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Photoshop 7 Text Formatting Trick

Anne-Marie "HerGeekness" Concepcion

This wonderful Photoshop tip was sent in by Anne-Marie "HerGeekness" Concepcion from her DesignGeek Newsletter ("Tips and techniques for the digital designer), from Seneca Design & Training, Inc. (It is copyrighted material)
One thing that frustrates me about Photoshop is that unlike other programs with a Layers feature, you can't put more than one "text block" in a single layer. If you want text to appear in your image in different locations, you have to create a text layer for each instance (or drag out a bounding box for a Text Area and then get creative with your space bar . . . ugh).
      Since most menu or palette commands only apply to the active layer, this makes it impossible to do a global formatting change to your text; such as changing the font size or color of the text throughout the image, or making them all center-aligned instead of left-aligned. You have to repeat the same formatting commands on every text layer.
      Right? Wrong!
Try this:
First, link all your text layers: Select one text layer (makes no difference which), then click in the "link" box (to the right of the eyeball) in the layers palette for each of the other text layers you want to change ... you should see a chain icon appear in them.
Then select the Text tool, if you haven't already.
To make a global change to all your linked text layers, just hold down the Shift key when you choose something from the Text Options bar or the Character or Paragraph palette.
For example, to make all the type 18 point, hold down the Shift key while you choose "18" from the Type Size field in the Options bar or the Character palette. Tab out of the field to see all your text layers resize to 18 points.
Want to change the color of the type on all the text layers?
  • Hold down Shift and click the color field in the Options bar or Character palette.
  • When the Color Picker opens you can release the Shift key.
  • Choose a color (the Preview will only show your targeted layer changing, but don't worry) and
  • then click OK.
All the linked text layers change to that color.
Note the Shift trick only works for elements you can choose in the Text Options bar or the Character/Paragraph palette, and not for any other palettes, the Toolbox or menu commands.

DesignGeek is a free biweekly publication written by Anne-Marie "HerGeekness" Concepcion, authorized Adobe and Quark training provider and president/creative director of Seneca Design & Training, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois.
To subscribe to DesignGeek, go to the sign-up form on Seneca's site:
DesignGeek archive links can be found in the same section.
Contact Seneca by phone at 312-946-1100
Copyright 2003 by Seneca Design & Training, Inc.
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