Working with Text Glyphs

Using the Adjust Glyph tool, individual text characters can be modified independently of the word, line, or paragraph in which they are a member. You can choose which text attributes you want to change or animate, including position, rotation, scale, face (color or fill), outline, glow, or drop shadow.

In addition to modifying individual text characters independently of their group, you can transform style attributes independently of the text character. For example, you can warp the drop shadow or glow of a letter without affecting its face or outline. These transforms can be applied using onscreen controls or the Four Corner parameter in the Style pane of the Text Inspector.

When the Adjust Glyph tool is selected and Attribute is set to Transform Glyph (in the text HUD), onscreen transform controls appear. These controls are identical to the 3D onscreen transform controls. For more information on using these controls, see 3D Transform Onscreen Controls.

The Attribute parameter is also available in the Sequence Text behavior, which allows you to sequence any of the glyph effects through text. For more information on using the Sequence Text behavior, see Sequence Text Behavior.

Displaying and Choosing the Onscreen Glyph Controls

There are two modes of onscreen controls available with the Adjust Glyph tool. When Transform Glyph is chosen from the Attribute pop-up menu, the available controls are identical to the 3D onscreen controls, allowing you to adjust a glyph’s scale, position, or rotation without affecting the rest of the characters in the text layer. When Face, Outline, Glow, or Drop Shadow is chosen from the Attribute pop-up menu, you can apply a four-corner warp the selected attribute of a glyph—without affecting the other attributes of that glyph or the rest of the characters in the text layer.

In transform glyph mode, the Adjust Glyph tool’s onscreen controls are identical to the 3D onscreen controls. For more information on moving, rotating, or scaling objects using this tool, see 3D Transform Onscreen Controls.

To display the transform glyph onscreen controls
  1. Select the text object that contains the glyph(s) that you want to modify.

  2. Select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools menu in the Toolbar.

    Figure. Toolbar showing Adjust Glyph tool.

    If no glyph was previously selected, the first glyph in the text is selected.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To scale, rotate, or move the glyph, select Transform Glyph from the Attribute pop-up menu in the text HUD.

    • To warp a text style attribute, select Face, Outline, Glow, or Drop Shadow from the Attribute pop-up menu in the text HUD.

    Note: If the HUD does not appear, choose Window > Show HUD (or press F7).

Selecting Characters with the Adjust Glyph Tool

You can select a single text glyph or multiple text glyphs with the Adjust Glyph tool. When more than one glyph is selected, the last Shift-clicked glyph appears with the transform tools. This is known as the “focused glyph.” A box appears around the other selected characters. Any selected glyph (focused or not) is affected by transforms applied to the focused glyph.

Note: If you are using the Adjust Glyph tool to warp a style attribute (face, outline, glow, drop shadow) of a glyph, only one glyph can be selected at a time.

To select all glyphs
  1. Select the text object that contains the glyphs that you want to modify.

  2. Select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar.

    Ensure that the Attribute pop-up menu in the HUD is set to Transform Glyph. A glyph is selected.

  3. Choose Edit > Select All (or press Command-A).

    All glyphs are selected, and the Adjust Glyph tool remains selected.

To select multiple glyphs
  1. Select the text object that contains the glyphs that you want to modify.

  2. Select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar.

    The first glyph in the text is selected.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • While pressing the Shift key, select the other glyphs you want to include in your edit.

      Figure. Canvas showing multiple glyphs selected together.
    • Drag to select the other glyphs you want to include in your edit.

    • While pressing the Command key, select noncontiguous glyphs you want to include in your edit.

    Although the onscreen controls appear only around the focused (last selected) glyph, any glyph surrounded by a box is affected by adjust the onscreen controls.

To deselect a group of selected glyphs
  • Choose Edit > Deselect All (or press Command-Shift-A).

    The glyphs are deselected and the Adjust Glyph tool remains selected in the Toolbar.

To select a glyph(s) in another text layer
  • With an active Adjust Glyph tool selection, click the text layer in the Layers tab or Timeline layers list that you want to modify. If no glyph was previously selected in the new text layer, the first glyph is active. If a glyph was previously selected, the last selected glyph is active.

