By Jennifer Farley

Five Photoshop Type Speed Tips

By Jennifer Farley

type1As your skills improve in Photoshop, you’ll find that you want to do everything faster and with less clicks. Luckily, Photoshop provides us with more than one way to do many things. Here are five tips and tricks for speeding up how you work with Type.

1. Highlight Your Text Really Fast

If you’re working on an image and want to highlight your text AND switch to the Type tool at the same time, double click the “T” icon in the Layers palette. And now you can edit away.


2. Change Your Fonts Without Having To Keep Going Back To The Font Drop Down Box

Highlight the type that you want to change in your image and the press Ctrl+ H (PC) or Cmd+H (Mac) to hide the highlighting. Then, in the Tool Options Bar, click once in the Font field, now use the Up and Down Arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through your installed typefaces. This is a MAJOR timesaver.


3. See The Correct Color Of Your Type

If you select your type in Photoshop and then change the color using the color picker on the toolbar, you won’t see the correct color, rather you see a sort of inverse color. You’ll then need to deselect the highlighted text to see the color properly.


Here’s how to speed this process up. After you’ve added and committed your type, just click on the Color Swatch on the Tool Options Bar at the top of the screen. Changing the colors from here allows you to see the type update on the fly.


4. Edit Text Without Highlighting It First
Click on your Type layer in the Layers palette. Then open the Character palette (choose Window > Character if it’s not open). Now you can choose any options you want from the Character palette and the changes happen instantly.


5. Make Your Text Preview Larger.
When you’re choosing a font from the drop down list on the tool options bar, Photoshop will display the name of the font with a small sample alongside it. If you find that the sample is too small to actually make out, you can change it’s size by going to Edit > Preferences > Type.
Choose from Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large or Huge to change the Font Preview Size.


This is what Extra Large looks like;


So there you have it! You should be a Photoshop Type Speed Demon if you start using these tricks.

What other Type tricks do you use?

  • Great tips! I hadn’t come across any of these before. Just makes things a little easier. Thanks Jennifer!

  • JL

    Similar to #2: In addition to the arrow keys, you can also change the type size, leading, kerning, etc. by clicking in the field and using your mouse’s scroll wheel to adjust.

  • Paul Adam

    Thanks for the tip on making the font preview size larger, I guess I need to investigate the preferences in more detail!

  • Definitely didn’t know about the CTRL + H trick to hide the highlight effect on the text. Will most likely be using that from now on, haha! :)

  • LFA

    Very useful! I didn’t know about any of theese tricks before either.

  • Wardrop

    I actually knew all of these (worked it all out myself I guess over the years). Makes me feel good about my knowledge of photoshop. Just a warning when using tip #2, every change you make (in other words, every time you press the arrow key), you’re creating another history state. So if you don’t have your number of history states set to something above 100, you’ll quickly burn through all of them until you can’t undo anything prior to going through the list of fonts.

    Another text editing tip as well. When you’re finished editing text, press CTRL + Enter to apply the change (instead of selecting another tool).

  • joybells

    Thanks, great list. #1 is an eye-opener for me. I’m used to using keyboard shortcuts, so using “T” to select the type tool and then clicking on the text I want to edit has now been cut down one step further. The biggy for me has always been how to quickly commit changes after editing text and move on to other text elements. Now I know :)

  • Wardrop, great Ctrl + Enter tip for committing text.

    JL, nice tip on the mouse scroll wheel too.

    Thanks everyone.

  • Stacy

    With the text tool active, and the cursor appearing in your layer, CTRL + t will bring up the Character Tab. From there you can edit vertical and horizontal spacing, color, and other font properties.

  • Stacy

    Oh, and do forget Scrubby Sliders. When a tool shows up with a double arrow on it, you can highlight over that tool and slide left and right to increase or decrease whatever you’re working with. (Like spacing or font size).

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