Using Vector Type

Now that you have a clear understanding of the basics, you can start to use text in Photoshop. Your goal should be to keep your fonts as vector type as much as possible. Type will be created as a vector if you use the Horizontal or Vertical Type tools. Vector type uses curved lines, not pixels, that can be scaled and transformed infinitely without quality loss. This will allow you to make last-minute changes like scaling the headline bigger on your print advertisement when the client requests it. This will allow greater flexibility for changes throughout the design process.

Type Tool

There are two kinds of type tools inside of Photoshop that use vectors: the Horizontal Type tool and (the much less used) Vertical Type tool. These are your tools of choice for laying out type. Let's try adding some text:

Tip: Type Tool Presets

If you have a specific kind of text combo that you use a lot (say Bawdy Bold at 45 points with a tracking value of 50), you can save it. Just enter all of your text settings, as you need. Then go to the upper-left corner of the Options bar and click the drop-down menu. Here you can add new Tool Presets (just click the pad of paper icon).


Create a new document by pressing Cmd+N (Ctrl+N). From the Preset list choose 800 x 600 and click OK.


Press T (for Type) to select the Horizontal Type Tool or click the Text icon (a black letter T). You can then press Shift+T to cycle through your four Type tools as needed. As an alternative, you can click and hold down the mouse on the T in the Toolbox to see a flyout list of tools.

Note: Spell-Checker?

Ewe betcha.... Starting with version 7, Photoshop includes a Check Spelling command (it's in the Edit Menu).


Notice that several options related to type are now available in the Options bar. We'll discuss these options in the following sections.


Click inside your document; a new type layer is added. Type a few words to make sure your Type tool works. Good? OK, let's learn what all those newly available options mean. Delete your text layer by dragging it to the trash icon on the Layers palette so we can continue.

Type Mask Tool

Why does the Type Mask tool exist? To be honest, I haven't needed it in years. But in case you're the curious type (no pun intended)... here's the point (OK, pun intended that time). The Horizontal Type Mask tool or Vertical Type Mask tool is used to create a selection in the shape of the type. These selections can be used for copying, moving, stroking, or filtering (just like any other selection) on the active layer. Let's create an active selection using the Type Mask tool:


Create a new document using the 800 x 600 document preset.


Press D to load your default colors.


Make a new layer by pressing Shift+Cmd+N (Shift+Ctrl+N), then choose Filter > Render > Clouds.


Press T to select the Horizontal Type Mask tool. Click and hold down the mouse on the T in the Toolbox to choose another tool from the flyout list of tools.


Adjust any of the options you want in the Options bar or Character palette.


Click and start typing. A red (rubylith) mask will appear over the active layer. When you are finished, click the Commit button (the checkmark) in the Options bar.


A selection border in the shape of your text now appears in the image on the selected (active) layer. If you'd like to apply the mask, click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.


The completed image should contain text with a cloud texture inside of it.

Point Text vs. Paragraph Text

When adding text to a document, you have two options that determine how that text behaves. Point Text adds text beginning at the point where you click and continuing from there. Paragraph Text constrains the text to a box, and will wrap when it hits the edge. To create a paragraph text block, click and drag using the Type tool to define the paragraph area first. Which option you choose will depend on your design needs.

Table 12.2 shows the pros and cons of using Point Text and Paragraph Text.

Table 12.2. Point Text vs. Paragraph Text




  • Instant results

  • Good for small amounts of text

  • More flexible when using Warped Text (see "Warped Text" later in the chapter)

  • Can lead to manual reformatting including inserting manual hard returns


  • Adds column-like behavior to page layout

  • Allows for use of hyphenation and Adobe Every-line Composer for smoother layout (more on this option in the Paragraph palette section of this chapter)

  • If text is too large at the start, you may not see the text entry

  • Can require designer to resize text block to accommodate copy or font changes

Tip: Select Text Without a Highlight

When you double-click a text layer to select it, Photoshop responds by inversing the text with a black highlight. This can be distracting. Once you have an active selection, press Cmd+H (Ctrl+H) to hide the highlight.

Understanding. AdobeR PhotoshopR. Digital Imaging Concepts and Techniques
Understanding Adobe Photoshop: Digital Imaging Concepts and Techniques
ISBN: 0321368983
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 129 © 2008-2017.
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