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Type Tool tips—Navigating through & editing text

Apr 22, 2009 7:50 AM

Type Tool Tips for Photoshop

Most folks understand how to create text in Photoshop. You select the Type Tool from the Toolbox, or you tap the "T" key on your keyboard. Then, in the Character Palette you set the attributes for font, color, size, etc. A simple click in your document window will mark the spot where you may begin typing unbounded "point" text. Or, you click and drag in your document window to create a paragraph text box. Type out your text, then tap your "Enter" key to commit the text to its new layer.

It's pretty straightforward, and Photoshop offers a decent set of tools to adjust how your text looks. One hitch that long-timers will tell you about, though: It's generally accepted that Photoshop isn't the best application to be using if you have to have to create a lot of text because it doesn't have all of the adjustment functions necessary to produce large amounts of professional-quality text. Well, the real world being what it is, sometimes, and for some users, Photoshop is the only application they have to work with; might as well make the best of it, right?

So, once you have text entered onto a layer in your document, how do you then reselect it either all of it or just a portion and navigate through it easily? What follows will answer some of those questions.

 
Note: The keyboard shortcuts that follow assume you are using a Mac. If you're using Windows, substitute the CTRL key for "Command."

Double-Click on the boxed 'T' thumbnail on the desired Text Layer in the Layers Palette. This will select and highlight all of the text on that layer.

Then, if you want, you can use some keyboard shortcuts to move the "Blinking Bar" Type Tool cursor through the text.


Assuming that your text is enclosed in a click-and-dragged out paragraph text box...

When all text is highlighted:

  • "Home" key will move cursor to the beginning of first line of text.
  • "End" key will move cursor to the end of last line of text.

When text is NOT highlighted, but cursor is flashing within the text:

  • "Home" key moves cursor to the beginning of the line it's in.
  • "End" key moves cursor to the end of the line it's in.
  • Command + "Home" moves cursor to beginning of first line of text.
  • Command + "End" moves cursor to end of the last line of text.
  • Shift + "Home" selects text from cursor position to the beginning of the line it's in.
  • Shift + "End" selects text from cursor position to the end of the line it's in.
  • Shift + Command + "Home" selects text from cursor position to the beginning of the first line of text.
  • Shift + Command + "End" selects text from cursor position to the end of the last line of text.


Arrow keys can also be used to select text in various ways.

When your cursor is flashing within the text:

  • Shift + Right Arrow cumulatively selects text one character or space at a time, from cursor position, progressing toward the end of the text.
  • Shift + Left Arrow cumulatively selects text one character or space at a time, from cursor position, progressing toward the beginning of the text.
    • ⇒ Add the Command key to select whole words at a time, in either direction.
  • Shift + Up Arrow selects text from cursor position back to the next line above the cursor.
  • Shift + Down arrow selects text from cursor position forward to the next line below the cursor position.
    • ⇒ Add the Command key to select text starting from the cursor position, and accumulating either back to the beginning of the first line, or forward to the end of the last line.

That covers most of what (or more than) you need to know to navigate through and highlight text. There are some other key combos, and now that you have an idea of what to do, I'll let you experiment and discover them on your own


Type Tool Visual Indicators


Keep a close eye on your Type Tool cursor as you move it near to and away from a hunk of text in your document window; it will change form to indicate different functions.

  • When you see it as a plain old "I-Bar" cursor, like so: I-bar.gif  ...that means that it's ready to select a position within that text, or to select a hunk of that text.
  • When you see a "boxed I-Bar" cursor, like so:  I-bar-boxed.gif  ...that means your cursor is outside of the selectable area for the current text, and is ready for you to click (to start right in typing some unbounded point text) or click-n-drag (to create a paragraph text box). This will, of course, create a new text layer.

selectable-text-area.jpgHow can you get a visual indicator of where that selectable area for current text begins and ends without blindly moving your Type Tool cursor around the text? Double-Click on the "Boxed-T" thumbnail in the Layers Palette. The text for that layer will become highlighted in your document window. See the black area that surrounds the text? That shows you the actual space occupied by the characters. If your Type Tool cursor is inside this highlighted area, it will display the plain "I-Bar" cursor. If it's outside of that area, it will display the "Boxed I-Bar" cursor.


Want to FORCE Photoshop to create a new Type Layer, even though you're seeing the plain I-Bar cursor? Hold the SHIFT key, then either click, or click-n-drag out a paragraph text box.


Info assembled & provided by phosphor.digital.network

 

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