Photoshop provides you with the capability to exercise precise control over the text you place in your documents using the Type tool.
The five main features that control the size and position of your text can all be found in the Character panel (see Figure 1). So you can select the relevant text and then adjust these parameters in the panel dialog, but there are some keyboard shortcuts that I think make it easier.
To adjust the Font Size of selected text hold down the [Cmd/Ctrl] and [Shift] keys and press the “<” (less than) and “>” (greater than) keys to reduce and increase the font size respectively. If you add the [Opt/Alt] key as well you will reduce or increase the font size in larger increments.
“Tracking” and “Kerning” refer to the horizontal space between characters. Tracking is used to refer to the spacing for a large group of characters (e.g an entire block of text, a paragraph, a sentence or a word) whilst kerning refers to the spacing between two individual characters.
To adjust the tracking of a selected block of text, hold down the [Opt/Alt] key and press the “left arrow” to decrease the tracking (move the characters closer to each other) and “right arrow” to increase the tracking (move the characters further apart). To adjust the kerning of two individual characters, position the text cursor in between them and use the same keystroke combinations.
“Leading” refers to the vertical space between the lines of characters. To adjust the leading of a selected block of text, hold down the [Opt/Alt] key and press the “down arrow” to decrease the leading (move the lines closer to each other) and “up arrow” to increase the leading (move the lines further apart).
The baseline refers to the imaginary line upon which the characters sit, you can adjust the baseline for selected characters for things like subscripts and superscripts, or to place special characters like copyright symbols at a different height. To adjust the baseline of a selected character or group of characters, hold down the [Opt/Alt] and [Shift] keys and press the “down arrow” to shift the character(s) down and “up arrow” to shift the character(s) up.
This article was first published in the December 2018 issue of Artists Down Under magazine.