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Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 46 of 58

Working with Type Overview


Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 46 of 58

Working with Type Overview


Lesson Info

Working with Type Overview

This is one of my favorite things to talk about, because Type is just so much fun. And, when you think about it, Type, the fonts actually that we use when we work with Type are actually little pieces of art that we can communicate with. So, that's super exciting. We'll talk a little bit, too. While we're at it, we'll talk a little bit about where we can get fonts, and things to think about when choosing fonts and combining fonts. So hopefully you'll be able to pick up a few design tips and techniques while we are working our way through this. We are going to be starting with this balloon image courtesy of It's also included in the bonus files, with the purchase, of course. And, before we do our actual project here, we're going to be adding type onto this balloon. But before we we really do that, we're just gonna play and explore the Type tool a little bit. And just fonts in general and how this works. So, to get started, we click on this letter T over here in the tool bar...

. The T of course stands for Type. So this represents the Type tool. And when we click on it, we see that, oh my goodness, we have not one, not two, not even three, but seven different Type tools. And this can look it's maybe the coolest thing ever to play with all of these Type tools. And you might be confused. Like which one should I start with? I don't really get this. I'm gonna go out on a wild limb here, and say that out of all of these tools, I really think you only need one Type tool. Or I guess two, because we could do type on a path here. So, this one is the regular Type tool, and this is Text on a Path, or Type on a Path. So I'm gonna show you how this all works, and how it all comes together. These other type tools do things that you can also easily get to from just here. So, what am I talking about? Let me show you some examples. First and foremost, how do we get Type into our document? With the Type tool active, just the regular horizontal tool, you have two options for getting Type onto the page. You can click just a single click. And, I could start typing. And you'll see there's some text. It's really quite small right now, and I'll show you how we can change that. But, what I want to point out about this technique of just that single click with the Type tool, is that it creates what is called Headline Type. Or point text. Which is, it just starts from the point where you click, and it just runs. I'm still typing and you can't probably see this at home. But there's a cursor way out here. It just runs indefinitely off the page. Unless, you press enter or return, then you can type a second line of Type. So that's how that works. This is really best suited for if you're placing Type, like you're just going to type a single word. Like we're going to be doing in this example. We're just gonna be putting one little word here. So this is great for that. The advantage of this is that you don't have to worry about a text box. So if I wanted to resize this text, I can press command, or control, A to select all of this. And then I can come down here in my options bar, for the Type tool, and we see that the size is currently 100, which in this image is still pretty small. I could change the size by clicking here and choosing something from this menu. Or I can type a number directly in this box. Or, what I prefer to do is actually hover my cursor right on top of this size label, and if you hover over there, you'll notice that the cursor becomes this double sided arrow. So I think we call this scrubber bar. And I can click, and actually just hold my mouse there, and scrub, meaning drag to the right, and the text will get bigger. What's nice about this single point text where it's not in a box, what's nice about it is as I enlarge the size of the type, it's just gonna get bigger. And I don't have to worry about resizing a Type box to contain this type. The drawback to this type is that editing it is a royal pain in the behind, because the line breaks are all manually created. So the only reason we have three lines of Type are because I pressed enter. So then if we decide if I say "Oh, I don't need all this text", and I delete it. So now I am. Oh man, that was really a lot of Type here. How much Type did I put? Quite a bit. If I delete all of this. There we go. In a regular Type box, or if you're, you know, working in Microsoft Word or something, the text on this line would wrap to jump up to the top line. But because of that manual line break, that doesn't happen when you create text like this. So that's a disadvantage for any large amount of text. So that's why, let me cancel that. When you create text, and you just are doing it without a text box, but just by clicking to enter that cursor, and create the type layer, that's best suited for just like single word, or like a couple words. Nothing where you would ever want multiple lines of text. Probably, okay? I'm gonna go ahead and commit this. And let's take a look at what is happening in the Layers panel. You'll notice we have our background. And then we have our new Type layer that was generated when I clicked with the Type tool. So we can tell that it's a Type layer because this thumbnail right here has a big giant T. So that let's us know that this is a Type layer. And I typed a bunch of gibberish out, so that's what it shows here. But by default, Photoshop will. Will always name your Type layers with whatever you typed. So you'll see that show up here. Another thing I want to point out is I've got the Move tool active and the settings are such that it's showing me this box around my layer. This is what happens by default. If you've never changed these settings, anytime you grab the Move tool, it's going to put a bounding box with handles around the contents of whatever layer you've got active. And that can be a handy thing because now I could just position my cursor here, and click and drag. So it's like you always have a Transform box ready for you. But, I think it's also quite dangerous. Because now if I just want to move this, if I'm not careful, and I click the wrong place, I've just transformed it. Or, maybe you accidentally rotate it when you really just want to be able to click and drag and move it. So, this is just my personal preference, but. This is what I recommend for people, too. Especially when you're new to Photoshop, and it just seems like there's a lot to manage. With that Move tool active, I like to turn off all these check