Types of Type in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

By Barbara Obermeier

Whether you’re using Point type mode or Paragraph type mode in Photoshop CS6, you can select several type options, each designed to help you work with, display, print, and edit text. These options determine how Photoshop enables you to work with text in a file:

  • Vector type: All text in Photoshop is initially created as vector-based type. Vector type provides scalable outlines that you can resize without producing jaggy edges in the diagonal strokes. You can also edit type in this mode, adding or subtracting characters or adjusting attributes, such as kerning and tracking. Vector type is always of optimum quality and appears crisp and clean.

  • Rasterized type: When Photoshop converts vector type into pixels, that text is rasterized. When text is rasterized, it’s no longer editable; instead, it’s a frozen graphic of what the text looks like.

    When you finish editing vector type and want to merge the text with the other pixels in an image (or to perform some manipulations that can be done only with rasterized text, such as applying filters), you can transform the vector type into pixels by rasterizing it. You can’t resize rasterized type without losing some quality or risking a bad case of the jaggies.

  • Pixel fonts: Pixel fonts are tiny fonts designed for display at small sizes on computer screens, especially websites. Pixel fonts are designed so that every pixel corresponds to a pixel on your screen. These fonts, with names such as MINI 7, MiniSerif, and Tenacity, are created in fixed sizes (say, 7 pixels high for MINI 7 or 10 pixels high for Tenacity and PixelDust).

    Diagonal lines are avoided as much as possible, with the font designs favoring horizontal and vertical strokes. As a result, pixel fonts look crisp and clear at small sizes without anti-aliasing (smoothing around the edges).

    Indeed, you shouldn’t use anti-aliasing with pixel fonts, nor should you attempt to resize or rescale them. You can buy or download pixel fonts, install them on your computer, and use them just like you use other fonts.

    Unlike traditional fonts, pixel fonts are designed to fit into the pixel grid of your screen.
    Unlike traditional fonts, pixel fonts are designed to fit into the pixel grid of your screen.