Quick text tips for Photoshop

I’ve recently had gotten a few type-related questions, so thought I’d jot down a few suggestions:

  • Support for type styles (i.e. the ability to define a set of text characteristics as a style, then to modify the style & have text layers updated) was the top requested feature among those I proposed to improve management of complex PSDs. Photoshop doesn’t yet support type styles, but in the meantime a couple things may help:
    • You can select multiple text layers at once, then change their characteristics via the Character & Paragraph panels. Shift-clicking or Cmd/Ctrl-clicking works, or you can select a text layer, then choose Select->Similar Layers to select other text layers.
    • You can grab the type tool, set up the characteristics you want, then make a new tool preset (Window->Tool Presets, or hit that T-shaped icon in the upper left corner (y’know, the one that neither you nor any other human being has clicked :-)). You can then choose among these presets via the Tool Presets panel.
  • Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost pointed out a trick I didn’t know: “To change the Type tool’s default options, the key is to close all documents. Then choose the Type tool and select your font family, style, size, anti-aliasing, alignment and color. Whatever options you choose, will become your new default.”
  • Julieanne makes another good point: While typing text, hitting Return will add a line break instead of getting you out of text mode. Hit Cmd-Return (Mac)/Ctrl-Return (Win) to get out of text mode.

For more info, see my old 12 Tips for Photoshop Text post.

10 thoughts on “Quick text tips for Photoshop

  1. “Hit Cmd-Return (Mac)/Ctrl-Return (Win) to get out of text mode.”
    If you have a full keyboard (with a number pad) you can hit the “enter” key on the number pad to get out of text mode as well.
    [True. I’m a little disappointed that on the new MBP, Apple has replaced the Enter key with a second Cmd key. Maybe on balance that works well for people, but I’d always used by right thumb to hit Enter. Now I have to use my pinky to reach Return. –J.]

  2. Great tips! I’ve always wondered if there was a way to control tabs in Photoshop? Maybe there is and I’m just missing it?

  3. I don’t know what it is about the tool presets, but I never use them myself, either. Do people really get use out of them?
    I’m not saying that in a negative way – I completely see the benefit to them (though I never thought of setting up type presets…), and awhile I’m always trying to find more efficient ways to do things, I still never use the presets for whatever reason.

  4. Glyph palette…please? I think it would be utilized more than type styles and the time savings to workflows (particularly webdesign) would be quite nice. I hat having to hunt around for that really cool glyph in a font and sometimes have to resort to firing up Illustrator to find the blasted thing.

  5. Yes, people really do use tool presets. Once you get into the habit of using them, they do save time.
    Here’s quick tip: to set hyphenation and spelling for a language other than the default, click on the pop-up menu located at the bottom left of the Character panel and choose from the long list.

  6. What would be really nice is illustrator-style text classes. So I could define h1,h2,h3,p,etc text styles once, and attach a class to a selection of text within a textarea. So if I want to change a particular style, I could change it in the class definition *once* instead of for each use of that style. That alone would save me countless hours of mocking up text-heavy web pages.

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