There are very few people who have never heard once in their lives about Adobe Photoshop or about the more commercial collocation “photoshopped image.” Even if it’s not so widespread around designers and many prefer Illustrator, the “cousin” of him, Photoshop is a great tool to enhance the paragraphs types. It’s true that some techniques are more efficient and need less time to do in other programs, yet, it remains a valid solution for almost everything.
Adobe Photoshop may seem very complicated for beginners but across time once you gained experience, all is simplified. The same principle is applied in dealing with typography. Apparently insignificant, the letters are the small details which make the big difference. This post is written especially for the amateurs or intermediate users of Photoshop, to familiarize them with few specific techniques and tips. Obviously, it may also be useful to the most advanced ones, to refresh their acknowledgement and why not, to enrich it.
There are enough projects that need a good amount of text to be inserted into a specific area of a file. A solution may be writing the respective text word by word and aligning it but it will consume a lot of time and energy. Another solution is Copy+Paste the text but it will be placed as a long line and the space to insert will be crossed. By far, the best option is to select the region where the text must be inserted with a simple left click when the Horizontal Type Tool is active and in this way it will be marquee. The next step is pretty simple, effectively paste the text. It’s normal the text will not be totally fitted to the demand of the user but it is simpler to handle.
Many designers waste a lot of time to be sure that the selected color scheme assures the best contrast and usually huge and numerous mistakes are still made. A very good rule to check the contrast of the letter with the background is to desaturate the file. A desaturated file has discarded, but not lost the colors and in this format it’s clearer if the contrast is enough; by having no trouble here it’s hard to believe that by using colors there will be problems related to it. Paradoxically, using a single color and various nuances (hues or shades) as background a very decent contrast is obtained, pleasant to the eye, while two opposed colors may get the desired contrast but there will be a fatiguing tension and the eyes of the viewers will suffer. It’s very important to pay close attention to it!
Many text effects impress the viewers and lots of people have the tendency to say that surely they can’t ever do the same job. Wrong! A very powerful tool to deal the types is “Warped text.” It allows various and complex text effect and many users are somehow reticent to use it. The excessive use of it is, clearly, a sign of amateurish approach but avoiding it is a bigger mistake. Learning how to use this command isn’t very difficult but a decent experience is required and the healthy modality of having control over it is to experiment.
One of the biggest mistakes made by some designers is to be in a hurry and lacking the time to check the spelling of the text inserted into the projects. It’s awful to discover at the end of the project, when the client is on his way to your office that a letter is missing from the title!
Fortunately, Adobe Photoshop has the facility to check the written text and many users neglect it or simply don’t know about it. It is so simple to do, just go to Edit menu and in the drop-down menu you will find “Check spelling” and the shameful mistakes are avoided.
It could happen that in a long text you will need to replace a word or a collocation. Microsoft Office Word has the well-known option “Find & replace” that saves a great amount of time and surprisingly, Adobe Photoshop has the same feature. It’s also located in Edit menu, near “Check spelling”. By using it, the user shouldn’t check by himself the text and replace the words and not to copy the text in order to make the modifications in Office Word.
Anyone may be a good Photoshop user without this little trick but it’s nice to know. Let’s suppose that you want by all your means to make a word bolded or italicized but the respective font doesn’t have the option to render the letters in these formats. The software has the possibility to bold or italicize. It’s true, the results aren’t always very good, but once again, it’s better to know about it, it isn’t mandatory to use it. To see how Photoshop makes the letters bolded select Horizontal Type Tool and press Control/Command+Shift+b, and to italicize them, Control/Command+Shift+i. Another option for doing the same thing is using the shortcuts in the Character pallet.
Another trick, not very widespread but one that makes the difference between a designer and a good one, is the possibility of inserting special characters into a project. To realize this thing the user must go the Start menu and search for Character Map and the interface of it is self-explicatory, just select the character copy it and paste into the project.
Definitely, Photoshop is an almost unlimited source of effects and no one may say that he is fully a specialist. There are always little tricks and commands that aren’t yet known and used. On the other hand, this shouldn’t be a limitation. It allows designers to make original works; and constantly experimenting seems to be the best solution.
Lief is a creative designer, blogger and iPhone app developer. He works for several companies as freelancer contributing brushes, filters and helping designers across blogosphere. In his free time he competes with custom logo design at LogoArena to showcase his talent, In fact he won few contests too.