To stretch text in Adobe Photoshop, opt for the Horizontal Type Mask Tool for initial text input and then utilize the Free Transform Path tool for more versatile manipulation options. Pay attention to the Options Bar for precise control over width and height percentages, ensuring your text is stretched exactly as you desire.
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First things first, let's get your text onto the canvas. Instead of using the Type Tool (T), you can opt for the Horizontal Type Mask Tool, which is nested under the Type Tool in the toolbar. This tool creates a selection in the shape of the text you type, allowing for more advanced manipulations later on. Once you've selected the tool, click on the canvas and type your text. You'll notice that the text appears as a selection outline. In the Character Panel, you can modify attributes like font size, which can range from 6pt to 72pt for most fonts, and line spacing, which is measured in leading and can be auto-set or manually adjusted.
By the way, your text will appear as a new layer in the Layers Panel, labeled as a "Type Layer" with a 'T' icon next to it.
Now, instead of using the standard Transform Tool with Control + T (Win) or Command + T (Mac), let's switch it up. Go to Edit > Free Transform Path. This will activate the Free Transform tool, which is more versatile for text manipulation. You'll know it's activated when the Options Bar changes and displays settings related to Free Transform.
With Free Transform active, you can do more than just stretch the text. Hold down the Alt key (Win) or Option key (Mac) while dragging the corner handles of the bounding box around your text. This allows you to skew the text, giving it a more dynamic appearance. If you're looking for a uniform stretch, make sure the "Maintain Aspect Ratio" link icon in the Options Bar is activated; this ensures that the text is stretched proportionally.
For precise stretching, keep an eye on the "W" and "H" fields in the Options Bar. These represent the width and height percentages. If you want to stretch the text perfectly vertically, set the "W" field to 100% and adjust the "H" field as desired.
Take it from me, using the Free Transform Path tool gives you more control over how you manipulate text, especially if you're a beginner looking to explore beyond the basics.
In all honesty, stretching text in Photoshop is a straightforward process, but using alternate methods like the Horizontal Type Mask Tool and Free Transform Path can offer more versatility and control. These methods are particularly useful for those who are new to Photoshop and want to explore its capabilities beyond the basics.