Adobe Photoshop Tutorial. Copyright Michael B. Karbo.

  • Next chapter.
  • Previous chapter.

    23. Exercise with text

    on the following pages part we will start with a few small exercises, which illustrate other aspects of Photoshop. Those are:

    ·     Pictures with text and effects.

    ·     Correcting ”slanted” picture geometry.

    ·     Picture reparation Healing Brush among others.

    The rest of this part deals with the very comprehensive subject color tone adjustment. Here we show how you use the two very important functions ”Levels” and ”Curves”.

    Here you are going to work with text. Photoshop has over the years been better and better to handle text.

    Text in Photoshop

    When you work with text in pictures, you usually only need shorts text. Longer texts are produced with other types of programs; a picture processing program like Photoshop is not designed for inserting longer dissertations.

    But the program is excellent tovary the appearance of a short text, so it can be fitted to the rest of the picture. The text can be fitted using fonts (including with many colors). You can use Layer Styles, of which there are many.

    Finally you can use other effects like masks or place text along curves etc. The possibilities are really infinite, so we will only give a brief introduction.

    Preparing a photo with text

    The first exercise involves preparing a photo with text.

    1.   Get the picture coffee.jpg from the home page for this booklet. Open it in Photoshop, and save it as coffee1.psd.

    2.   But the picture is too small for the continuing work; you need more elbow room. You get that by expanding the canvas size (see the explanation on page 89). Select menu items Image --> Canvas Size….

    3.   Select the pixels measuring unit, and enter the numbers 1000 in the width field and 800 in the Height field:

    4.   Click OK; then you have a larger work area.

    5.   There is some ”dirt” (some unwanted background) around the coffe beans. You can see that clearly in the lower left corner of the picture. Delete that. Choose the regular eraser with a suitable brush size, and get going removingit:

    6.   Notice the right and left side of the picture. The coffee beans apear somewhat ”chopped up” because of the vertical border in othsides. Try to soften them carefully with the eraser, so both sides get a little more irrregular:

    7.   Save the image file again when you have removed the unwanted picture details.

    The Text tool

    Now you need to insert a text in the picture.

    1.   Set the foreground color to red. Then click on the text tool’s button (or press t):

    2.   Click somewhere in the picture. You can see the cursor blink.

    3.   Use the settings line to select the Comic Sans MS font in size 220 (enter the number directly in the field):

    4.   Then write the word Coffee. You can finish the entry with Control+Enter, or you can click on the checkmark in the far right of the settings line:

    5.   Now two tings happened. Firstly it reads ”Coffee” with large red letters somewhere in the picture. Secondly a new layer has been inserted. Check for yourself; You should see this layer in the layer palette:

    6.   So text is placed in separate layers. That is smart, since it allows you to edit the text later. You can see that the layer has been named according to the text. You can also see from the upper case T, that this is text.

    7.   Now doubleclick on the T:

    8.   That selects the text in the picture itself. Now you can change the text and its formatting. Try to press ArrowLeft and ArrowRight. The cursor moves inside the text.

    9.   If you want to change the font, the whole text has to be selected. But don’t do that now.

    10.   Click on the OK button in the settings line, or press Control+Enter.

    11.   Now use the move tool to place the text properly in the picture. Here is a smart tip: You can activate the move tool temporarily by holding the Control key down. See for yourself, the cursor changes:

    12.   Then you move the text and release the Control key.

    13.   If you want to edit the text, you can select the text tool and cllick somewhere in the text – then it is ready for editing!

    14.   Save the image file.

    Brighter text

    Letus pep up the letters a bit. You need some efect, and that is done done with Layer Styles.

    Layer Styles is a series of effects, which can be used on all types of layers. Try to look back to page 116. There you used Layer Styles to give some shadow to the bottom of the bear. Here you will use the same type effect for the text.

    1.   The text layer has to be selected in the layer palette.

    2.   Make these menu choices: Layer --> Layer Style. You now see lots of options for for Layer Style.

    3.   Choose Drop Shadow… That opens the large dialog box Layer Style, which is ”cockpitted” for the layer effects:

    4.   You could also activate the same menu by clicking on the button ”Add a layer style” in the bottom of the layer palette (the button to the left, with a small f).

    5.   In the large dialog box’s left side you see all the many layer effects. Here a checkmark has been placed by Drop Shadow, which was the effect you chose. Now put checkmarks also by the effects Inner Shadow, Inner Glow and Bevel and Emboss:

    6.   Also put a chckmark by Contour (that is a sub menu in Bevel and Emboss).

    7.   To the right you see the parameters, which are used to fine tune the effects. While Bevel and Emboss are selected, you need to choose Style: Outer Bevel like here:

    8.   Then click on OK. Now you got more lifein the letters:

    Notice the small effect beams that appeared under the text layer in the layer palette. They show which layer effects are used:

    9.   We now think that the text is acceptable. If you are not satisfied, you need to try additional effects for yourself.

    10. For the sake of clarity you can click on the small triangle to the right in the textlayer’s beam. That hides the informations about layer effects:

    11. Finally save the image file.

    More about the layer effects

    If you want to experiment with these effects, you could test the ready made effects, which are hidden in the Styles palette. You need to select the text layer and then click on the small buttons in the Styles palette. Each button gives your text a new look. You can install styles from different collections using the pop-up menu (see also the description of Preset Manager on page 107).

    Figure 56. You can use a great number of ready made effects in your text.

    You can study the individual styles’ structure by opening the effect beams in the layer palette. A double click on the f’ to the left of each effect opens the dialog box Layer Style again.


    We conclude by cropping the picture. That can be done in many ways, but the best is to use the Crop tool, which is also described on page 89.

    1.   Activate the tool by pressing c (for crop):

    2.   Now drag a cropping frame in the picture. It does not need to be particularly accurate in the first round.

    3.   You adjust the selection size by dragging the dotted line.

    4.   When you have made the needed selection, click on the OK button to the right in the settings line or press Enter.

    5.   Then the picture is cropped – all the superfluous is removed. Save the picture for the last time.

    Figure 57. The finished picture with text and cropping.

    More about text in pictures

    You have a rather brief text exercise, which shows how easy it is to insert text in a picture. It is very easy to make bright birthday cards, invitations etc. employing a photo and the text tool.

    The text can be varied indefinitely by using layer effects, as you have seen. If you want to do more work on the text appearance, you could teat i with various filters. Check the possibilities for yourself in the Filter menu.

    Finally, in some situations it may be necessary to rasterize the text layer. When you insert text in a picture, it is automatically placed in a text layer. This means that you edit the text. But if you try to blur the text with the Blur filter, you get this message:

    If you click on OK, the text will be converted to pure bitmap data. Then you can no longer edit it. But all filters and other effects work. You can also convert the text to bitmap by right clicking on the text layer and select Rasterize Layer:

    Figure 58. The text layer is converted to an ordinary picture layer. Then the text can be manipulated with all tools like any regular layer – only it can no longer be edited.

  • Next chapter.
  • Previous chapter.

  • Adobe Photoshop book overview.