If you have a lot of fonts, try using the Filters in Photoshop and Illustrator. The menus are slightly different, but work the same. This allows you to view only your script, decorative or slab serif fonts (and others).
This screen grab shows Photoshop’s font Filter. It’s fairly straightforward.
Illustrator’s version of the Type Filters is more graphic, as seen in this screen grab. Also notice the option to change the font preview text from the dropdown list.
To quickly see how a line or two of text will look in a variety of different fonts, select the text, then click in the Font box to highlight it. Then use the up or down arrows to advance to the next font. I don’t worry about leading and kerning at this point because I’m just looking for a font with the look and feel that I want.
Scrubby Sliders are currently only available in Photoshop. When you drag over one of the small icons next to the numerical entry box, you can increase or decrease a setting visually. Scrubby Sliders are available in many areas of newer versions of Photoshop. In Illustrator, simply use the up/down arrows next to the numeric dialog box.
Global spacing, kerning and leading can be adjusted in the Character dialog boxes, but often individual letter pairs still need some tweaking. Simply click the Text tool between the two problem letters, then hold down the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Mac and use the left/right arrows on the keyboard.
It only takes a few seconds to manually kern a headline, and this time can make a huge difference in the final sign or design project. Use the left/right arrows to toggle to additional problem areas.
Don’t forget about the power of Paragraph Text! Instead of clicking once to set the location of Character Text, drag out a text container box, then paste in a large quantity of text. Adjust the size using the height options, and the text will wrap into the space.
The Paragraph Text option works great for Pool Rules, Menus and Zoning Signs. Adjust the paragraph container to fit the layout, then adjust the text to fit the container. The program does the work of establishing line breaks.
You’ll find an abundance of help by searching the Internet. Sometimes it helps to see tools, like the Scrubby Sliders, in action in YouTube videos.

Tips for working with type in Illustrator and Photoshop

By Mike Jackson

Posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Over the years, with each upgrade, Adobe “sneaks in” some pretty cool features into their premier pair of design programs: Illustrator and Photoshop. Both programs share many of the features and tools, but not all of the menus look the same.

Let’s take a look at a few of the new and semi-hidden text features and tools. Before we begin, though, remember that if you are still using some of the earlier versions of these programs, there’s a chance some of these features are missing. I’ve been using Adobe’s Creative Cloud option for years, and in doing so, my programs are kept up to date. This gives me access to all of the updates as they become available.

Find fonts by name: If you are like me, you probably have hundreds of fonts loaded on your computer. Scrolling through them can be a hassle when you have a lot of fonts.


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Mike Jackson

Mike and Darla Jackson operate Golden Era Studios in Jackson, Wyoming, and do a variety of sign-related projects. Mike’s website is www.goldenstudios.com. His email address is golden@goldenstudios.com. You can see more of Mike’s photos at www.tetonimages.com and www.goldenstudios.com.