April 14, 2009

Quick text tips for Photoshop

I’ve recently had gotten a few type-related questions, so thought I’d jot down a few suggestions:

  • Support for type styles (i.e. the ability to define a set of text characteristics as a style, then to modify the style & have text layers updated) was the top requested feature among those I proposed to improve management of complex PSDs. Photoshop doesn’t yet support type styles, but in the meantime a couple things may help:
    • You can select multiple text layers at once, then change their characteristics via the Character & Paragraph panels. Shift-clicking or Cmd/Ctrl-clicking works, or you can select a text layer, then choose Select->Similar Layers to select other text layers.
    • You can grab the type tool, set up the characteristics you want, then make a new tool preset (Window->Tool Presets, or hit that T-shaped icon in the upper left corner (y’know, the one that neither you nor any other human being has clicked :-)). You can then choose among these presets via the Tool Presets panel.
  • Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost pointed out a trick I didn’t know: “To change the Type tool’s default options, the key is to close all documents. Then choose the Type tool and select your font family, style, size, anti-aliasing, alignment and color. Whatever options you choose, will become your new default.”
  • Julieanne makes another good point: While typing text, hitting Return will add a line break instead of getting you out of text mode. Hit Cmd-Return (Mac)/Ctrl-Return (Win) to get out of text mode.

For more info, see my old 12 Tips for Photoshop Text post.

9:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

A note about MacBook Pro graphics

I know this is an incredibly specific thing to blog about, but as it recently affected me, I thought I’d mention it: If you’re using Photoshop CS4 on a new MacBook Pro (as I am; thanks, ‘Dobe), I recommend turning on the beefy GPU (graphics card) you paid for.
The new MBPs ship with two GPUs, and they default to running the lower-power embedded GPU that’s also in these machines. You have to switch on the faster one by choosing System Preferences->Energy Saver, then setting Graphics to “Higher performance.” Doing so requires logging out of the machine–kind of a drag.
I made the switch, and I see a noticeable difference in the smoothness of rotating the canvas & zooming. There’s a very large difference when running the Pixel Bender Gallery plug-in. In terms of battery life, I haven’t been able to notice a difference. Apple.com shows the higher-power GPU taking battery life from 8 to 7 hours. I wasn’t getting anything like 8 hours of life using the slower GPU (more typically 3-4 with WiFi on, maybe 5-6 with it off), so I’d read those number in percentage terms (i.e. the faster GPU should cost you something like 12% battery life). Were I taking a cross-country flight, I’d switch off WiFi & revert to using the lower-power GPU.

9:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]
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