Welcome to yet another quick and easy Adobe Photoshop tutorial. Today, we are going to be talking about line spacing in Photoshop. Specifically, I’m going to talk about what it is, how to change it, and the best practices for setting it.
After all, learning about text and characters in Photoshop is fundamental for any up-and-coming graphic designer.
If you’d like to jump ahead a bit, use these hot links below. Topics mentioned in this article include:
- How do you show spacing in Photoshop?
- How do you change line spacing in Photoshop?
- What is the correct spacing between lines?
How do you show spacing in Photoshop?
Let’s start by defining line spacing. Line spacing is the vertical distance between lines of text. It is often also referred to as Leading in the design world.
There are a couple of ways to see spacing in Photoshop. The first is by using grids, the second is by using the Move Tool.
Toggling grids off and on in Photoshop
To see overall spacing in your Photoshop document, your best option is to use grids. To toggle grids on and off, simply go to View > Show > Grid (or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd ‘ on a Mac, Ctrl ‘ on Windows ).
Seeing the spacing between two objects
To see the spacing between objects in Photoshop, your best option is to use the Move Tool. To do so, select the Move Tool (indicated by an icon that looks like a plus sign with arrows) from the toolbar. Then hold down the Cmd key on a Mac (or the Ctrl key on Windows) and hover over (don’t click) either object. The Smart Guides (indicated by purple overlay text) will pop up and display the distance between the objects.
To evenly align objects, keep the Move Tool selected, select all objects you wish to align in the Layers Palette (hold down the Shift key to select multiple layers) and click on any of the Alignment Tools in the toolbar located at the top of the window. Alignment options include:
- Left edges
- Horizontal centers
- Right edges
- Distribute vertically
- Top edges
- Vertical centers
- Bottom edges
- Distribute horizontally
However, it should be noted that these alignment tools are meant for layers and objects. They cannot be used to align text.
How do you change line spacing in Photoshop?
With that out of the way, let’s get to what you really came here for – instructions on how to change line spacing in Photoshop.
1. If you haven’t already done so, create a new text box. To create a new text box, click on the Type Tool icon on the Photoshop toolbox to create a new text layer. Click anywhere on your canvas to create a Single-Line Text element. Or, click and drag to draw a rectangle on your canvas to create a Text Area. When you see the cursor appear, begin typing.
2. Open the Character Panel if it’s not already open (Window > Character).
3. Either select the text you wish to change in the Text Area using your cursor or, to select the entire paragraph or text area, simply click on the text area layer in the Layers Panel.
4. In the Character Panel, find the Leading input box (it looks like two letter “A’s” sitting on top of one another) and select any value. Smaller values mean less space between lines. Larger values mean more spacing between lines. “Auto” will set the Leading option to 120% the value of the type size. Note: This input box will only accept positive numbers between .01 and 5000. Negative values are not allowed.
Presto – you’ve now adjusted line spacing in Photoshop like a pro.
Pro-Tip: If you need to adjust specific characters or a single line of your text, you may also want to consider using the Baseline Shift Option, also found in the Character Palette. It looks like a capital “A” next to a lowercase “a”. It is sometimes used to create manual superscripts and subscripts. But be careful, this option may also produce some funky results if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Which brings us to our last question – what sort of line spacing should you be using?
What is the correct spacing between lines?
In Microsoft Word, single spacing is considered to be 1.5 or 175% of the value of the type size. Default line spacing in Photoshop is normally 120% of the value of the type size.
For instance, if your type size is 10, auto-leading will be 12. If your type size is 100, auto-leading will be 120.
Double spacing, in Microsoft Word, is roughly 233% the value of the type size. However, double spacing is considered to be a no-no in the design world. It’s a remnant of the typewriter era.
When working with paragraphs, spacing should typically be between 120-150% of the value of the font size for optimum readability.
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