Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro

Some of us of ‘a certain age’ can remember when the idea of being able to type something in more than one font was positively revolutionary! It came about when IBM introduced the Selectric typewriter that allowed you to change fonts by changing the typeball where all the keys were housed. For people who had spent their entire lives producing documents with a single font, this was nothing short of astounding! Now it seems painfully archaic. Today, through the magic of personal computers and word processors, we’re all familiar with the basics of working with text: font, size and color. Most programs use similar interfaces to change these, so it’s fairly easy to figure out how to get the look you want. As we get more creative with our use of text, there are a few more neat things we can alter to make text more interesting: Leading This is the space between lines of text. It’s called leading (pronounced LED-ing – rhymes with bedding) because in the old days when type was little chunks of lead set into rows by hand, if they wanted the rows of type to be farther apart they just added another strip of lead between the rows. Why change it? Changing leading can help you do the following:
  • Line text up with lines on papers/backgrounds
  • Adjust text to fill up a space
  • Squeeze a little more text into a tight space
  • For an artistic look
Here's how:
LeadingPS1 294x300 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro Photoshop
  • Choose your Type tool from the Tool Bar.
  • Click and drag to define your text box, the area in which you want to contain your text.
  • Type the text in the font, size and color you wish.
  • Highlight all the text by clicking and dragging over it.
  • Open the Character panel by going to Window> Character.
  • Find the Leading control (second from top at right) and adjust. You can hold your cursor over the icon and drag left or right until you get the spacing just the way you want it!
LeadingPSE 300x204 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro  Photoshop Elements
  • Choose your Type tool from the Tool Bar.
  • Click and drag to define your text box, the area in which you want to contain your text.
  • Type the text in the font, size and color you wish.
  • Highlight all the text by clicking and dragging over it.
  • In the Tool Options bar at the top, find the Leading control (two A's one on top of the other with an arrow, see screenshot) and click on the arrow to pull down the menu or hold your cursor over the icon and drag left or right to adjust.
Paint Shop Pro
  • Choose your Type tool from the Tool Bar.
  • Click on your project where you want the text to start (in PSPX3 and X4, if you want the familiar text entry box, hold Shift when you click)
  • Type the text in the font, size and color you wish.
  • Highlight all the text by clicking and dragging over it.
  • In the Tool Options bar at the top, find the Leading setting and enter the value you want or use the arrows.
Kerning This is the spacing between each letter. Font designers usually pay very close attention to how their letters relate to each other. Some letters are wider, some are narrower, requiring less space between them for a good look. Why change it? You may want to change your text kerning to do the following:
  • Create false fully justified text (spread the text out so it touches both margins)
  • Adjust spacing to allow for a larger capital letter
  • Compensate for a poorly made font where the spacing is not calibrated well
Here's how:
KerningPS2 259x300 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro Photoshop
  • Choose your Type tool from the Tool Bar and type your text wherever and however you want it. You do NOT need to use a text box for this, it will work on any line of type, type on a path, type inside a path or in a text box.
  • To adjust the spacing between all the letters in a section of text, highlight the section you want to adjust by clicking and dragging.
  • Open the Character panel by going to Window> Character.
  • Find the Kerning control (third box from top at right, under the Leading control) and click on the arrow to pull down the menu or hold your cursor over the icon and drag left or right to adjust.
  • To adjust the spacing between two single letters, place your cursor between the two letters. Hold down the ALT key and use your left and right arrow keys to nudge the letters closer together or apart!
kerningPSE 300x191 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro Photoshop Elements[Image: kerningPSE] [Image: kerningPSE2]Elements doesn't let us adjust kerning directly, but there is a workaround that is partly effective:
  • First you have to turn on the option. Go to Edit> Preferences> Type and click on Show Asian Text Options. This will add an Asian-looking icon to your Options bar when the Type tool is active.
kerningPSE2 300x292 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro
  • With the Type tool active, highlight the text you wish to adjust by clicking and dragging over it.
  • Click on the Asian icon in the Options bar and choose one of the percentages from the drop-down menu. You can see that it doesn't adjust the kerning too much, but it's better than nothing and can help you fit your text into a tight space.
Paint Shop Pro
  • Enter the text you want to have.
  • Before you close the Text Entry window (or Accept), highlight the text you want “tighter” or spread apart.
  • Change the setting under Kerning.
  • If you already have your text and you want to change the kerning of some segment, open the Text Entry window or highlight the text (in PSPX3 and X4) before changing the Kerning value.
Baseline Shift The bottom edge of the text is called the baseline, but you can move where the text sits in relation to this line. Why change it? You may want to adjust the baseline shift for the following reasons:
  • Adding ordinal numbers - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
  • Getting your text on a path closer or farther away from an object
  • Adding meaning to a text with a visual cue
Here's how:
baseline1PS 300x114 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro Photoshop
  • Choose your Type tool from the Tool Bar and type your text wherever and however you want it. You do NOT need to use a text box for this, it will work on any line of type, type on a path, type inside a path, or in a text box.
baseline2PS 300x206 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro
  • Open the Character panel by going to Window> Character.
  • Locate the Baseline Shift control (to the left of the Color swatch).
  • Put your cursor over the icon to the left of the box and click and drag to adjust. Or, you can type a number into the box.
Baseline3PS 300x228 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro
 Photoshop Elements
  • Sorry, Elements doesn't allow for baseline shift. But you can always do it manually:
  • Type the portion of the text you want to shift on its own layer, then use the Move tool or the arrow keys to manually move it where you want it!
Offset1 300x102 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro  Paint Shop Pro
  • Enter the text you want to have.
  • Before you close the Text Entry window (or Accept), highlight the text you want adjusted from the baseline.
  • Change the setting under Offset.
Offset2 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro
  • If you already have your text and you want to change Offset, open the Text Entry window or highlight the text (in PSPX3 and X4) before changing the Offset value.
  • This will NOT work with segments (like for 1st ) but for the whole text relative to the baseline, especially useful with text along a path
Text Warp Because fonts are vector rather than raster images, you can warp them easily yet still keep the text editable.  (See sidebar for an explanation of the difference.) Why warp text? You may want to warp your text for the following reasons:
  • Change the shape of your text without losing the ability to edit it later
  • Create movement on your page with shaped text
  • Create a sense of perspective and dimension easily
  • Add humor or interest to titles and headlines
Here's how:
Textwarp1 300x158 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro Photoshop
  •  Click and drag to define your text box - the area in which you want to contain your text.
  • Type the text in the font, size and color you wish.
  • Highlight the text you want to warp by clicking and dragging over it.
  • Locate the Text Warp icon in the Tool Options Bar (it's a capital T with a curvy arrow underneath it, to the right of the Color swatch) and click on it to open the dialog box.
  • From the top drop-down menu choose one of the options, and you'll see the different adjustment sliders (they can change depending on which option you choose). Play around with these until you get the look you like!
TextWarpPSE 300x273 Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro Photoshop Elements
  •  Click and drag to define your text box - the area in which you want to contain your text.
  • Type the text in the font, size and color you wish.
  • Highlight the text you want to warp by clicking and dragging over it.
  • Locate the Text Warp icon in the Tool Options Bar (it's a capital T with a curvy arrow underneath it, to the right of the Color swatch) and click on it to open the dialog box.
  • From the top drop-down menu choose one of the options, and you'll see the different adjustment sliders (they can change depending on which option you choose). Play around with these until you get the look you like!
Paint Shop Pro
  • Enter the text you want to have.
  • Before you close the Text Entry window (or Accept), highlight the text you want warped along the curves.
  • Check the box for Warp Text.
  • If you already have your text and you want to change the warping of the whole text, open the Text Entry window or highlight the text (in PSPX3 and X4) before checking the Warp Text box.
  • The result is subtle, but you'll see a slight widening of the characters and thickness at the ends of lines.
Take some to explore these four ways to refine and define your text.  You'll be happy with the results! Thank you to Guest Author Cassel for contributing all the PSP instructions.
Cassel Fine Tune Your Text Four Ways with Photoshop, Elements, and Paint Shop Pro  Cassel is an old hand at PSP; she's been using Paint Shop Pro since version 7. She started by doing basic graphics and then discovered digital scrapbooking. She managed a yahoo group for several years, teaching the members to create their own scrapbooking elements using only Paint Shop Pro tools and functions. Last year, she opened The Scrapbook Campus, where she teaches digital scrapbooking using Paint Shop Pro, which is, as she's quick to tell you, an inexpensive, powerful and underestimated graphic software.
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  • Philippa

    OMG i love yu forever i just tried the leding ting and it is super easy, now my yournal tags will look awesme without nearly so much work, thank you so much

    • SWJenn

      Philippa, you made my day! So glad when we can teach someone something that makes scrapping easier and more fun! You rock! Keep on scrappin’!

  • Lana

    Thank you , I really leaned new things today.

  • JACKIE

    Glad i found this,Having trouble with text on my pages.Thank you.

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