marks. Plus, I also don't like the visual when I'm working on this Move tool. I don't like to just, to see the box on my screen. It's, for whatever reason, I find it incredibly distracting. So the funny thing though about these boxes are, when you remove them, the only way you can turn off all three is to remove them starting from the bottom first. So you click the bottom one off, then work your way up. And then you won't have that box around it. That is, can be handy. So if you find yourself wanting it for any reason, you can turn that back on. The handiest thing is really probably just autoselecting the layer. But, that's another thing that can be handy, and it can also be a royal pain. So, I only turn those things on when I need them. So now that I've got that turned off, if I want to move the Type tool, I can just click. Or move the Type layer. I can just click and drag and reposition this around wherever I want. Let me show you another way to add Type. Is still with that same Type tool. Instead of just a single click, I could click and drag. When I let go, this creates a new Type layer. And this is what we would call Paragraph Type. So, instead of just a single line of text that will never wrap unless you hit return to get it to the next line, Paragraph Type I could type away in here, and it will automatically wrap down to the next line as I type. So this is probably you know, what you would expect, or what you're used to working with in something like Word. And that's really all there is to that. So getting those Type layers out, you've got the two options. A single click to create what's sometimes called Headline Type, and a click and a drag to create this box. Either way, once you've got your text on the page, you'll notice that the cursor is active, and it's staring at you and blinking. And it's waiting for your input. And you're not going to be able to do anything else within Photoshop really until you either keep typing, or you commit your type. Or you cancel the whole thing. So when you're looking at this, and you're thinking "Okay, now I want to grab my paintbrush" or whatever, you're gonna get error messages or problems sometimes if you don't deal with this. So once you're happy with it, you want to click the check mark down here. If you just press enter, you're gonna get a line break of course. So you can't press enter to set the type. If you do like to work with your keyboard, like I do, I don't like coming and having to click here. I just, it's more natural for me to use the keyboard. So you could still use the Enter key, but you have to add command or control to avoid just making a line break. So once I'm happy with this type, I'm gonna press command or control, and then hit Enter, and that will set the Type. One thing to keep in mind about editing this type is you have to always be aware of what layer you're on. But also, if I need to get my cursor in here, and I want to change one of these words or something, I need to be careful where I click. So, I need to re-insert my cursor. To do that, I have to go back to the Type tool. And if I want to, say, like let's say I want to select a word here, I need to click to insert my cursor. But I want to watch carefully where I'm clicking. If I click here, where my cursor has a box around it, I will actually be, if I click and drag, what I've actually done is just created a new Type layer. So it may look like my cursor is in the same box, but I can't select anything, because the box is empty. Because it's a new box. And I can confirm that by looking in the Layers panel. So this is something that happens quite often. I see a lot of new people doing this, and you know, then they'll stop me and say, "What's happening? It's not working. "I've got this Type layer here, and I always say look at the Layers panel, and tell me what you see. And they'll stop and say "Oh, I have these two layers, and oh, "this is a rogue Type layer." So I call these rogue Type layers. And they show up when you're trying to select Type that you already have, but you click in the wrong spot, and you accidentally make a new Type layer. So this is gonna happen to you, and when it does, check your Layers panel to confirm, and then you can just hit the Escape key. Or you could click Cancel, but you can also just hit Escape, and that will get rid of the box, and it will also throw away the rogue Type layer. So to avoid that, you just want to be more careful with your cursor. So if I want to click to get my cursor in this box, instead of trying to click and swoop in, and just highlight it all at once, I'm just gonna put my cursor in the middle of it, where I don't have this box. You see that? The box goes away. I'm just going to put my cursor in the middle. And I'm gonna click once to just bring up the box, and insert my cursor. Now that the box is brought up, it's much easier to go in and you know, delete something or a whole bunch of somethings. So the trick is to just watch where you're clicking, and then just click once to bring up the box, and then make your changes instead of trying to do it all in one action. Alright. One thing I should point out too, is we need to talk about how we edit this stuff. And there's a difference of how you do this, whether you want to effect the whole type layer or you just want to change certain things. Let's pretend that we want to change this font entirely. Or we want to change the size. Or we want to change the color. We'll go back to the Type tool, and we can see that this font is Myriad Pro. And, let's say we want to change that to something else. As long as this Type layer is selected in the Layers panel, I don't have to worry about highlighting it like I would in Word, right? Once you've typed something in Word, if you want to change a whole paragraph of text, you have to highlight the text and make a change. But in Photoshop, if I want to change the whole Layer of Type, I don't have to highlight it here, because it's active, and it's already selected in the Layers panel. So I can just come over here to the Type menu, and I have a lot of options for that font. Let's come in here, and we'll just choose something, I don't know, Ride My Bike Pro Bold is kind of a fun font. I'll zoom in so we can see. And I can just change the type face, and it will just happen to the whole layer, okay? If I want to change to part of the Type layer, so maybe I want just this first section to be a different color or a different font or a different size, then I do have to insert my cursors. So then we would just carefully again click to bring up the box. Then I could click to highlight this whole chunk. Maybe I want to make that bit larger, and maybe we'll change that to something else. I don't