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Chapter Thirteen. Type > Transforming

Transforming

Q1:Is it possible to change the shape of letters? Is there a way to alter the actual shape of letters like you can in vector software?

A1: Yes, by converting the type to a path or a shape. From the Layer menu choose Type>Create Work Path or Convert to Shape. Then you can use the Pen tool (P) to add/delete anchor points and the Direct Selection tool to reshape the paths. Note: You cannot use this command if your typeface uses Faux Bold or Faux Italic.
Q2:Is it possible to distort my type but still keep it editable? I want to use transformations on a Type layer but would still like to edit my text. Is that possible?
A2: It depends on the transformation you want to use. Many transformations—Scale, Rotate, Skew, and Flip found under Edit>Transform—can be applied to Type layers without losing the ability to edit the type. Other transformations such as Distort and Perspective will not work unless you first rasterize the Type layer (Layer>Type>Rasterize).
Q3:Is it possible to convert a Type layer into paths?
A3: Yes. From the Layer menu choose Type>Create Work Path. Then you can use the Pen tool (P) to add/delete anchor points and the Direct Selection tool to reshape the paths. Note: You cannot use this command if your typeface uses Faux Bold or Faux Italic.
Q4:How can I put text on a curve? I can't figure out how to take a straight line of text and curve it so that it makes a perfect circle.

A4: First, use the Ellipse tool (Shift-U) to draw a circular path (be sure the Paths icon is selected in the tool's Options Bar). Then select your type with the Type tool (T), cut it (Edit>Cut), click on the circular path with the Type tool, and paste (Edit>Paste). To reposition the type along the path, hold down Command (PC: Control) and drag the cursor along the path.
Q5:How do I hide part of a Type layer? I want to hide part of a Type layer to make it look like the type is behind part of an image. How do I do that without losing the ability to edit the text?
A5: First, click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a layer mask to the Type layer. Then, with black as your Foreground color, paint (on the mask) using the Brush tool (B) over the portions of the Type layer that you want to hide.
Q6:Why can't I add a perspective distort to my type? I am trying to use the Edit>Transform commands on a Type layer and most of them are available, but not Distort or Perspective. Is it possible to do a perspective distort to type?
A6: Not really—at least it's not possible to use Distort or Perspective and still keep editable type. You'll have to do one of the following:
  1. Rasterize the Type layer (Layer>Rasterize>Type) before applying Distort or Perspective (or even better, make a copy of the Type layer and then rasterize the copy).

  2. Change the Type layer to a Shape layer. From the Layer menu, choose Type>Convert to Shape. Now you can use Distort or Perspective and have the added advantage of using a vector shape to describe the type. It's still not editable, but at least it will have higher quality edges.


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