Type Tool in Photoshop CS6+ – Options and Selections

There are four Type Tool options in Photoshop CS6, as well as a couple of different ways to highlight and select the text, and create a selection based on that text. Getting to know and master those is an important part of using the Type Tool efficiently and effectively in any related workflow.


As mentioned in the first part of the series, there are four Type Tool options that you get when you click and hold the Type Tool icon.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

Type Tool Options

– The Horizontal Type Tool:

Used to create the standard horizontal text.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

– The Vertical Type Tool:

Used to create vertical text. Apart from its use in vertically written languages (like Chinese and Japanese), this option is useful when creating typographic designs as well.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics
Tip: The Vertical Type Tool and the Text Engine Options.

In Photoshop CS6, you can choose between two Text Engine Options: East Asian, and Middle Eastern. Those can be found under Edit -> Preferences -> Type.

So if the East Asian option is active, the vertical text will be created as above.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

But if the Middle Eastern option is active, then the text will be created like a 90° CW rotated horizontal text as below.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics
Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

Just keep in mind that whenever you change the Text Engine Option, you need to restart Photoshop in order for the changes to be applied.

– The Horizontal Type Mask Tool:

Creates a quick mask text-based selection. So no actual text or Type Layer are created, but a quick mask selection of the shape of the text instead.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

The selection is created once you “Commit the current edits”. So the text can be edited and modified before committing the changes, but not after it. Once the selection is created, no Type features work any more.

Many things can be done with the selection after it’s created, like filling it with a pattern or an already existing photo. This will be discussed in an example later in the series.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

– The Vertical Type Mask Tool:

Does the same thing as the Horizontal Type Mask Tool, but vertically.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

Selecting and Altering Text

Once the text is created, you can go back and alter any part of it. Like deleting, adding, or replacing letters, words, lines, or blocks of text.

– Basic Deleting and/or Adding

To delete a letter or add some text to an already existing text, pick the Type Tool, then click inside the text to place the insertion marker where you want to delete or add text.

Then, you can press the Delete or Backspace key on the keyboard to remove the letters, or start typing to add some more text.

This process doesn’t require selections as it is a pretty simple one.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

– Highlighting and Selecting Text

If you want to delete bigger portions of the text, or replace some parts, it would be easier to select (highlight) those parts first, then modify them. So that way you won’t have to delete or rewrite the whole text.

To select and edit any part of the text, make sure to have the Type Tool active. Then click right before or after the part of the text you want to select, and before you release the mouse button, drag to select the wanted part, then release.

Make sure not to click anywhere outside the selection, or else the text will be deselected.

This way you can select a letter, a word, a line of text, and the whole text. So basically, any part you want.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics
Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

Just keep in mind that you can go only one way from where you started. So you can either select the part before where you placed the insertion marker when you clicked, or the part after it, but not both.

Tip: You can press and hold the Shift key, then use the Arrow keys to move the insertion marker to highlight the text (after you click inside it).

Selecting Shortcuts

You can double click inside a word to select it quickly.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

And you can triple click a line to select it at once.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

To select the whole text, double click the Type Layer’s thumbnail.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

Text-based Selections

Sometimes, you might need to create a selection that has a certain text’s shape. The Type Mask Tools are one way to achieve that. But those tools do not create actual text or Type Layers, so everything needs to be perfected beforehand.

To create the selection after creating the text, select the Type Layer, the go to Select -> Load Selection.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics

The “Load Selection” box appears, and it consists of two parts: Source and Operation.

The Source part is the part where you choose what to use in order to create the selection.

So in the “Document” drop down menu, you’ll find a list of the names of all the opened documents you have. And in the “Channel” drop down menu you’ll find the name of the selected layer, in this case, the Type layer.

The Operation part is where you choose how to create the selection. So you can create it as a new separate one, or, you can add it to, subtract it from, or intersect it with an already existing selection.

Once you click OK, you’ll have your text-based selection created.

Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics
Tip: A quick way to create a new text-based selection, is to press and hold the Ctrl/Cmd key, then click the Type Layer’s thumbnail.
Photoshop CS6 Type Tool Basics
Tip: Other selection shortcuts are:

– Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Click thumbnail -> Add to selection
– Ctrl/Cmd + Alt/Option + Click thumbnail -> Subtract from selection
– Alt/Option + Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Click thumbnail -> Intersect with selection.

This is the end of this part. Next, the Type Tool Options bar settings will be explained.

Did you enjoy this post? Please consider donating to help us cover our server costs.

Latest Comments
    • textuts
  1. vitamac
    • textuts
    • textuts
    • textuts
  2. Wendy
    • textuts
  3. John
    • textuts
    • textuts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *