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Photoshop Elements > Type Tool

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Horizontal Type Tool

Select the Horizontal Type tool.

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Photoshop Elements 10 & Earlier Photoshop Elements 11 & Later

The Mask type tools are covered here.

The Text On type tools are covered here.

Options Bar/Tool Options Choices

You enter text with the Type tool much like you do with a word processor.

Before you start entering text, make the following choices in options bar/Tool Options.

Photoshop Elements 10 & Earlier

Let's go from left-to-right on the options bar.

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Photoshop Elements 10 & Earlier

Choice #1 - Font

Select a font in the options bar.

The fonts you see didn't come with Photoshop Elements.

They're the fonts that are already on your computer.

Choice #2 - Font Style

Select a font style.

Choice #3 - Font Size

Select a point size.

Font size is discussed in greater detail below.

Choice #4 - Anti-alias

Pixels on curves, like those of the letter S on the left below, stick out.

The edges of the letter is jagged.

Anti-aliasing, as seen in the letter S on the right, adds shading to smooth out the curves. 

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Anti-aliasing On

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Anti-aliasing Off

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Choice #5 - Style

Click the first icon for bold-face text, and so forth.

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Choice #6 - Align Text

Select the text alignment.

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Choice #7 - Leading

Leading is the space between lines.

You can ignore this choice for now.

Leading is discussed below.

Choice #8 - Color

The font color in the options bar is the foreground color.

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Do one of the following to change the color.

• Change the color in the options bar.

• Double click the foreground color in the lower-left corner of your screen to open the Color Picker.

If you haven't already done so, go to Color Picking.

You're ready to enter text.

Photoshop Elements 11 & Later

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Photoshop Elements 11 & Later

Choice #1 - Font

Select a font in Tool Options.

The fonts you see didn't come with Photoshop Elements.

They're the fonts that are already on your computer.

Choice #2 - Font Style

Select a font style.

Choice #3 - Font Size

Select a point size.

Font size is discussed in greater detail below.

Choice #4 - Color

The font color located in Tool Options is the foreground color.

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Do one of the following to change the color.

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• Change the color in Tool Options (above).

Select a color from the swatches.

To open the Color Picker, click the circular rainbow (color wheel) icon.

• Double click the foreground color in the lower-left corner of your screen toopen the Color Picker.open the Color Picker.pen the Color Picker.

If you haven't already done so, go to Color Picking.

Choice #5 - Styles

Some fonts use this section for style changes.

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Choice #6 - Align Text

Select the text alignment.

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Choice #7 - Leading

Leading is the space between lines.

You can ignore this choice for now.

Leading is discussed below.

Choice #8 - Anti-alias

Pixels on curves, like those of the letter S on the left below, stick out.

The edges of the letter is jagged.

Anti-aliasing, as seen in the letter S on the right, adds shading to smooth out the curves.

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You're now ready to enter text.

Create Text

Move the cursor to where you want the text to begin, click, and start typing.

Click Enter to go to a new line.

When you're finished, click the check mark in Tool Options to commit the changes.

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A new layer is created with the text.

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Instead of clicking to start a line of text, you can drag out a paragraph box.

This will be discussed below.

Edit the Text

As long as the layer has not been simplified, you can go back and edit the text.

Do the following.

1) Select the Type tool.

2) Highlight the text.

Click at the beginning of the text, hold, and drag to the end of the text.

If you want to highlight all of the text in a type layer, double click the T icon in the type layer.

3) Change the color, font, size, and so forth.

4) Click the check mark in Tool Options to commit the changes.

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Move the Text

1) Select the Move tool.

2) Click the text itself, not just inside the bounding box, and hold.

3) Drag.

Previewing Fonts

You can preview fonts easily.

Do the following.

1) Select the Type tool.

2) Highlight the text.

3) Click the current font in options bar/Tool Options.

You can change the font with:

• The scroll wheel on your mouse (usually).

• The up and down arrow keys.

Paragraph Box

You may want the text to be located in a confined area in your photograph.

For example, you may want the text to be in a column.

Do the following.

1) Select the Type tool.

2) Click, hold, and drag a paragraph box where you want the text to be located.

The text will be confined to the paragraph box.

Square Box

To make a square box, do the following.

1) Press and hold Shift.

2) Click, hold, and drag.

Sizing a Paragraph Box

There are several ways you can determine the dimensions of a paragraph box.

Eye

You can drag a paragraph box by eye.

Info Panel

If you open the Info panel, the dimensions of the paragraph box are displayed as you drag the paragraph box.

Resizing a Paragraph Box

You can resize a paragraph box.

One Side

Position the cursor over one of the tiny boxes on the sides of the crop box.

Click, hold, and drag the side to a new position.

Entire Box

Position the cursor over one of the tiny boxes on the corners of the crop box.

Click, hold, and drag the corner to a new position.

If you hold Shift, and click, hold, and drag, the aspect ratio of the box stays the same.

