Google+
Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

One of the amazing new features in Photoshop CS6, which has been released as a free beta version recently, is the Type Styles feature. This feature enables you to define text styles, for both paragraphs and characters, in a very similar way as in InDesign. This means that you can change the appearance of any text you have easily and quickly. A real time saver when working with many text layers or large text blocks in a file.

This tutorial will explain how this feature works, and how it can be used to enhance your text formatting workflow.

So, what exactly are Type Styles?

A type style is the group of attributes of a formatted text, meaning that each style stores information about a certain text structure. This includes two types of styles:

1- Character Styles: Which control character attributes, such as font size, color, kerning, leading, etc (the attributes in the Character panel).

2- Paragraph Styles: Which control both character AND paragraph attributes, such as indents and spacing, alignment, hyphenation, etc (the attributes in the Paragraph panel).

So while paragraph styles apply to the whole paragraph, character styles are used to format selected text within the paragraph, like making some words bold or italic for example.

Before we start working with Type Styles, let’s take a look at the different panels we will be using. These panels can be found under the Window menu, OR under Type -> Panels, where you can find the four following panels.

Paragraph and Character Panels

- Paragraph Panel
The panel where the paragraph formatting attributes can be modified.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Character Panel
The panel where the character formatting attributes can be modified.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Paragraph Styles and Character Styles Panels

- Paragraph Styles Panel
The panel where the paragraph styles are stored and can be modified.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Character Styles Panel
The panel where the character styles are stored and can be modified.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

So while the first two panels are used to change the values, the other two are used to control the styles that store those values.

Setting Up Type Styles

To create a type style, you need to create some text first, then you either format it and create a type style based on whatever attributes assigned to that text, or you just create the type style first, then do the formatting.

So pick a Type Tool (T) and create the text. You can as well insert some dummy text by going to Type -> Paste Lorem Ipsum, which is a new feature in Photoshop CS6.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Creating Paragraph Styles

Usually, it is better to start by creating paragraph styles, as they deal with most of the text in a document. After that, you can create character styles for selected text inside the formatted paragraphs.

So start by adding some basic formatting to the text you created.

Example:
- In the Character panel: A couple of values are changed, like the color, the font, and the font size.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- In theParagraph panel: Some spacing and indentation values are modified.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Open the Paragraph Styles panel (Window -> Paragraph Styles OR Type -> Panels -> Paragraph Styles). You’ll notice that the panel already has a default style called “Basic Paragraph”. If you see a plus “+” sign next to it don’t worry about it, we’ll get back to it later on.

To create a new paragraph style based on the attributes assigned to the paragraph, you need to select at least one character first. Then, click the Create New Paragraph Style icon down the Paragraph Styles panel.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

OR, click the panel menu arrow at the top right corner and choose New Paragraph Style. Just keep in mind that the panel menu has all the options you need.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- You’ll notice that a new paragraph style called “Paragraph Style 1″ shows up in the Paragraph Styles panel. That means you’ve just created a paragraph style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Modifying Paragraph Styles

Now that you have the new paragraph style in the panel, you can view and modify its settings anytime you want to.

To modify a paragraph style you can either Double click its name in the Paragraph Styles panel, OR select it then choose Style Options from the panel menu.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

This will open the Paragraph Style Options dialog box, where you can change the different settings of the style.

You’ll notice that the first three tabs to the left control the character attributes, and the rest control the paragraph attributes.

The first thing you need to do is rename the style so that the name makes sense. This will make applying and modifying the styles much easier.

Here, the style is renamed to “Body”.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Note: The values in the dialog box are the ones you assigned to the text before creating the style.
But if you create the paragraph style before you format the text, you’ll not have any values in this dialog box. Which enables you to create a clean paragraph style from scratch.

Modify whatever settings you need to change.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

You don’t need to make all the changes at once, as you can always open this dialog box again to modify the formatting anytime you want to.

Once you’re done click OK. The changes will be stored in the style you created, and applied to the corresponding text or text layer.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

If you get the “+” sign, just click the Clear Override icon down the panel. We’ll get back to Overrides later.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Multiple Paragraph Styles

You can create as many paragraph styles as you want, and apply them do different paragraphs in your text.

To do so, use a Type Tool to select the paragraph you want to apply the new paragraph style to.

Example:
Creating a paragraph style for Headings.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Format the selected paragraph as you like.

