The Type Tool is one of the lesser-known tools in Photoshop. As a result, a lot of people, including many designers, don’t know how powerful it is. The Photoshop Type Tool actually rivals the Illustrator and InDesign type tools. I’m not saying you should use it to make a book layout, but you can use it to add text to photos, to make blog graphics, and even postcards and posters.
In this new Photoshop Lesson, I want to show you how to use it. Hopefully, I’ll convince you that it’s a very powerful and easy to use tool.
Why you should use the Photoshop Type Tool
What very few people know is that when you add text in Photoshop, this text is in vector format. This means you can make it larger without losing quality.
A lot of designers edit an image in Photoshop, then go to Illustrator to add an icon, and then to InDesign to add text. Or they move the photo to Illustrator to add text. It’s not wrong to do so, but you can actually save time by adding text in Photoshop.
How to use the Photoshop Type Tool
Open an image in Photoshop or create a new background using the Paint Bucket Tool. Select the Type Tool by pressing the T in your toolbar or by pressing the letter T on your keyboard.
There are four type tools:
- horizontal type tool: adds horizontal text
- vertical type tool: add vertical text
- horizontal type mask tool
- vertical type mask tool
The default option is the horizontal type tool and this is the one we will use in this tutorial.
When you select the Type Tool, the Options panel will open at the top of your canvas. From the panel you can select the following:
- font style
- font size
- antialiasing – an option that makes the edges smooth
- text alignment
- text color
- an option that lets you warp text
- the character and paragraph panels
You can choose a font, size, and color, though you can change them anytime you want.
There are 2 ways to add text to an image:
1. Point Type: With the Type Tool selected, click anywhere on your canvas and start typing.
2. Area Type: Select the Type Tool, click on the canvas, and without letting go of the mouse, drag until you create a rectangle.
The point type is easy to use if you want to add a title, while the area type should be used when you want to add a paragraph.
How to change fonts and edit text
Like I said earlier, you can change type and size whenever you want. You just have to select the type layer, then press T or select the type tool, and choose another font from the drop-down menu in the Options panel.
To change size, you can add a new size in the Options panel or you can use the Free Transform tool. You can open it by pressing Ctrl/Command + T, but make sure the width and height of your text are equal when you are using it. Otherwise, you will stretch the text.
You can even select individual letters or words from a type layer and change their font, size, or color.
Using the Character panel
The Character panel (Window/Character) lets you format characters. Besides changing the font and size, you can also change the letter-spacing (or tracking) or the kerning (the space between a pair of letters).
Using the Paragraph panel
The Paragraph panel (Window/Paragraph) lets you align text. There is also a justify option and you can even add margins to paragraphs.
Using the Glyphs panel
A glyph is the variety of designs of a certain character. Typefaces are usually composed of many glyphs. A lot of fonts have special symbols, usually text decorations, that can be accessed using the keyboard.
The Glyphs panel lets you view all these symbols. This is not possible in older versions of Photoshop so designers had to use Illustrator for that, but you can view them using Photoshop CC.
If you want to learn how to apply styles to text, view this tutorial on the Adobe website.
Let me know if this tutorial was useful. Leave a comment or send me a message if you want to see a certain Photoshop tutorial.