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Lesson 9. Typographic Design > Using interactive formatting controls

Using interactive formatting controls

The Character palette in Photoshop contains many options to help you set beautiful type, but not all of the choices and controls are obvious—as in the trick of scrubbing the Tracking icon to choose a tracking value. In this exercise, you will make a type selection using another advanced trick for previewing type in the Character palette.

Make sure no layers are selected in the Layers palette, then select the Horizontal Type tool (). On the tool options bar, click the Center text alignment button, and then click the color box and choose a bright red color. Click OK to close the Color Picker. For the moment, don’t worry about which typeface or size you’re using.

Click the cursor on the center guide in the black stripe in the label. To be sure that you don’t accidentally start editing the OLIO text, make sure the cursor has a thin dotted line around it () when you click. This means you’ll create a new text layer when you type.

Type EXTRA VIRGIN in all caps.

Photoshop writes the text in whatever typeface (and size) was previously specified. But what if you want to use a different typeface? What if you’re not sure which typeface you want to use?

Select the EXTRA VIRGIN text in the image window, and then, in the Character palette, click on the name in the Font Family pop-up menu. The name becomes highlighted.

Press the up or down arrow key to cycle through the available fonts, and watch as Photoshop interactively previews each font in the highlighted EXTRA VIRGIN letters onscreen.

After experimenting, choose the sans serif typeface that you used for the OLIO letters —Myriad, in our example—and then use the Tab key to jump to the Font Style box.

Again, use the up and down arrow keys to cycle through available styles (if available) to choose one (we chose Bold), and watch as the styles preview interactively in the image window.

Tab to the Size box, and use the up or down arrow keys to set the type at 11 points.

Press Shift as you use the up and down arrow keys to change the Size increment by 10 points.

Tab to the Tracking field, and set the Tracking to 280: Type the value, use the up arrow key (press Shift as you tap the key to increase the increment by 100), or scrub to set it.

Select the Move tool () and drag the EXTRA VIRGIN text so that it is centered in the black bar of the label.

Choose File > Save to save your work so far.



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