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The Text Tool
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The Text Tool
Created by: Zonia

 
In this lesson we will be covering the Text tool which is used to add text to your images.
 
Download File Download File
The download file on the left contains 3 button images I created for use with this tutorial.
 
Open Image

Open (File || Open) "/tutorial/html/beginclass/b08button1.jpg" from your download file. Duplicate it with Window || Duplicate (Shift+D) and close the original.

Promote the Background layer (Layers || Promote Background Layer) and name it 'Button'.

 
New Raster Layer Add a new Raster Layer (Layers || New Raster Layer) and name it 'Text'.
 

Text Tool  Preset: Reset to Default Option
Click on the Text tool in the Tools toolbar and reset to default. Now let's change some of the options in the Tool Options palette:
– Create As = Selection
– Font = something you like (I am using Balloon)
– Size = 36
The rest of the options we will leave alone.
 
Note Note: We don't need to worry about the Materials options because we have Create As set to Selection, so all we are going to get is a selection which we will need to fill using the Flood Fill tool.
 
Click somewhere into the button which will display a Text Entry window. Type "Home" and click on the Apply button. You will now have a selection forming the word "Home" on your image. Before we fill it we need to move the selection where we want it.
 

Move Tool
Click on the Move tool in your Tools toolbar. Since we are moving a selection we need to use the right mouse button instead of the left one. Click on the selection with the right mouse button, hold it down and move the selection where "Home" is centered in the button, then release.
 
Flood Fill Tool  Preset: Reset to Default Option

Click on your Flood Fill tool and reset to default. In the Tool Options palette, set the Match Mode = None. Fill the selection with a color, gradient or pattern of your choice (I used Black). Deselect with Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D).
 

Special Tip



Note

Tip: If you want to be sure that your text layer is exactly centered in the image select the Text layer in the Layer palette. Go to Edit || Cut (Ctrl+X), which will delete the text and copy it to the clipboard, then go to Edit || Paste || Paste As New Layer (Ctrl+L). The text will be back exactly centered in the image.

Note: Pasting as a new layer automatically centers the clipboard contents in the image. In this case the entire image is the button so it will be centered in the button.

 
Save Image Save (File || Save) and close your image.
 
Open Image

New Raster Layer
Open (File || Open) "/tutorial/html/beginclass/b08button2.jpg". Duplicate it (Window || Duplicate or Shift+D) and close the original. Promote the Background (Layers || Promote Background Layer) and name it 'Button'. Add a new Raster Layer (Layers || New Raster Layer) and name it 'Text'.
 

Text Tool








Materials Null Option




Note


Materials Palette - Materials Box

Click on the Text tool and set Create As = Floating. This will create a floating selection of your text. The major difference between creating as Selection and creating as Floating is that the Materials choices will be included. With that said let's explore how the Materials palette works with the Text tool.

The Foreground is the outline around the letters. The size of the outline is determined by the Stroke size set in the Tool Options palette of the Text tool. The default stroke size is 1. The Background sets the fill of the letters. If you don't want an outline around the text click the Null button under the Foreground box. If you want just an outline and not a fill click the Null button under the Background box.

Note: If the Foreground is set to Null you have to click the Null button to turn it off before you can set the Background to Null and vice versa. The Null button does not work with every tool.

Set your Materials how you want them. I set my Foreground to Null and my Background to Black but you can use any color, gradient, or pattern you want. In most cases it is easier to set your Materials and Tool Options before entering the text but you do not have to as I will show you in this lesson.

 

Click inside the button to get the Text Entry dialog and type "E-mail". Do not click on Apply yet. After you type your text in the Text Entry box you can go back and change Materials and Tool Options for each letter, word, or sentence in the box. We are going to change the letters so you can see how this works. The thing to remember is that the changes are applied to whatever is selected in the Text Entry box.

Click in front of the "E" in the Text Entry dialog. Select the "E" by either holding down the Shift key and hitting the Right-Arrow key once, or position the mouse in front of the "E" and, holding down the left mouse button, drag to the right of the "E" and release. Note: In this case the first option is easiest but if you are selecting an entire word or several words the second option is easiest.

If the Remember Text option in the Text Entry dialog is checked the next time it opens it will have the same text that was in it the last time it was applied. In this case it would have "E-mail". I usually leave mine unchecked.

 

With the Text Entry dialog still open and the "E" selected, change the Size to 48 in the Tool Options palette. See how just the size of the "E" changed. You can change other Tool Options as well such as Font, Stroke, Font Style, and so on. Do not click on Apply yet.

The "E" should still be selected in the Text Entry dialog. In your Materials palette, change the Background to a different color (I chose Red). Do not click on Apply yet.

Now, using one of the methods above, select "mail" in the Text Entry dialog. I clicked in front of the "m" and, holding down the left mouse button, drag to behind the "l". In your Materials palette, change the Foreground to the same color as you used as the Background for the "E" and change the Background back to something different than the Foreground. I set my Foreground to Red and my Background to Black but again any color, gradient, or pattern will work. In the Tool Options palette, change the Stroke to 2.0. Do not click on Apply yet.

Now practice selecting different letters and changing things in the Tool Options and Materials palette until you get something you like. You can see how the text will look in the image as you make the changes in Materials and Tool Options palettes. If your image is hidden behind the Text Entry dialog, left-click in the title bar of the Text Entry dialog (where is says Text Entry) and, holding down the left mouse button, drag the Text Entry dialog where you want it.

