How to Create Paragraph and Character Styles in Adobe Photoshop CS6

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Paragraph and character styles in Adobe Photoshop CS6 save the attributes of the text, such as font style, size, and color. Paragraph styles can also save paragraph attributes, such as leading and the space before and after paragraphs, to name a few.

Most people find it easier to create styles by first taking a line or paragraph of text and experimenting with the text font, size, spacing, and so on. When they’re happy with the look and feel of the text, they can then save the attributes as a style. To create a new paragraph style, follow these steps:

  1. Open any image, and then select the Type tool from the Tools panel.

  2. Click and drag a new text area on the Photoshop artboard.

  3. Create a paragraph of text.

    If you don’t know what to type, you can find some samples of text in Photoshop files at the CS6 For Dummies website. Use the text options at the top of the workspace if you want to change the text size, color font, and more.

  4. With the Text tool still selected, click and drag to select the text, or place the active cursor anywhere in the text.

  5. From the Window menu, choose Paragraph Styles.

    The Paragraph Styles panel appears.

  6. From the Panel menu, choose New Paragraph Style. You can also click the Add New Style button at the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel.

    A new style is added to the Paragraph Styles panel.


  7. Double-click the style that you added to the Paragraph Styles panel.

    The Paragraph Style Options dialog box appears. Notice that the attributes that you applied to your text are recognized in the saved style.

  8. In the Paragraph Style Options dialog box, change the name to Header.

  9. Click the Color swatch at the bottom and then change the color by using the Color Picker that appears and click OK.

  10. Click OK again to close the Paragraph Style Options window.


By creating a character style, you can save the attributes of the text only, leaving out attributes for paragraphs such as leading and paragraph space before and after, indents, and so on. Character styles are useful when you want to make only selected words boldface or italic.

To create a character style, follow these steps:

  1. Using the Type tool, select a word in the text that you created.

  2. Modify some of the attributes of the text — change the text to bold or italic — by using the Options bar at the top of the workspace.

  3. Choose Windows→Character Styles to open the Character Style panel.

  4. Click the Create New Character Style button at the bottom of the Character Style panel.

  5. Double-click the Character Style 1 that was created.

    The Character Style Options dialog box appears.


  6. Change the Style name to Bold and click OK.

Keep in mind that after you associate text with a paragraph style or a character style, you can apply that style to other text by highlighting that text and clicking the style name in the panel. When you want to make changes to the styles themselves, double-click the Paragraph or Character style to open the style options, make changes, and all instances will be automatically updated.