Photoshop Text Effects #1

Photoshop Text Effects #1 main article image
Posted on October 5, 2021 by Becky Louise

Photoshop has almost unlimited potential when it comes to creating stylised text. You can probably create any type of effect imaginable if you know how to.

There are many simple but effective techniques that you can use to create some really cool text effects, in this article we’re going to look at a few of those and take a look into some of the settings which can be used to create straightforward but effective changes to our text.

This post is the first in a series of Photoshop Text Effects articles, stay tuned for the next installment where we’ll get more practical and learn how to use these settings to create some really cool pieces of digital art!

Overview of Text Controls and Settings

First off, we’ll take a quick look at some of Photoshop’s key tools which are used to edit text and create different effects.

To begin, we need to know how to add text to our canvas. You can do this by pressing the T symbol on the left-hand side menu of Photoshop.

Once you’ve added your text, you’ll see a menu across the top of the program appear which allows you to select your font and size amongst other options.

On the above image, the first drop-down menu is where you select your font. so all of Photoshop’s preset fonts will be listed alongside any which you may have downloaded. Click here to check out Creative Fabrica’s range of downloadable fonts.

The second drop-down menu is used when your chosen font has two parts, for example, the Work Hard Eat Harder font or Melody Southern – you can see that the download itself has two components, all classed as one font. This will appear here!

The third drop-down menu you see is the font size. You can either select a number from the list or enter your own.

Tip: you can add decimals that aren’t listed, for example, 20.5 pt, and you can add larger numbers than those you see listed!

Our next drop-down menu is text anti-aliasing. If you’re not familiar with the term anti-aliasing, this refers to the edges of the text and tools which can be used to alter them to approve readability or appearance. Using anti-aliasing ensures that fonts are displayed with smooth edges and no jagged, pixelated, lines.

We have four anti-aliasing options to choose from; sharp, crisp, smooth, and strong. Larger texts generally require smooth or strong to avoid pixelated edges. For smaller text, you’ll probably have to use crisp or sharp. The effects of using anti-aliasing are very subtle in a lot of cases, but noticeable if you print work out or use graphics on websites. Unless you’re more advanced in Photoshop, you probably won’t need this tool, however, it’s good to have an idea of what it does.

Our next option is text alignment. This is a pretty standard tool across any graphic design or word processing program. You can use this tool to align text to the left, centre, or right.

The next box along is the colour of the text.

After this, we have text warping. This is where we can choose to shape our text, for example, create arches or perspective effects.

These tools are really cool if you have a specific project in mind, or even just to experiment with. Once you’ve selected the shape of text you want, you can even adjust the levels of bend and distortion.

The next icon, which looks like a folder, is one of the main text editing control panels. In this section, we can change the spacing (also known as tracking) in between text, either relating to each letter or word, horizontally or vertically. If you’re not familiar with this menu, it’s definitely worth spending some time getting used to the settings.

A great function of this section is the icon that says VA. This setting is named tracking, and it amends the gap between each letter, using this can have such an impact on your design. In the below image, the red text is the standard font, and the black text is the same font with the tracking adjusted to 100.

Tip: if you select a tracking number with a minus (-), this will move the letters closer together. Positive numbers will move the letters further apart.

Also in this panel, are some buttons that can make simple changes to your text, such as bold, italic, sizing, underline, and strikethrough.

Next, let’s move onto the layers panel on the right-hand side of the screen. This section is probably the one that you’ll use the most, on any Photoshop project.

The first thing you’ll notice is the colour panel. You can use this to change colours of any elements, brushes, or text on your canvas.

To change the colour of text on your canvas, ensure the text layer is selected, and then double click what you want to change the colour of, before selecting your new shade in the colour menu.

Another section that you may find handy, is the button which looks like an A to the left of the colour chooser. This is a quick way to get to the text editing control panel which we mentioned above (the menu which is inside the icon that resembles a folder).

There are also paragraph options included in this menu, where the indent or bullet point settings can be adjusted. To access this, either select the paragraph tab, or the funny-looking P sign underneath the A.

You can hide this menu again by pressing the >> to the right of the tabs, inside the box.

Next, we’re going to take a look at the icons at the bottom of the Layers panel.

In order, these options are:

Link layers
Add a layer style
Add a layer mask
Create new fill or adjustment layer
Create a new group
Create a new layer
Delete layer

The menu from this section which we’ll use the most for editing text will be add a layer style, the button which says fx.

Inside this menu, we have various options for editing our full layer, but these are often most effective on text elements.

By tapping the first option, blending options, you can access the main layer style menu where all of these effects are able to be applied and adjusted.

This menu is quite comprehensive and there are a lot of settings and adjustments which we can make. It looks a little intimidating but once you get the hang of it, it’s really useful and fun.

We’ll look into this menu a little more in detail in our next Photoshop Text Effects article when we’ll experiment with some of the settings to create some really cool works of digital art.

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