If you hold Alt, and click, hold, and drag, the box enlarges from the center out.

If you hold Alt + Shift, and click, hold, and drag, the aspect ratio of the box stays the same, and the box enlarges from the center out.

More About Font Size

Try Out Different Font Sizes

You can preview different font sizes easily.

1) Highlight the text.

2) Click the current font size in options bar/Tool Options.

You can change the font size with:

• The scroll wheel on your mouse (usually).

• The up and down arrow keys.

The arrow keys will change the font size by one point.

If you press and hold Shift, and then use the arrow keys, the font size changes in increments of ten points.

Size Appears to Depend on the Resolution

The size of the text appears to depend on the resolution (ppi) of the photograph.

For example, below, the font size was 72 points for both of the letters.

The Ts are appear to be different sizes because of the resolution of the images was:

• 300 ppi on the left.

• 72 ppi on the right.

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300 ppi 72 ppi
1" x 1" 4.167" x 4.167"

Left Image

The image on the left appears to be bigger.

However, it's tiny.

The image size is only 1" x 1".

The T is about 3/4".

Right Image

The T on the right appears to be smaller because we're not looking at it at print size (life size).

The image size is 4.167" x 4.167".

The T is about 3/4", the same size as the other T.

The two letters are the same size.

Print Size

Below, the two letters are displayed on the screen at their print sizes.

(Select the Zoom tool, and then select Print Size in options bar/Tool Options.)

You can see that the letters are the same size.

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Inches Instead of Points

Photoshop Elements has font sizes up to 72 points.

If you need a larger font size:

1) Determine the size of the text in inches.

2) Highlight the font size in options bar/Tool Options.

3) Enter in the value, followed by in.

Photoshop Elements will convert the size in inches to the equivalent size in points.

Font Size Shortcuts

Highlight the text, and do the following.

If you're adjusting the leading, highlight one or more lines of text.

Action Windows Mac
Increase size by 2 pts Ctrl + Shift + period Cmd + Shift + period
Increase size by 10 pts Ctrl + Alt + Shift + period Cmd + Option + Shift + period
Decrease size by 2 pts Ctrl + Shift + comma Cmd + Shift + comma
Decrease size by 10 pts Ctrl + Alt + Shift + comma Cmd + Option + Shift + comma

Leading, Kerning, & Tracking

So far, you've chosen the size of the text.

You can also set other dimensions.

Leading

Leading (pronounced like the metal) is the distance between lines.

In options bar/Tool Options, look for the Set the leading box to the left of the Color box.

Auto

When leading is set to Auto, the leading will be 120% of the font size.

Manual

If you set the leading manually, the setting remains the same, even when you change the font size.

You must remember to readjust the leading for other font sizes.

Leading Shortcuts

Highlight one or more lines of text.

Action Windows Mac
Increase leading by 2 pts Alt + down arrow Option + down arrow
Increase leading by 10 pts Ctrl + Alt + down arrow Cmd + Option + down arrow
Decrease leading by 2 pts Alt + up arrow Option + up arrow
Decrease leading by 10 pts Ctrl + Alt + up arrow Cmd + Option + up arrow

Kerning & Tracking - Not Available

Kerning is the adjustment of the space between two highlighted letters.

Tracking is the adjustment of the spaces between a group of highlighted letters.

Photoshop Elements doesn't support kerning or tracking.

Vector v. Pixels

The text you see when using the Type tool is a vector image.

There are no pixels.

The text is produced from a mathematical formula, not from pixels.

Vector-based images can be resized easily and are sharper than pixels.

If you try to use a Brush tool, or a filter, on a Type layer, you'll be prompted to simplify the layer.

When you simplify a layer, the vector-based text becomes pixels.

Simplification is the same as rasterization.

Go to Simplify a Layer.

When you save the photograph as a JPEG, the raster image becomes pixels.

Make a Copy

Once you simplify a type layer, you can't edit the text.

Therefore, make a copy of the type layer.

Then, if you need to edit the text, you can use the non-simplified layer.

1) Make sure the type layer is active (highlighted).

2) Press Ctrl + j.

Simplify one of the type layers, and hide the other one by deselecting its eye icon.

Selecting Text

To select all of the text in a type layer, press and hold Ctrl, and click the T icon in the type layer.

Characters (ä) & Symbols (©)

For characters and symbols not on your keyboard, go to Characters (ä) & Symbols (©).

Other Type Tools

There are several other Type tools.

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Photoshop Elements 10 & Earlier Photoshop Elements 11 & Later

Here's what you can do with the Horizontal Type Mask tool.

You may want to make text from a photograph or other artwork.

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Regular "Ink"

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Photograph as "Ink"

1) Select the Horizontal Type Mask tool.

2) Click where you want the text to be located.

3) Enter the text.

4) Select the commit check mark.

5) Press Ctrl + j.

The text appears on a new layer.

The text is no longer a color, but is made from the photograph.

You can use complex grouping to create text.

Go to Clipping Masks.