Specify Type Options in Photoshop Elements 10

You can find several character and paragraph type settings on the Options bar in Photoshop Elements 10. These options enable you to specify your type to your liking and pair it with your images.

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Here’s an explanation of each available option on the Options bar, from left to right:

  • Font Family. Select the font you want from the drop-down menu. Elements provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) font menu. After each font name, the word Sample is rendered in the actual font — no more selecting a font without knowing what it really looks like. You also find one of these abbreviations before each font name to let you know what type of font it is:

    • a: Adobe Type 1 (PostScript) fonts

    • TT: TrueType fonts

    • O: OpenType fonts

    Fonts with no abbreviation are bitmapped fonts.

  • Font Style. Some font families have additional styles, such as light or condensed. Only the styles available for a particular font appear in the list. This is also a WYSIWYG menu.

  • Font Size. Select your type size from the drop-down menu or just type a size in the text box. Note that type size is most commonly measured in points (72 points equals about 1 inch at a resolution of 72 ppi). You can switch to millimeters or pixels by choosing Edit→Preferences→Units and Rulers (on the Macintosh, Photoshop Elements→Preferences→Units and Rulers).

  • Anti-Aliased. Select Anti-Aliased to slightly smooth out the edges of your text. Anti-aliasing softens that edge by 1 pixel. For the most part, you want to keep this option turned on. The one occasion in which you may want it turned off is when you’re creating small type to be displayed onscreen, such as on web pages. The soft edges can sometimes be tough to read.

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  • Faux Bold. Use this option to create a fake bold style when a real bold style (which you’d choose under Font Style) doesn’t exist. Be warned that although the sky won’t fall, applying faux styles can distort the proportions of a font. You should use fonts with real styles, and if they don’t exist, oh well.

  • Faux Italic. This option creates a phony oblique style and carries the same warning as the Faux Bold option.

  • Underline. This setting obviously underlines your type, like this.

  • Strikethrough. Choose this option to apply a strikethrough style to your text.

  • Text Alignment. These three options align your horizontal text on the left or right, or in the center. If you happen to have vertical text, these options rotate 90 degrees clockwise and change into top, bottom, and center vertical settings.

  • Leading. Leading (pronounced LED-ing) is the amount of space between the baselines of lines of type. A baseline is the imaginary line on which a line of type sits. You can choose Auto Leading or specify the amount of leading to apply. When you choose Auto Leading, Elements uses a value of 120 percent of your type point size.

    Therefore, 10-point type gets 12 points of leading. Elements adds that extra 20 percent so that the bottoms of the lowest letters don’t crash into the tops of the tallest letters on the line below them.

  • Text Color. Click the color swatch to select a color for your type from the Color Picker. You can also choose a color from the Swatches panel.

  • Style. Click this option to access a drop-down panel of preset styles that you can apply to your type. Note that this option is accessible after you have committed your type.

  • Create Warped Text. This fun option lets you distort type in more than a dozen ways.

  • Change the Text Orientation. Select your type layer and then click this option to switch between vertical and horizontal type orientations.

  • Cancel. Click this button (or press Esc) to cancel and keep the type from being entered. Use this option or the Commit option only after you click the Type tool on your canvas.

  • Commit. Click this button to apply the type to your canvas.

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