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Line and character spacing

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
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    3. Edit your first photo
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    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and other Adobe products and services
    1. Work with Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
    2. Work with Photoshop files in InDesign
    3. Substance 3D Materials for Photoshop
    4. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
  4. Photoshop on the iPad (not available in mainland China)
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. Edit your image size
    23. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    25. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop on the iPad
    26. Work with Camera Raw files
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    28. Adjust exposure in your images with Dodge and Burn
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    30. Smudge areas in your images with Photoshop on the iPad
    31. Saturate or desaturate your images using Sponge tool
    32. Content aware fill for iPad
  5. Photoshop on the web (not available in mainland China)
    1. Common questions
    2. System requirements
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. Supported file types
    5. Introduction to the workspace
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Generative AI features
    8. Basic concepts of editing
    9. Quick Actions
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    13. Image improvements with Adjustment Layers
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  6. Photoshop (beta) (not available in mainland China)
    1. Get started with Creative Cloud Beta apps
    2. Photoshop (beta) on the desktop
    3. Generate image with descriptive text prompts
    4. Generate background with descriptive text prompts
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    1. Common questions on generative AI in Photoshop
    2. Generative Fill in Photoshop on the desktop
    3. Generative Expand in Photoshop on the desktop
    4. Generative Fill in Photoshop on the iPad
    5. Generative Expand in Photoshop on the iPad
    6. Generative AI features in Photoshop on the web
  8. Content authenticity (not available in mainland China)
    1. Content credentials in Photoshop
    2. Identity and provenance for NFTs
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  9. Cloud documents (not available in mainland China)
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
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  10. Workspace
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    24. Panels and menus
    25. Position elements with snapping
    26. Position with the Ruler tool
  11. Web, screen, and app design
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  12. Image and color basics
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    15. Process versions in Camera Raw
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  17. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
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    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
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  20. Text
    1. Add and edit the text
    2. Unified Text Engine
    3. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    4. Format characters
    5. Format paragraphs
    6. How to create type effects
    7. Edit text
    8. Line and character spacing
    9. Arabic and Hebrew type
    10. Fonts
    11. Troubleshoot fonts
    12. Asian type
    13. Create type
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  24. Web, screen, and app design
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Set leading

The vertical space between lines of type is called leading (rhymes with sledding). For Roman type, leading is measured from the baseline of one line of text to the baseline of the line above it. The baseline is the invisible line on which most letters sit. You can apply more than one leading amount within the same paragraph; however, the largest leading value in a line of type determines the leading value for that line.

Note:

When working with horizontal Asian type, you can specify how leading is measured, either from baseline to baseline or from the top of one line to the top of the next.

Photoshop set leading
Five-point type with 6‑point leading (left) and with 12‑point leading (right)

Set the leading

  1. Select the characters you want to change. If you don’t select any text, the leading applies to new text you create.
  2. In the Character panel, set the Leading value.

Change the default auto leading percentage

  1. Choose Justification from the Paragraph panel menu.
  2. For Auto Leading, enter a new default percentage.

Kern and track

Kerning is the process of adding or subtracting space between specific pairs of characters. Tracking is the process of loosening or tightening the spacing between the characters in selected text or an entire block of text.

Note:

Values for kerning and tracking affect Japanese text but normally these options are used to adjust the aki between Roman characters.

You can automatically kern type using metrics kerning or optical kerning. Metrics kerning (also called auto kerning) uses kern pairs, which are included with most fonts. Kern pairs contain information about the spacing of specific pairs of letters. Some of these are: LA, P., To, Tr, Ta, Tu, Te, Ty, Wa, WA, We, Wo, Ya, and Yo. Metrics kerning is set as the default so that specific pairs are automatically kerned when you import or type text.

Some fonts include robust kern‑pair specifications. However, when a font includes only minimal built‑in kerning or none at all, or if you use two different typefaces or sizes in one or more words on a line, you may want to use the optical kerning option. Optical kerning adjusts the spacing between adjacent characters based on their shapes.

Photoshop Kerning and tracking options
Kerning and tracking options

A. Original text B. Text with optical kerning C. Text with manual kerning between W and a D. Text with tracking E. Cumulative kerning and tracking 

You can also use manual kerning, which is ideal for adjusting the space between two letters. Tracking and manual kerning are cumulative, so you can first adjust individual pairs of letters, and then tighten or loosen a block of text without affecting the relative kerning of the letter pairs.

When you click to place the insertion point between two letters, kerning values appear in the Character panel. Similarly, if you select a word or a range of text, the tracking values appear in the Character panel.

Tracking and kerning are both measured in 1/1000 em, a unit of measure that is relative to the current type size. In a 6‑point font, 1 em equals 6 points; in a 10‑point font, 1 em equals 10 points. Kerning and tracking are strictly proportional to the current type size.

Note:

Values for kerning and tracking affect Japanese text, but normally these options are used to adjust the aki between roman characters.

Adjust kerning

  1. Do any of the following:
    • To use a font’s built‑in kerning information for selected characters, select Metrics for the Kerning option in the Character panel.

    • To automatically adjust the spacing between selected characters based on their shapes, select Optical for the Kerning option in the Character panel.

    • To adjust kerning manually, place an insertion point between two characters, and set the desired value for the Kerning option in the Character panel. (Note that if a range of text is selected, you can’t manually kern the text. Instead, use tracking.)

    Note:

    Press Alt+Left/Right Arrow (Windows) or Option+Left/Right Arrow (Mac OS) to decrease or increase the kerning between two characters.

    • To turn off kerning for selected characters, set the Kerning option in the Character panel to 0 (zero).

Adjust tracking

  1. Select the range of characters or the type object that you want to adjust.
  2. In the Character panel, set the Tracking option.

Shift the baseline

Use Baseline Shift to move selected characters up or down relative to the baseline of the surrounding text. Shifting the baseline is especially useful when you’re hand-setting fractions or adjusting the position of a picture font.

  1. Select the characters or type objects you want to change. If you don’t select any text, the shift applies to new text you create.
  2. In the Character panel, set the Baseline Shift option. Positive values move the character’s baseline above the baseline of the rest of the line; negative values move it below the baseline.
    Photoshop Baseline Shift values
    Type with different Baseline Shift values

Turn fractional character widths off or on

By default, the software uses fractional character widths between characters. This means that the spacing between characters varies, and will sometimes use only fractions of whole pixels.

In most situations, fractional character widths provide the best spacing for type appearance and readability. However, for type in small sizes (less than 20 points) displayed online, fractional character widths could cause type to run together or have too much extra space, making it difficult to read.

Turn off fractional widths when you want to fix type spacing in whole-pixel increments and prevent small type from running together. The fractional character width setting applies to all characters on a type layer—you cannot set the option for selected characters.

  1. Do any of the following:
    • To set type spacing for the entire document in whole-pixel increments, choose System Layout from the Character panel menu.

    • To re-enable fractional character widths, choose Fractional Widths from the Character panel menu.

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