When to Use the Type Tools in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Strictly speaking, Photoshop CS6 has four type tools (found in the Tools panel), but two of them are simply vertically oriented versions of the main two text implements. You can use either Paragraph or Point type mode with any of the type tools:

  • Horizontal Type: Use this tool to enter point or paragraph type oriented horizontally on your screen. If you want text that’s oriented at an angle other than vertical, you can rotate it by choosing Edit→Transform→Rotate after you enter the text. This tool creates the type on its own type layer, except when used in Bitmap, Multichannel, or Indexed Color modes, which don’t support layers.

  • Vertical Type: The Vertical Type and Vertical Type Mask tools (described in the following bullet) are handy for entering Asian characters. However, you can also use this tool to enter Roman character point type oriented in a vertical column. You can also use the Vertical Type tool to create columns of paragraph text, but the results look a little strange.

    Note that the columns also go from right to left. After you enter your text columns, you can rotate the text to an orientation other than vertical by choosing Edit→Transform→Rotate. Like the Horizontal Type tool, this tool creates type in its own type layer, except with file formats that don’t support layers.

  • Horizontal Type Mask/Vertical Type Mask: These tools operate identically to their siblings described in the two preceding bullets, with two exceptions. Instead of adding filled type, both the Horizontal and Vertical Type Mask tools create a selection border in the shape of the type you enter. Both tools add a selection marquee to the current active layer.

    You can do anything with a type selection that you can do with any other selection, including saving it (Select→Save Selection) for reuse later.

The Horizontal and Vertical Type tools have some interesting options. You can also set controls in the Paragraph and Character panels.