ladyinblack1964

Alphas Question

13 posts in this topic

Hi, everybody:

 

I've got a question about alphas. Let's say I am doing a page and I want a title of "Grandma's 80th Birthday." I open my alpha file. Do I need to drag and drop each letter onto the spread, and then arrange them and resize them individually? Is there an easy way to do this? Is there, say, a way to "type" the words I want?

 

Wondering if there are any shortcuts on this one.

 

Thanks!

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Hi! I don't think there is a shortcut, but I'll keep watching here to see if you get any other ideas. :-)

 

What I do is open up a blank document and drag/drop the letters I need there. Then I rearrange them the way I want them to appear on my finished Layout. If it is good to go, then I merge the letters into one layer, crop it, and then drag that new title art onto my finished LO.

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No, unfortunately alphas don't work the way fonts do. You do need to bring each one in individually. What I often do is just bring the initial letter in, and finish out the word with a font that works well with the alpha. I only use the alphas for titles, so it's not as much work as it might be. If you really love the alpha, you can make a separate document with some words you'd use a lot - it might be easier to size and line them up that way - and then they'd be all ready for future use. Just link the letters for the word you want to use and slide them across (from the layers palette).

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A trick for resizing them easily is that once you have all of the letters on your layout, select all of the alpha layers by holding down your shift key while you click on each one. Then you can resize them as a group.

 

Hope that helps!

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A trick for resizing them easily is that once you have all of the letters on your layout, select all of the alpha layers by holding down your shift key while you click on each one. Then you can resize them as a group.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Yup.. That's what I do.. Then again, I've also used Becky's tip too!

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Great tip Gayle about making some frquently used words out of your favorite alphas!!

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The other method you may find helpful is to copy the PNG sheet of the entire alpha into your workspace. Use the marquee tool to select a letter (and no portion of any other letter) and then press CTRL + J (PC) / CMD + J (Mac). This duplicates that area/letter on a new layer. Once the letter layer is created, you may find it helpful to drag it to another area to keep track of the letters you've selected.

 

Press CTRL + D to de-select the area. Re-select the PNG sheet layer again in the layers palette, press M for marquee, and repeat for the next letter. When you're done, select all the layers of the individual letters in the layers palette and re-size them as needed. Don't merge them down to one layer or one layer per word until you've gotten the letter to letter placement all tweaked and tuned.

 

Once you're done, the PNG sheet layer can be removed from the workspace. You may find this technique faster sometimes; back in the day, alphas sometimes came only as sheets. Hope this helps!

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I have not thought of making favorite words out of my alphas and storing them, Cool!!

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I have not thought of making favorite words out of my alphas and storing them, Cool!!

 

 

I've done that a few times when making words for a title. I'll save them with the kit as Word Art. :-)

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When I'm using letters all from the same collection I highlight all the letters I want to use (in Picasa) and drag them to my layout. Then I can usually highlight all the letter layers and resize them together. After that it's easy to arrange them on my page. To me, that is a time saver.

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That is a great idea to make frequent words with my favorite alphas and store them as word art so save the hassle every time! Thanks for sharing that.

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Fun to see everyone's techniques! I do what Ro does and use the hold down the shift key and select the ones I want to resize and move around.

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