. depending on the font.  Zoom in to yor font and have a play around.

  • After this comes the justification - left, centre or right-justified, just as in Microsoft Word!

  • Finally, the small magenta box determines the colour of your text.  Click on this box and the familiar Color Picker appears. Choose a colour or enter the colour references it necessary.
When you start typing with the Type Tool Type Tool, a new layer will be automatically created. (Unless you re-name the type layer, it will take up to the first 22 characters you type as the layer name).  Once you become proficient with this tool, it may be a good idea to keep each individual word - or character - on their own layers.  This will enable you to use the Move Tool to create artistic effects. (When you have finished typing, select the Move Tool to 'escape' from the Type Tool.

By going to WINDOW...Character, you can access the Character palette, where more options enable you to adjust your text.

Font Family.  Choose from your list of different fonts.
Select a font style (regular, bold, italic etc. if available with your chosen font).
Set the size of your font.
Alter the spacing between two lines of text by setting a leading value.
Change kerning to shift two characters closer or further apart.
Set tracking to adjust the spacing between characters in a word.
Change the baseline shift to tweak how characters sit on the line of text.
Choose a colour for your text.
Select default options such as Underline, ALL CAPITALS, Strikethrough etc.

Character Palette
Here are some useful tips when creating typography.
We explained earlier that, by using the Type Tool, you are creating a vector object.  To fully access Filters and all of the EDIT...Transform options (which are currently greyed-out), we need to rasterize the type to change it into a bitmap object.  In the layers palette, right-click on the name of the type layer and, from the pop-up list, select Rasterize Type (or, with the type layer selected, go to LAYER...Rasterize...Type). Type Tool rasterize
Alternatively, if you type some text and attempt to access the Filters, you will get the box below asking if you want to rasterize your text:




Rasterize text

Another useful thing in this pop-up menu is Warp Text...  Select this option and you get a number of ways to distort your text, sliders to adjust the distortion etc.  In the example below, we have picked 'Flag' but there are fifteen different effects to pick from.
Warp Text
If you have blocks of text to include in your Photoshop document, you are probably better typing it in Microsoft Word or similar, highlighting it, copying it and pasting it into your Photoshop document.  If you take this approach, use the Type Tool to 'draw' a selection. This 'text box' will have handles where you can resize the box and, if you hover over a corner, you can rotate the text box. Text Box
So that's the Horizontal Type Tool.  Obviously, the Vertical Type Tool allows you to type text in a vertical direction. Type Tool

Adobe Photoshop’s Horizontal Type Mask Tool is one most useful tools that allows you to show any picture through text which you type on picture. In other words, the text which you type on your picture masks the text transparently. People actually use this technique to prepare attractive text with their favorite pictures as background of the picture transparently. Follow below steps which help you to show masked text over your favorite theme or picture.

  • Firstly open/import a picture into Photoshop.

  • Now select Horizontal Type Text Tool and type some text.
  • Type some text on picture to display picture through your custom text. After typing text on picture, select the Move Tool in order to see selection path on picture as shown in screenshot.

The 'marching ants' show the text is selected.  You can either go EDIT...Copy and (in a different document) EDIT...Paste.

An alternate approach is to go to SELECT...Inverse (so that the background is selected) and press the Delete key.

Finally, don't forget the effects (fx) button at the bottom of the Layers palette where drop shadows, embossing, outline etc. etc. can be added to your text.
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