Tagged: text

Don’t apply Baseline Shift to move a paragraph up or down in Adobe InDesign

id-baseline-adjust
Adobe InDesign’s Baseline Shift feature is designed for moving a character up or down a little bit—and it’s great for when a bullet is too low, or a trademark symbol needs to move down, or something like that. But it was not designed for setting the vertical position of a whole line or paragraph!

David Blatner has a great run-through at InDesign Secrets on how and when to properly adjust the Baseline of your text.

Moving stylized text from Word to InDesign

Creative Pro writer, Jamie McKee, shares the ins-and-outs of getting stylized text from MS Word to Adobe InDesign without a lot of fuss.*

We all get MS Word files from a client for placement in a brochure, booklet, newsletter, or magazine. We end up having to reformat the text by hand more often than not. But there is a better way, which Jamie goes into.

MS Word to InDesign conversion

*That being said, I find Jamie’s solution to be more trouble than it’s worth by an order of magnitude. The problems with his methods are:
A) you have to go through the trouble of setting up the style sheets in word, being careful to name them the same as the ones you’re using in InDesign.
B) you have to do that for every Word file, because…
C) your client isn’t going to bother using your stupid Word file anyway

Now don’t get me wrong, his solution will work if you have a technically savvy client, or you work in an in-house design shop such as a magazine, etc. But the real-world realities are that it’s rare that you’ll find a client that will not make a mess out of this otherwise simple process.

But take a look at the article, because it’s quite informative. Even if your client refuses to use your perfectly stylized Word file, it’ll show you how to at least take some of the work out of the manual stylizing process.

Improve text appearance with Photoshop’s anti-aliasing

One of the most important things you can do to improve the look of your text in Photoshop is adjust the anti-aliasing of the text based on the size the text will be displayed at.

Photoshop text anti-alias
Text anti-aliasing can be found in Photoshop’s Control Bar (usually located at the top of the screen) when you have the text tool selected. You’ll find it just to the right of the point size entry box, as seen in the screenshot above. You can adjust the anti-aliasing by selecting the options in the drop-down menu.

There are four anti-aliasing options, Smooth, Strong, Crisp and Sharp. Which one you use depends on the size of your text.

Photoshop anti-aliased text sample
As you can see in the image above, larger text sizes look better with Smooth or Strong. Smaller text sizes tend to look better with Crisp and Sharp – with tiny text on a website almost always looking best using the Sharp setting. The image doesn’t really show the difference in smaller text as well as I would like, but if you adjust the settings in your own document, you’ll surely see the difference.

Magic 3D Photoshop Action

Magic 3D Photoshop Action

Vandelay Design has made available a fantastic Photoshop action to easily create stunning 3D from your Photoshop text and objects. As you can see in the image above, the results are pretty darn good for what started as some plain green text.

You can grab the free Magic 3D Photoshop Action here.

Fit gradient to text in Adobe InDesign

One of the cool new features of Adobe InDesign CS6 is the auto-size feature for text boxes. It’s useful for those of us who prefer to keep our layouts neat & tidy. But it also has another very functional feature; ensuring gradients applied to text appear the way you expect them to.

As InDesignSecrets points out: when you apply a gradient to text, the gradient is actually applied to the frame itself, it just appears to be applied to the text inside the frame. So the gradient can appear to extend beyond the text.

Gradient fit to text

In the example above, I have the same black-to-green gradient applied to the text in all three text frames. But as you can see, only the bottom one shows the full gradient. That’s because the frame itself is set to auto-size to fit the text it contains. The two frames above it are larger, and the gradient adjusts to the size of the frame itself, rather than just the text.

So the moral of the story is: if you apply a gradient to text, make sure the text frame itself is sized to fit.

Free 3D gold text template for Photoshop

3D Gold text

Adobe Photoshop‘s layer effects offer you great customization when you mix and match the different effects together. But unless you’re really talented, getting the effect you want can be difficult. Take the image above for example. It offers a fairly realistic 3D effect, but it’s really just two text layers on top of each other with different layer effects applied.

You can download the above free template for creating 3D gold-styled text, which comes in three different sizes.

Quickly identify kerned or tracked text using InDesign’s Composition preferences

InDesign kerning warning

Easily spot kerned/tracked text

When dealing with text-heavy documents it can be particularly difficult to know if text has been manually kerned or tracked.

This can be particularly important to identify if you work in an environment where you’re not the only person editing the file.

To quickly identify kerned or tracked text, you need to visit InDesign’s preferences by hitting Command + K and select the Composition item in the left-side source list. In the Highlight section at the top, tick the Custom Tracking/Kerning checkbox and hit the OK button.

From that point forward, any text that has been tracked text will be highlighted in green, and any kerned text will be highlighted in orange, as you can see in the image above.

How to quickly switch to any InDesign tool while editing text

InDesign CS5When you’re editing text in Adobe InDesign, switching to a different tool cannot be done simply by hitting the keyboard shortcut for that tool because you’ll end up typing that letter in the text frame.

Instead, to switch to another tool, Command + Click on the text frame or hit Command + Shift + A to exit text editing mode. You can then hit the appropriate letter to switch tools, such as P for the Pen tool, or M for the Rectangle tool.

Paste text without formatting in OS X Lion

If you want to copy formatted text from one document into a new one but don’t want to keep the formatting, you can do so with a simple keyboard shortcut.

Simply copy the text as you normally would (Command + C), then move to where you want to paste the text and hit Command + Shift + Option + V. Your text will be pasted with no formatting whatsoever.

This is particularly useful when copying colored text with one font and pasting it into a new document that uses completely different fonts and colors.