Home > Articles > Graphics & Web Design > Photoshop & Adobe

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

The Type Tools

Photoshop offers four related tools for adding type to an image. The Horizontal Type tool (usually referred to as simply the Type tool), the Vertical Type tool, the Horizontal Type Mask tool, and the Vertical Type Mask tool are shown in their flyout palette in Figure 11.9.

Figure 11.9Figure 11.9 To open the flyout palette, click and hold on whichever Type tool icon is visible in the Toolbox.

The Horizontal and Vertical Type Tools

The only difference between the Horizontal Type and Vertical Type tools is the orientation of the characters added to the image. Note in Figure 11.10 the difference between vertical type and horizontal type that has been rotated.

Figure 11.10Figure 11.10 Consider vertical and horizontal to be references to the relationship among letters.

Both the Horizontal and Vertical Type tools create type layers when used. Unless you rasterized the type, and as long as the file remains in Photoshop's native format (.psd), the type remains editable. You can change the font, size, or other attributes as well as change the content of the text. You can click with either tool anywhere in an image window to create a new type layer and add point type. You can also drag with either tool to create a type layer and add paragraph type.


To make changes to an entire type layer, don't select any type; merely select the type layer in the Layers palette. You can change any attributes in the Character or Paragraph palettes, and the change is applied throughout the type layer.


To better evaluate changes being made to selected type, especially color changes, use (Command-H) [Ctrl+H] to hide the selection highlighting.

To edit existing type, click and drag with either tool to make a type selection. Changes are restricted to the selected type. There are a few shortcuts available when selecting type:

  • Click twice in a word with the Type tool to select the whole word.

  • Click three times to select the entire line of type.

  • Clicking four times selects the entire paragraph.

  • After clicking in existing type with the Type tool, hold down Shift and use the left and right arrow keys to add letters to the selection. The up and down arrow keys select all characters to the same location in the next line above or below the blinking cursor.

  • (Shift-Command) [Shift-Ctrl] and the right and left arrow keys add or subtract adjacent words from a selection.

  • Clicking at one point and Shift-clicking at another selects all characters in between.

The Type Mask Tools

Also available for horizontal and vertical type, the Type Mask tools do not create type layers. Rather, they create masks in the shape of the letters. (A non-type layer must be active in the Layers palette.) These masks become selections when you change tools, click the check mark in the Options Bar, or press (Command-Return) [Ctrl+Enter].

Using the Type Mask tools is comparable to using Photoshop's Quick Mask mode. Like Quick Mask, the temporary mask that is created is not retained after the selection is made. You'll see the translucent red overlay while adding the type, but the mask itself is lost when converted to a selection (see Figure 11.11).

Figure 11.11Figure 11.11 On the left, the mask is visible while the type is being set. On the right, the type is a selection and the mask is discarded. This happens automatically when you change tools or otherwise accept the type.

» For a full discussion of Quick Mask mode, see "Quick Mask Mode," in Chapter 10, "Making Selections and Creating Masks."

Type masks are often used to create layer masks in the shape of letters. It is usually not the tool of choice for creating large amounts of text and is especially inappropriate for small type sizes.


If you want to save the type mask, choose Select, Save Selection immediately after changing tools or otherwise accepting the type mask input.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account