Here, the font, font size, and font color values are changed in the Character panel.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

And some other values in the Paragraph panel are changed as well.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

With the paragraph still selected, click the Create new Paragraph Style icon down the Paragraph Styles panel. A new style will show up in the panel.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Double click the new style to rename it and make any other changes. Here, it’s renamed to “Headings”.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Notice that the values are the new ones you’ve just modified for the selected paragraph.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

You’ll have two different paragraph styles in the Paragraph Styles panel, and each one is applied to a different paragraph inside the same text block.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Selecting Paragraph Styles

Now that you have more than one paragraph style, you need to be careful when you select the styles to apply them or modify their values.

You need to make sure not to click or double click the style’s name directly, because if a text layer is selected and you click or double click a paragraph style, it will be applied to the whole text.

To avoid this, you can either:

1- place the Type Tool cursor inside the text to which the style is applied, and the corresponding paragraph style will be automatically selected in the Paragraph Styles panel.

This is really useful when you are not sure what style is applied to the text as well.

So when the cursor is inside the ‘body’ text, the “Body” paragraph style will be automatically selected in the Paragraph Styles panel.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

And if you place the cursor inside the Heading 1 paragraph, the “Headings” paragraph style will be selected.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Once the style is selected, you can go ahead and double click it to modify its settings.

2- A better practice is to click off all text layers, by selecting any other layer (that is not a text layer), then double click the style you want to modify in the Paragraph Styles panel.

This will make sure that the changes will only affect that style, and won’t be applied to any other parts of the text by mistake.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Applying Paragraph Styles

If you want to apply a paragraph style to an unformatted paragraph you need to:

1- Select that paragraph, and make sure it is a paragraph, not a text inside a paragraph.

Example:
Applying the “Headings” paragraph style to the ‘Heading 2′ paragraph.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

2- Click the style’s name to apply it to the selected paragraph.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

The style with all its settings will be applied with just one click.

Changing a Paragraph Style’s Settings

Whenever you want to modify a paragraph style, make sure to select it correctly first, as explained before.

1- Double click the selected paragraph style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

2- Change the values inside the Paragraph Style Options dialog box.

Example:
a- Changing the font and the font size for the “Body” paragraph style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

b- Changing the Auto Leading (space between the lines) value.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Once you click Ok, you’ll notice that the changes will be applied to all the paragraphs that have the “Body” style applied to them, and the other paragraphs will not be affected at all.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Overrides

If you modify any of the attributes outside the Paragraph Styles Options dialog box, or apply a paragraph style to a preformatted text, a plus “+” sign will appear next to the modified style’s name.

Example:
Changing the color of one of the “Body” style paragraphs to blue.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

If the changes are made in the Character panel, a + sign will appear next to the “Body” paragraph style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

The + sign means that the text settings do not match the original style settings, or that there are Overrides.

There are three ways to deal with Overrides:

1- Redefining Styles by Merging Overrides:

If you want to add the changes to the current style, so that they replace that style’s settings, you can click the Redefine Paragraph Style by merging Overrides icon down the Paragraph Styles panel, or click the panel menu icon and choose Redefine Style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

2- Deleting Overrides:

If you want to get rid of any overrides, and go back to the original style’s settings, select the style, then click the Clear Override icon down the Paragraph Styles panel, OR, click the panel menu icon, and choose Clear Override.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

3- Keeping the Overrides

If you do not want to add the changes to the style nor delete them, you can just leave them as overrides, and the + sign will not be removed

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Duplicating Paragraph Styles

If you need to change some attributes of a style then save it as a new one, you can duplicate that style instead of recreating it from scratch.

To do so, select the style’s name in the Paragraph Styles panel, then, from the panel menu choose Duplicate Style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

A copy will appear in the panel, so you can select it and change its Style Options as shown previously.

Example:
Changing the color of one of the “Body” style paragraphs to blue, then save the new settings in a separate style.

So after duplicating the “Body” paragraph style, selecting one paragraph, and changing its color to blue, double click the modified style to rename it.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

You’ll notice that the color in the Paragraph Style Options dialog box is set to blue now.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Now the duplicated paragraph style is a new separate one.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

This comes in handy when you have a style with tons of different settings, and you need to modify only one of them to save it in a new style. Duplicating is the way to go!

Deleting Paragraph Styles

If you want to get rid of a paragraph style, you need to select that style, then click the Delete current Paragraph Style icon down the Paragraph Styles panel, OR, choose Delete Style from the panel menu.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

This will remove the style, but will keep its settings applied to whatever paragraphs the style was applied to.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Those paragraphs will not be affected by the other paragraph styles as well.