know, Phosphate. Into that lately, this font, I guess. We'll change that. And maybe we change the color. So I'll highlight that text again, and come down to this color box. This is where we change the color for the Type. Click there, and I can either choose something from the swatches that pop up, or there are other swatches available. Or, I can click this little circle. I call it a beach ball. It's not really a beach ball, but. It does kind of look like it. I'll click this. That brings up the color picker, and then I could actually sample color right from the image. So maybe I'll pick like this green color from the flag over there. And I'll click okay. And, once I'm done with all those adjustments, I can click the check mark over here, okay? So if I want to adjust the whole Type layer at once, I don't need to highlight anything. I can just come to the Layers panel. So that is a quick look at just getting text on the page. Changing the font, changing the size, changing the color. Let's talk a little bit about the difference between some of these tools. So that's just the regular horizontal Type tool. One thing that people get really excited about is the idea of being able to place Type vertically. Let me show you how that works. If I click on this, and I'm gonna type. I'll scoot out so we can see. Let's pick a font. So we can just come from a good place from the beginning. Phosphate Solid. I don't know what size. Oh, no, I'm changing that font. I'm gonna turn off my selection of that layer by command or control clicking the Layers panel to deselect it. With this vertical type tool then, we'll come over here, and I'm just gonna click a point. So I'm not gonna type a vertical box. But just a point, and let's type. We'll type the words "Book Title". That's one place where we see vertical type sometimes. And I'm gonna select it all, since it's active. Since I'm actually in this layer, with an active Type cursor, then I do have to select it and highlight it if I want to change it while it's active like this. Let's scale up the size a little bit. We're gonna do a comparison. And I'm gonna have this, book title, and we'll make it white so we can just see it really easily. We'll change this color. And when I'm happy, I'll set that. We'll hide these layers. And now let me grab that Type tool one more time back to the horizontal Type tool. And I'm gonna type the same thing. Book title. So the vertical type tool just stacks Type vertically. Just like a totem pole. The letters are still standing as they normally would, but they're just arranged differently so that instead of being side by side, they're actually stacked vertically. And that seems really I guess a novel idea. People think this is so fun. I'm gonna play with vertical Type. And it can be fun. But there are some things to keep in mind about vertical Type. Vertical Type like this is very difficult to read. If we compare to the legibility of these two different treatments, we've got the horizontal and the vertical one. This one is much easier to read than this one, even though in both cases the letters are standing up right just as they normally would. There's actually been studies that have been done on this to measure the readability, and it turns out what makes this vertical type difficult to read is the fact that even though the letters are upright, the relationship between letters is different. So, normally when we read the word book, we're used to reading it horizontally. So when you change it, you change the shape of the word. And that makes it difficult to read. It turns out that we are more used to reading shapes than we are necessarily the individual letters. So we tend to read words as a whole. And it's easier to do when the letters have the same relationship. So that means that if you are trying to put text in a vertical space, for example, in the spine of a book, like you would have here, there's a better way to do it. And that would be to actually just take the horizontal version, and if I press command, or control, T, I can actually rotate that title to take up vertical space, but the letters themselves are actually rotated now. They still have the same side by side relationship. Does that make sense? So if we undo that, we can see. I mean we're obviously taking that horizontal type, and just spinning it. So again, that's just command, or control, T. And then you hover your cursor around a corner point until you get that curved double headed arrow. Then I'm gonna click and drag. And if I hold shift while I do that, I can snap my rotation into 15 degree increments, which allows me to hit 90 degrees easily, and I can just have a perfect rotation. So then I can commit it. So, if you. If you're at home right now, go take a look at your book case. Look at the books on your shelves, and I would be pretty surprised if you had any that had the text running vertically. In other word, where the letters are stacked on each other. Like this. I think that'd be pretty surprising. Because I mean most cases, professional designers who are putting together those book covers, they're gonna take the text and just rotate it like that. So that's just a little interesting fun fact I guess. So then what the heck would you do with the vertical type tool? Well, let's say for example, you were gonna be adding type in say Japanese. Japanese is read vertically, not horizontally. So, these tools, the vertical type tools, are really more in here, I think, for language support. And being able to accommodate all different kinds of languages around the world. So I would say stick to that for the vertical Type tool. And if you want to actually place Type in a vertical format that's not Japanese, then go ahead and stick with the horizontal Type, and just rotate it. And whoever is benefiting from your design, whether if that's your readers or your clients or your friends or whoever's looking at this, they will, I think, appreciate that. So that's one thing that I always like to point out. Okay, now that we know a little bit more about Type and Type layers and placing Type and editing Type, let's go ahead and get some Type onto this image that's not just gibberish. So I'm going to highlight all of these Type layers. And just click that Trash can. Alright, so. I'll just be using the regular horizontal Type tool. And I'm gonna click with my cursor. And I'm not gonna drag a Type box, because we're just gonna put one word here. And again, if I drag out that Type box, then I have to worry about resizing the box if I resize the Type. And it just gets to be unnecessary work. So I'm gonna put my cursor where I want it, and just give a single click. And I'm just gonna type Hi, period. And we're gonna go ahead and commit that.

