In this tutorial we will look at the type tool, and some of the different things that can be done with type to customize it, manipulate it, and make it unique to your design. This tutorial is in Photoshop Elements 10, but the same principles apply if using the full version of Photoshop, or another version of Photoshop Elements. Begin by opening a background in Photoshop Elements. Then, select the type tool, click in the background and start typing. Pretty easy isn't it? But, lets look at some of the options you have, to change, adjust and manipulate your type.
Options Bar At the top of the window you will find the options bar. This bar shows up for most of the tools in Photoshop Elements, with different options for the different tools. In the options bar, there are pull down menus where you can select the font, style and size. Click the arrow next to the color swatch and the color pallet opens where you can choose the color. Here, I used Arial, Bold, 120 pt, and white.
Some of the other settings across the top are the anti-aliased button. Anti-aliasing creates a slight fading around the outside of the letters, rather that just black or white. Anti-aliasing makes the type appear more smooth, and is usually the preferred choice.
Bold, slant, underline, and strike through are pretty self explanatory as is left or right aligned and centered.
Leading controls the amount of space between the lines. More leading spreads the lines out. Warp type opens a pallet that allows you to select various ways to warp the type. We will look at that in more detail in a minute.
The horizontal and vertical button will change the orientation of any type that is selected.
The style pull down menu will open a pallet with different styles you can choose from to apply to your type such as emboss, drop shadow, outer glow and a variety of other special effects.
Using Warp Lets take a look at the warp panel. Make sure the type you want to warp is selected, then use the pulldown menu to select the type of warp you want to apply. The icons along side of the descriptions give you an idea what the effect will do to your type.
Here are some examples of some of the warp choices available and the settings used to produce them.
Arc with a positive bend (a negative bend makes it arc down), and a slight horizontal distortion.
Bulge set on horizontal
Wave set at horizontal with a little bit of horizontal distortion.
Here I used squeeze with a little bit of vertical distortion.
You can see there is a large variety of effects you can apply using the warp panel.
Applying Styles Now, lets take a look at the styles. If you click on the down arrow by the styles box, a pallet opens up with styles in it. Use the double arrow in the upper right of the pallet to reveal the pulldown menu. As you choose different effects in the pulldown menu, the choices in the pallet change.
Here I used the "scalloped edge" found under the Bevels menu
Here I used "Fire" found under Outer Glow in the pull down menu.
Here I used "Molten Gold" found using the "complex" setting in the pull down menu.
You can see that the possibilities are endless. If you use a style and decide you don't like it after all, just select it in the panel, use the pulldown menu and click on remove style.
Type Tool Now, lets look at the type tool itself.
We used the horizontal type tool in the previous examples. The vertical type tool works the same except as you type the letters go down instead of across.
The Horizontal and Vertical Mask Tools create a selection in the form of type. You can use that selection the same way you use any selection. (For more information see the tutorial on making selections.
Here, I brought in a picture of a sunset. I then typed the word "Winter" using the Horizontal Type Mask Tool.
Making sure the picture layer was selected, I inverted the mask and hit delete, leaving me with the sunset picture within the type shape.
Here I made a selection using the Type on Selection Tool. I created a selection that follows the shape of the mountain, but slightly above the mountain. When I click on the green check mark I will commit the selection, and it will become a path.
Using the Type on Selection tool, and setting the type to Arial, Bold, 14pt, and white, I placed the curser on the path. When the tool turns into the type tool I can click to place my beginning spot and begin typing. The type follows the path I have made.
Using the Text on Shape tool you can draw a shape, (select the shape from the pulldown menu at the upper left of the window). Place the curser on the shape and type around the shape.
If you control click (command click on a mac) and drag around the shape, it lets you type inside the shape. Here you can see I typed inside of a circle, and around the outside of a circle. This is a little tricky, and may take you a few try's to get it the way you want it. When you are satisfied with the results, click on the green checkmark in the options bar to commit the type.
Use the text on custom path tool to create a path of any shape, then you can type on the path. The path you draw will probably need to be tweaked a little bit. It is very difficult if not impossible to draw an accurate path that doesn't need to be adjusted. Use the Refine Path button at the top left of the options bar to adjust the path. Click on a node ( the square points on the path) and drag them where you want them to be. Click between the nodes and drag to create a smooth curve on the path. It takes a little practice, but can produce an accurate path. When you get the path adjusted to your satisfaction, click on the green commit checkmark in the options bar. Then using the text on custom path tool, click on the path and type.
Here Is the type on the path.
Type can be fun to manipulate, warp, style, fill with images or textures, the possibilities are endless. Experiment with all these options and you can create unique type that will enhance your scrapbook pages.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed but that our power to do is increased".