A Font By Any Other Name

I’ve been exploring Photoshop CC 2019 and its new features and want to share some tips that are new and some oldies but goodies. I’m going to limit this post to fonts but will post about other features in future posts.


Font Search:

Searching for a font can be a pain, if like me, you have many fonts to choose from. Photoshop has made it easier for you to find a font in a few different ways. Here’s how:

  • Open a new document or on the document you are using, click on the type key to make it active. (Hint: you can make the text active by clicking on it. If you want to make a word active, click twice or three times for a line and four for a paragraph. You can also double click on the type layer to choose a large amount of text. I caution you about having too much text though in this format, particularly if you are going to put it online.)



  • You will see the text tool options bar at the top of your screen.
  • Your current (most recent) text choice will appear in text/font the window.
  • Click on the current font and start to type the font you want.

You can also search the font list by class – who knew? Here’s how you do it:

  • font-classesClick on the down arrow next to the selected font to open the font list. Normally, I would endlessly scroll through the list to get to the font I wanted. Not anymore!
  • Click on the down arrow to the right of Filter: All Classes, which is just below the current font.
  • You will see several choices, Serif, Slab Serif, Sans Serif, Script, Blackletter, Monospace, Handwritten, Decorative. (Hint: if you don’t see one or more of the above it is probably that you don’t have any fonts that fit into the class).
  • channel-choicesChoose a class, and the font list will change to only those fonts that fall into that class.

Color and Style:

Changing text color and styles is easy with Photoshop. You don’t have to change every letter in the text. You can highlight one letter or more and change the font, style, color, etc. Let’s give it a try:


I’ve opened an image of the NH seacoast at sunrise and added the words, The Beach, in Calibri, white, crisp (Hint: Choose crisp or sharp if you plan to add your image to the web. It keeps the font from getting fuzzy).

  • For size, instead of putting in a number or choosing from the default options (up to 72) I chose to use free transform (CTRL T) and grabbing a corner and stretched it to the size I want. If I decide it isn’t large enough or too large, I will use free transform again to get it to the size I want.
  • I decided to use a handwritten font for this, so using the steps above for font class, I will choose the handwritten class > Sergoe Script > Bold.
  • Next, I am going to make the word the smaller than beach and change it back to Calibri just to make beach stand out a bit. I change the font and size using the techniques I listed above. The font size I chose is 172.
  • I want to really make the word beach stand out so I am going to change the color, using the colors within the image.


  • I click into the word beach (be sure to highlight the text tool first) and double click to choose the whole word.
  • I double click on the color icon at the top to open the color picker. I can click on and choose any color and/or type in the color number I want, if I have it. Instead, I am going to use a color from the image as I said earlier.


  • Photoshop automatically gives you the eyedropper tool when you have the color picker open and move your cursor over the image. The color in the box and the text highlighted will change to the color you click on. You can do it over and over until you get the color you prefer. I ended up with a blue from the sky that contrasts nicely with the sunset.


  • Finally, I am going to add a stroke and drop shadow to the text by doing the following:
    • Click on the text to activate.
    • Double click to the right of the text layer in the layers panel.
    • The layer style panel will pop up with lots of options. (Hint: Choose wisely. A little goes a long way).
  • Check the box next to stroke. Here is where people often have an issue. They will make changes in the layers panel and nothing will happen. That is because you need to be sure that the styles are for, in this case, the stroke panel. Click to the right of stroke and watch the styles change to reflect your choice. On the right you will see some options for the stroke, including stroke, size, position and color. I like to keep the stroke size small (2px) so it is hardly visible but makes the text stand out against the backdrop. I leave the color black because it is so small it doesn’t matter. You may want to change it. Try some options to see what you prefer. Having preview checked will allow you to see it as you make changes. Once you are done click OK.
  • drop-shadowNext, I will add the drop shadow. Click on drop shadow and be sure the drop shadow panel is chosen.
  • I like to keep it simple when it comes to shadow. You can make a lot of changes, and I encourage you to try everything to see what you like and how it works, but I like to keep it simple. I leave the shadow color the default (black) and generally only change the distance a bit (approximately 35).
  • Click OK to accept changes.

You now have text that stands out from the background but doesn’t look heavy or take away from the image.


That’s it for today. Try them out and let me know what you think. Next week, I will give some more Photoshop tips.



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