I’m so excited about Procreate’s update! There are a lot of useful new features including different sharing options, the ability to make an animated GIF from layers, the ability to view a single layer by tapping and holding the visibility checkbox, new blending modes, and of course text! I’ve been playing around with the brand new text tools. In this post I’ll show you what I’ve learned about the new text feature and a few tips on how to use text effects to create interesting typography in the Procreate app.
To add text to your canvas, tap on the wrench, tap Add, and then tap Add text.
A box with the word Text in it appears on the screen along with a keyboard. Now you can type in your own text. For instance, tap caps lock and type in a word in all caps. Then press return and add another word on another line.
When you’re done press Edit Style to modify your text further.
This menu allows you to change the style of the text.
If you want to go back to the keyboard in order to add more text, tap on the keyboard button in the upper left corner of the menu.
Below I’ll cover each of the sections of this menu.
Scroll through the fonts listed on the side of the screen and tap on one to select it.
You can tap Import Font in the top right of the menu to import your own fonts.
You can also change the Style of the font. Depending on the font, you can use options such as bold or italic.
In the Design area of the Edit Style menu, you can change several features.
If you slide the Size slider to the right, the text will become bigger. If you slide it to the left the text will become smaller. If you make it too big, the word won’t stay on one line. To fix this, just grab one of the nodes on the text box and pull it to the side to make it fit the word. You can also move the text box around on the screen by dragging it.
Change the space between letters
You can change the Kerning and Tracking using the sliders. For instance, if you use the Tracking slider, you can change the space between the letters. If you move the slider to the left you can make the letters overlap. If you move it to the right, the letters will move farther apart.
Change the space between lines of text
Use the Leading slider to change how much space appears vertically between words. For instance, if I slide the Leading slider to the left, I can make the two words overlap. If i slide the Leading slider to the right, the words move further apart.
Use the slider to change the opacity of the text.
In this section of the menu, you can change the text alignment. You can also underline the text, create outlines, and toggle capitalization on or off.
More Text Modifications
To change the color, with the text selected, tap on the color icon in the upper right of the canvas and choose a color.
NOTE: If you drag the color from the color swatch into the text, the text will become rasterized. It will no longer be editable text.
Selecting words and letters
If you tap on the text box next to a word, a menu appears which allows you to select a single word (Select) or all of the words in the text box (Select All).
When one word is selected and you tap on it, another menu appears which allows you to Select All of the words, Cut the selection, Copy the selection, Delete the selection, or arrange the words vertically by tapping Vertical Orientation.
To select individual letters, make sure a word is selected then tap on one of the cursor nodes and slide it to highlight only the letters you want selected.
Above I have only selected the “HE.” If I choose a color from the color menu, I can fill these two letters with that color. If I press Cut it will cut and copy the letters. If I press Copy it will leave the letters there and copy them. Then if I access the menu again after cutting or copying the letters, new options appear including Paste and Paste with Format. You could paste these in the current text box or open a new text box and paste them there.
Selecting different letters or words can allow you to easily fill them with different colors by selecting them, tapping on the color swatch, and choosing a color from the color menu.
You can also change the size, font, or other style attributes for whatever letter or word is selected.
If you tap on the layers button, you can view the text layer. Notice that the text layer has an “A” next to it. This means it is editable text. You can change the font and what is written. You can do this by tapping on the layer and pressing Edit Text in the pop-out menu. You could also tap on the text itself on the screen to bring up the text menu and modify the text.
The text layer works the same as any other layer in Procreate.
You can duplicate or delete the layer just like you would any other layer. Swipe left on the layer and press Duplicate or Delete.
If you press the N on the layer you can change the Opacity or use the blend modes.
In addition to Edit Text, a text layer’s pop-out menu has many of the options of a normal layer. You can Rename the layer, Copy the layer, etc.
If you press Select and then create a new layer above the text layer, you can just paint within the text layer. But if you merge the layer down the text layer will become rasterized and will no longer be editable text.
Some of the options that are available on a normal layer aren’t available on a text layer. To access these, you’ll need to rasterize the text layer and it won’t be editable text anymore. You won’t be able to change the font or the text. Instead, the text layer will become a normal layer of artwork. To do this, tap on Rasterize.
The “A” next to the text layer will disappear and now the layer options will be the same as a graphic layer.
The text layer will also become rasterized if you try to edit it in ways that the text can’t be edited. For instance, if you tap on the arrow to select the text, you can resize it or rotate it without rasterizing it.
But if you tap on Warp and warp the text or if you drag color from the color swatch into individual letters, the text will become rasterized. If the text becomes rasterized, a red notice will appear at the top of the screen to inform you.
You can create lots of different text effects in Procreate. I’ll show you how to create four basic text effects: A shadow, curved text, painting on the text using Alpha Lock, and using a Clipping Mask to add a background.
NOTE: Many of these effects will rasterize the text layer. Once the text is rasterized, it is no longer editable; however, you can modify it the same way you would modify any piece of art in Procreate.
Add a shadow
Add some text. Choose a fairly thick font. You could also make it bold. Then give it a color. In the layers menu, swipe left on the layer and press Duplicate.
Tap on the first layer which appears underneath the duplicated layer.
Tap on the text on the screen to select the text on this layer and then tap on the color icon. Double tap in the black area of the color disc to choose black. Because this layer is behind the colored text, you won’t see the black text appear yet.
Now tap on the arrow and move the black text layer down and to the right of the word to get a shadow. If you tap on the screen in the direction you want the shadow to move, it will nudge the text.
If you want to soften the shadow, tap on the Adjustments button and add a Gaussian Blur or a Motion Blur to the shadow layer. This will rasterize the text layer.
This effect will rasterize the text layer.
Create some text to curve.
Then tap on the arrow to select the text and at the bottom of the screen press Warp. Move areas of the text to warp it into a curved look. This isn’t very exact, but it can create some interesting curved text which you can use in your typography compositions.
Paint on the text
Add some text that you want to paint on top of. Choose a fairly thick font. I used Arial and made it Bold. Give the font a color. I made mine light blue. Tap on the text layer and in the pop-out menu tap Rasterize.
Now you can tap on the layer and in the pop-out menu tap Alpha Lock.
Choose a different color and a brush and paint on top of your text. Here I’ve used the Clouds brush located in the Elements set and added some different colors. Then I used the Flicks brush located in the Spraypaints brush set to add some white spraypaint to the top of the words.
Add a clipping mask
Insert a graphic you made outside of Procreate such as a watercolor texture and make sure to put the watercolor layer directly above the text. If you’d rather, you could create a new layer above the text layer and paint on it within Procreate. Then tap on the layer and open the pop-out menu. Press Clipping Mask. This will fill the text with the image above it.
If you merge this clipping mask layer down, the text will become rasterized.
These are just some of the many text effects you can do. Once the text is rasterized, it acts like a graphic in Procreate, and you can modify it in many other ways.
I’m just beginning to play with the new text option in Procreate. I hope this introduction has helped you get a jump start on learning to use Procreate text!
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