How to Use the Text Options on the Options Bar in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

In Photoshop CS6, the Options bar contains a varied group of options, some (but not all) of these options are duplicated in the Character panel or under the Type menu. Those options that appear in both places are the most frequently used options. Talk about convenience.

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Your options, from left to right, include

  • Change Text Orientation: As mentioned earlier, use this button to toggle between vertical and horizontal text orientations.

  • Font Family: Select the font/typeface you want from the drop-down list.

    You will find one of these abbreviations before the font name: a (Adobe Type 1 [PostScript]) fonts; TT (TrueType); O (OpenType). Those fonts with no abbreviations are bitmapped fonts.

  • Font Style: Some fonts can have additional styles, such as light or demi-bold, and other styles are assigned as separate typefaces. Only the styles available for a particular font appear in the list.

    If a font you want to use doesn’t offer bold or italic style, you can simulate either or both by selecting a faux style in the Character panel.

  • Font Size: Select the size of the text from this list or type a size in the text box. Generally, text sizes are shown in points, with 72 points equaling approximately 1 inch. (A 36-point font is 1/2 inch in size at 72 pixels per inch [ppi].)

    If you don’t like points, you can switch to millimeters or pixels in the Units & Rulers Preferences dialog box.

  • Anti-Aliasing: As mentioned earlier, these options smooth your text.

  • Text Alignment: Three buttons specify whether Photoshop aligns your Horizontal Type tool text left, center, or right. When you use the Vertical Type tool, the buttons transform into Top, Center (vertically), and Bottom choices.

  • Text Color: Click in this box to select a color from the Color Picker.

  • Create Warped Text: This option lets you warp and bend text by using 15 different types of distortion.

  • Toggle Character and Paragraph Panels: Click this button anytime a type tool is active to show or hide the Character and Paragraph panels.

  • Cancel: Click this button (or press the Esc key) to cancel the text entry you’re making.

  • Commit: Click this button to apply the text to a type layer.