Lately I’ve become a tip junkie. When I first started digiscrapping, I was mostly focused on how to make my layouts look good. But as I’ve become more advanced, I’ve started trying to figure out how to increase my technical expertise. My two latest fascinations are with titles and shadows. I have to laugh when I think about shadows – there was a good period of time when I first started out that I didn’t even know you could or should add shadows to a layout. Anyway, I thought I would share a quick tip with you today. There are lots of tips out there too – I learned this one from a couple of different tips sites myself. Look around – you’re sure to find someone who has wanted to, and likely figured out how to do the thing that you want to do.
First off, let me say that I use two software programs for digiscrap: Photoshop CS3 and Storybook Creator 3.0 plus. I definitely prefer Storybook over Photoshop (because I’m not a designer), but Photoshop does have its advantages of course. Since most people use some version of Photoshop, I’ll focus my tip today on Photoshop, and next time, we’ll do a Storybook tip instead. This tip has to do with making your font appear larger and more like wordart on your page. A quick and easy way to “en-bolden” your font (i.e. increase it’s width to make it thicker) is to use expand. The steps are easy and as follows:
1) Place your text on the page using your desired font, size, color, etc
2) Make sure your layers panel is showing. Hold down the ctrl key and left click in the white box in your text layer (not the words). This will select your text (you’ll see it selected on your layout).
3) On your menu, choose Select – Modify – Expand. You will get a pop-up box asking you how many pixels. Play around with a bit to get your desired width. You will note that the expansion will appear as a selection, but the text itself will not expand at this point.
4) Back on your layers panel (your text layer should still be lit up as selected), hold down the ctrl key and choose Create New Layer from the lower menu (fx, lock, layer mask, etc). A new layer will appear underneath your text layer.
5) Choose the paint bucket tool, and select your fill color – you will probably want to choose the same color as your font, if you simply want to expand the text width. You could also select a complimentary color if you want to create a two-tone look for your font. Inside the selection on your layout, click with the paint bucket to fill the selection with your chosen color. Voila! That’s it. Deselect and see what you’ve done.
You can also play around with adding shadows, embossing, bevels, etc., to make your font appear more 3 dimensional. Here is an example of what you will get following the above instructions. This is a simple version – as I said before – try some different things and enhance your text and titles even more!