    If no glyph was previously selected in the new text layer, the first glyph is active. If a glyph was previously selected, the last selected glyph is active.

Resetting Position, Rotation, or Scale of a Transformed Glyph

When a text layer is moved, rotated, or scaled as a whole, the changes are reflected in the Properties tab of the Inspector. However, when a glyph is transformed, the changes are reflected in the Format pane of the Text Inspector.

To reset a rotated glyph
  1. If the glyph is not selected, select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar, then select the glyph or Shift-select a group of glyphs.

    Figure. Canvas showing a selected glyph.
  2. In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, click the Animation menu icon for the Rotation parameter and choose Reset Parameter.

    Figure. Inspector showing Reset Parameter option in the Animation menu.

    The glyphs return to their original rotation.

To reset a repositioned glyph
  1. If the glyph is not selected, select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar, then select the glyph or Shift-select a group of glyphs.

  2. In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, click the Animation menu icon for the Offset parameter and choose Reset Parameter.

To reset a scaled glyph
  1. If the glyph is not selected, select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar, then select the glyph or Shift-select a group of glyphs.

  2. In the Format pane of the Text Inspector, click the Animation menu icon for the Scale parameter and choose Reset Parameter.

Adjusting Glyph Attributes

The onscreen controls for adjusting a glyph’s style attribute are similar to the shearing and four corner onscreen controls. You can also warp a glyph’s attributes in the Text Inspector.

To warp a glyph’s style attribute in the Canvas
  1. Select the text object that contains the glyph(s) that you want to modify, then select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar.

  2. Select the attribute you want to modify (Face, Outline, Glow, or Drop Shadow) from the Attribute pop-up menu in the Text HUD.

    The glyph is enclosed by a bounding box with eight handles: four corner handles for four-corner warping and four shearing handles located in the middle of the bounding box edges.

    Figure. Canvas showing onscreen controls for warping a text glyph.
  3. Do one of the following:

    • To shear the style attribute, drag a shearing handle.

    • To warp the style attribute, drag a corner handle.

      Figure. Canvas showing a text glyph's glow attribute being warped using the onscreen controls.

      Once the attribute is adjusted (Glow in this example), that parameter is selected in the Style pane of the Text Inspector (the Glow checkbox). That parameter is only turned on for the modified glyphs in the text object.

To warp a glyph style attribute in the Inspector
  1. Select the text object that contains the glyph(s) that you want to modify, then select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar.

  2. Select the attribute you want to modify (Face, Outline, Glow, or Drop Shadow) from the Attribute pop-up menu in the Text HUD.

  3. In the Style pane of the Text Inspector, click the Four Corner disclosure triangle for the attribute you want to modify, then use the Bottom Left, Bottom Right, Top Right, or Top Left value sliders to warp the attribute.

Resetting Adjusted Glyph Attributes

When a glyph’s attributes are modified using the Adjust Glyph tool, the changes are reflected in the Style pane of the Text Inspector. Although you can only modify a style attribute of one glyph at a time, you can reset multiple glyphs at one time.

To reset a single modified glyph attribute
  • With the glyph selected (using the Adjust Glyph tool), click the reset button for the relative Four Corner parameter in the Style pane of the Text Inspector.

To reset multiple modified glyph attributes
  1. Select the text object that contains the glyph(s) that you want to modify, then select the Adjust Glyph tool from the 2D transform tools in the Toolbar.

  2. Select the glyph or Shift-select a group of glyphs.

  3. If it’s not already selected, select Transform Glyph from the Attribute pop-up menu in the text HUD.

  4. Shift-select the glyphs you want to reset.

  5. Click the reset button for the Four Corner parameter in the Style pane of the Text Inspector.

Animating Glyphs

The Adjust Glyph tool allows you to animate individual text characters and their style attributes.

For more information, see Animating with the Adjust Glyph Tool.

Adjust Glyph HUD Controls

When the Adjust Glyph tool is selected, additional controls become available in the Text HUD. In addition to the text parameters, the HUD contains the 3D transform tools, the Adjust Around pop-up menu, and the Attribute pop-up menus.

For more information on the text HUD controls, see Using the Text HUD.

For more information on the HUD 3D transform tools and the Adjust Around pop-up menu, see 3D Transform HUD Controls.