Class Description

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Understand How Elements Works
  3. Importing Images
  4. Workspace Basics: Organizer
  5. Workspace Basics: Editor
  6. Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
  7. Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
  8. Apply Black & White Filters
  9. Sharpen an Image
  10. Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
  11. Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
  12. Explanation of Photoshop Elements
  13. Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
  14. Guided Edit Overview
  15. Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
  16. Ways to Save Files
  17. Layers & Simple Selections
  18. Combine Images with Layers
  19. How to Use Layer Styles
  20. Make Selections with Layers
  21. Make Selection with Lasso
  22. Compositing with Multiple Images
  23. Refine Edge Selection on Image
  24. Use Refine Edge on Images
  25. Create Gradient in Image
  26. Gradient Map Differences
  27. Options for Saving
  28. Brushes Overview
  29. Creatively Use Brushes
  30. How to Change Brush Settings
  31. Use Shape Tool with Brushes
  32. Work with Multiple Shape Layers
  33. Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
  34. How to Load Brushes into Elements
  35. Add Layer Style to Image
  36. Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
  37. Retouching Overview
  38. How to Use Content-Aware Fill
  39. How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
  40. Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
  41. Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
  42. How to Remove Tattoos
  43. Remove a Gap in Teeth
  44. How to Whiten Teeth
  45. Adjust Facial Features
  46. Working with Type Overview
  47. Match Type for Image
  48. How to Manipulate Type Layers
  49. Create Postcard with Type
  50. Add Type on a Path
  51. Organizing Images in Elements
  52. Add Keywords to Images
  53. Smart Tags Overview
  54. Using Albums in Elements
  55. Places Workspace Overview
  56. Use Event Tags on Images
  57. Timeline for Image Organization
  58. Recommended Workflow


a Creativelive Student

Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.


I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!

Ven S

Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.