How to Use Styles in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6 can now brag that it sports Styles. And while, admittedly, you probably wouldn’t want to deal with boat loads of text in Photoshop on a regular basis, on those rare occasions that you do you now have the capability of using Styles.

Here are a few tidbits about styles:

  • The difference between Paragraph and Character styles is that you must apply paragraph styles to the entire paragraph. Character styles can be applied to a single letter, a word, several words, or the whole paragraph.

    An example of a text layer where you may use both kinds of styles is a numbered list in which you have a bold, large number (character style) and the list information (paragraph style).

  • Character styles override paragraph styles. You don’t have to use both. Many people just use paragraph styles.

  • Both Character and Paragraph styles include attributes for font, font style, font size, leading, kerning, tracking, case, position, color, strikethrough, underline, faux bold, faux italic, and Standard Vertical Roman Alignment. Paragraph styles also include attributes for indents, spacing, alignment, composition, justification, and hyphenation.

  • If you modify the text manually, doing so creates an override of the style. The override is indicated by a plus sign next the style name.

  • To see if text has a style applied to it, highlight the text (for Character styles) or simply select the particular type layer and look in the Paragraph and/or Character panel to see if a style name is highlighted.

  • You can import styles from other files by Load Paragraph (or Character) Styles from the panel menu.

  • If you delete a style that has been applied to text, all instances of that style will appear as overrides — as if the attributes were applied manually.

Here’s how to create and apply a Paragraph style. The process is the same for a Character style, except where noted. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Window→Paragraph Styles to open the panel.

    You see default styles of Basic Paragraph in the Paragraph panel (None in the Character panel). Note that the attributes for Basic Paragraph is Myriad Pro, 12 pts., black.

  2. Type your desired text and format it to your liking using the Character and Paragraph panels.

  3. Highlight your text and click on the Create New Paragraph Style icon (dog-eared page icon) at the bottom of the panel.

    You can also choose New Paragraph Style from the panel menu. To change the default style name to something more descriptive, just double-click it and enter the new name in the Paragraph Style Options dialog box and then click OK. You can also select the style and choose Style Options from the panel menu.

    If you create a new Character style, all attributes that are different from the Paragraph style will be part of that style.

  4. To edit a style, simply double-click the style name and make your desired changes in the Paragraph Style Options dialog box and click OK.

  5. All text that has that particular style applied is updated with the changes.

    Note that if you double-click a style, it is applied to your selected layer. If you want to edit a style without applying it to the text, select an image or Background layer, and not a text layer.

  6. 5. If you then manually apply an attribute to your text, your style will appear as an override.

    To clear an override, click the curved arrow icon at the bottom of the Character or Paragraph panel. To incorporate that override into the style, click on the check icon, which will merge the overrides into the style.

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