For example, if we change the “Body” paragraph style color in the Paragraph Style Options dialog box…

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

The changes will affect only one paragraph, and the other one will stay as it is.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Those are pretty much the main points regarding Paragraph Style. As for the Character Styles, things are almost the same, except that you’ll be dealing with text inside the paragraph instead of the paragraph itself.

Creating Character Styles

First, you need to select the text you want to apply the character style to. Then, format that text if you like before creating the style (or you can go ahead and create a new character style then change the settings).

Example:
Creating a character style for the numbers. So the values changed in the Character panel are the color and the font size.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Open the Character Styles panel (Window -> Character Styles, OR Type -> Panels -> Character Styles). You’ll notice that the default style is “None”.

- To create a new character style, click the Create new Character Style OR click the panel menu arrow at the top right corner and choose New Character Style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- A new character style called “Character Style 1″ will show up in the Character Styles panel.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Modifying Character Styles

- To view and modify the new style’s settings, you can either Double click its name in the Character Styles panel, OR select it then choose Style Options from the panel menu.

This will open the Character Style Options dialog box.

You’ll find three tabs to the left, and those tabs control the character attributes only. There are no tabs to control the paragraph attributes at all.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Don’t forget to rename the style. Here, the style is renamed to “Numbers”.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Applying Character Styles

If you want to apply a character style to an unformatted text you need to:

1- Select that text using a Type Tool.

Example:
Applying the “Numbers” character style to number ’2′.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

2- Click the style’s name to apply it to the selected text.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

The style with all its settings will be applied with just one click.

Multiple Character Styles

Just like the paragraph styles, you can create as many character styles as you need. Just remember to select the text each time to avoid applying the style to the whole block of text.

Example:
Creating a character style for the words ‘Lorem Ipsum’.

1- Select the text.

This time, we are not going to format the text. Instead, we will create a new character style first.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

2- With the text still selected, double click the new style’s name.

This will open the Character Style Options dialog box.

As you can tell, there are no values assigned. That’s because we did not add any formatting to the text before creating the style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Rename the style, and change the settings as you like.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- When you click Ok, the new settings will be applied to the selected text.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Once again, you can select any other text, then click the style’s name to apply it to that text as well.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6
Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Overrides

Just like the paragraph styles, character styles will have a plus “+” sign next to them if they are modified outside the Character Styles Options dialog box, or if they’re applied to a preformatted text.

Example:
Changing the color of one of the “Yellow Bold” style ‘Lorem Ipsum’ text to blue.

So select the text first.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Then change its color, or any other attributes in the Character panel, and you’ll get the + sign next to the “Yellow Bold” style’s name in the Character Styles panel.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

The three ways to deal with Overrides are:

1- Redefining Styles by Merging Overrides:

To add the changes to the current style, click the Redefine Character Style by merging Overrides icon down the Character Styles panel, or click the panel menu icon and choose Redefine Style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6
Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

2- Deleting Overrides:

To get rid of any overrides, select the style, then click the Clear Override icon down the Character Styles panel, OR, click the panel menu icon, and choose Clear Override.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6
Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

3- Keeping the Overrides

To keep the changes without adding them to the style, leave them as overrides.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Duplicating Character Styles

- To duplicate a character style, select the style’s name in the Character Styles panel, then, from the panel menu choose Duplicate Style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Double click the copy to modify its settings.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- In the Character Style Options dialog box, modify the settings you want to change.

Example:
To create a “Green Bold” character style, by changing the color to green, and renaming the style.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- The duplicated character style will become a new separate one.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- All you need to do is select some text.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

- Then click the new style’s name to apply it to the selected text.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Deleting Character Styles

To get rid of a character style, select it first, then click the Delete current Character Style icon down the Character Styles panel, OR, choose Delete Style from the panel menu.

Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

This will remove the style, but will keep its settings applied to whatever text the style was applied to.

But you can select that text and apply an existing character style to it of course.

Conclusion

Hopefully this gave you an idea of how Type Styles work, and how you can use them to enhance your workflow.

Once again, what’s great about this feature is that instead of applying and modifying the styles to one block of text at a time, you can now do that one time to all the text blocks that share the same style. Pretty amazing, right?

Just make sure to select the right type style, by selecting the text or placing the cursor insides it, or by clicking any layer that is not a text layer. It is so important to always keep this in mind when working with Type Styles.

Will be glad to know what you think of this feature, and if you have any other cool tips and ideas on how to use it as well.

Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.