 
Move Tool

Once you have your text how you want it click on Apply. The text will now be selected in your image. Using the Move tool, with the right mouse button as you did before, move the text into the desired postion. Remember since we used Floating there is no need to use the Flood Fill tool. However, if you decide you want to change the fill you can flood-fill the selection just like you did before. Deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D). Save (File || Save) and close the image.
 

Note
A very important note here: Once you click on Apply in the Text Entry window you lose the ability to change the Tool Options for individual letters or words. You can change the Materials for the individual letters or words by selecting what you want to change with the Selection tools (last lesson) and filling the selections with the new Materials. If you want to change the outline you have to select just the outline using one of the Selection tools.
 
This brings us to the last Create-As type in the Text Tool Options, which is Vector. Personally I use this option every time. One of the main reasons I use this option every time is because it does not have the limitations that the other two options have. I can change the Tool Options and the Materials for each character as long as it is a vector. I can also go back and change the text and even more. Plus you have the added benefit of resizing and rotating without any distortion, and you can use the tools in the Objects menu. However, there are some people who hate vectors and will not use them. I encourage you though to use vectors at least for text!
 

Open Image
Open (File || Open) "/tutorial/html/beginclass/b08button3.jpg". Duplicate it (Window || Duplicate or Shift+D) and close the original. Promote the Background (Layers || Promote Background Layer) and name it 'Button'. You don't need to add a new layer this time because when using vectors it will create a vector layer.
 

Text Tool     Materials Palette - Materials Box

Click on the Text tool and set Create As = Vector. In the Materials palette, set the Foreground to Null and the Background to a color, gradient, or pattern you like.

Click into the button and type in "Back". Note: You can use the same selection and change method in the Text Entry dialog as you used for Floating. Click on Apply.

 

You should have a dashed rectangle around your text with little boxes. Note: You can click on the boxes around the outside and, holding down the left mouse button, drag the box to resize the text. (You can also use the right mouse button and hold down the Ctrl or Alt keys to produce different effects, but that is beyond the scope of this lesson). The circle in the middle will let you move the text. There is a line running from the circle to the right that is connected to another little box, this is your Rotate handle. Click on the box and, holding down the left mouse button, drag it to rotate the text.

Personally I don't want to resize my text and I am going to align it the easy way: Go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas. Your text is now centered on the button. Note: The Object Selection tool and the options in the Object menu only work on vectors.

 

Vector Layer

Back to the vector text we were working on. Let's make some changes. Click on the "+" sign beside the 'Vector 1' layer in the Layer palette. Double-click or right-click on the 'Back' sublayer and choose "Edit Text" from the pop-up menu. Either way the Text Entry dialog box will pop up with the text already selected (highlighted). You can select individual letters and make changes like you did when we were doing Floating. You can also completely change the text to something else such as "Contact".

That's the basics of using vector text, so if you want save (File || Save) and close your image. However for those wishing to stay with me I will give a mini lesson on vectors that will work with all vectors, not just text.

 


Right-click on the text ('Back') layer in the Layer palette and choose Convert Text To Curves || As Character Shapes.
Note: Once you convert to Character Shapes (or Single Shape) you lose the ability to change the Tool Options, however you still have the ability to change the Materials. If you click on the little plus sign in front of the text ('Back') layer you will see that each letter is on its own sublayer now and they have been grouped in the 'Back' sublayer. If you double-click on the 'Back' sublayer you can change the Materials (including Stroke) and other options for all the layers. You can double-click on one of the letters to change the materials for just that letter. You can also right-click on a sublayer and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.

In the Properties dialog, try changing the Stroke, change the Materials, or whatever you want until you get something you like. I turned off the Stroke (removed the check) and changed the Fill of each letter. I know it isn't a work of art but this is just to give you some idea what you can do using the Vector Properties dialog.

 
Object Selection Tool

Click on the Object Selection tool, then left-click on one of the letter sublayers in the Layer palette. The letter will now be selected. You can select more than one letter (vector object) at a time by holding down the Shift key and clicking on the sublayers in the Layer palette. You can move, resize, and/or rotate the selected layer. I moved my letters around.
 

If you want to apply an effect such as Inner Bevel or Drop Shadow to the letters or words you can right-click on the main vector layer, the 'Back' group layer, or any of the sublayers and choose Create Raster Selection. Save the selections to alpha channel or disk (Selections || Load/Save Selection || Save To Disk/Alpha Channel). You cannot apply effects to vectors.

Right-click on the 'Vector 1' layer in the Layer palette and choose Convert to Raster Layer from the pop-up menu. Once you convert to raster layer you can use your saved selections to apply the effects you want. If you are going to apply an effect to the entire vector layer simply right-click on the vector layer and choose Create Raster Selection, then right-click on the 'Vector 1' layer in the Layer palette and choose Convert to Raster Layer. Your selection will still be there so you can go ahead and apply the desired effect(s), there's no need to save the selection.

 

That's it for the mini vector lesson. I didn't cover several options on the Text Tool Options palette. You should take some time and explore these on your own. Try changing the Alignment, Font Style, Line Style and so on.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson.