Every time I pick up a recipe card out of Great Aunt Elizabeth’s wooden recipe box, I’m taken back in time. The treasure trove of handwritten recipes she left me are precious to me and a family heirloom.

My oldest daughter will be off to college soon, and I want to send her with a cookbook of all the recipes we cook every day, but no way am I writing all that out on index cards like Aunt Liz! I’m digi-scrapping them!

Even though I’m doing my recipe cards digitally, I still want them to have that personal look. So I’m trying out handwriting fonts. While I haven’t had a font made from my own handwriting (yes, you can do that!), I have found some cute fonts that are either free or inexpensive. But there’s a problem.

Sometimes the spacing of the letters in these fonts is… well… wonky. There will be too much space after one particular letter, or too little space before another, leaving the text looking clumpy and off. Fortunately, Photoshop Elements gives us a super-quick fix for this!

You may know how to adjust the tracking on text through the Character Panel. But what if you just need to change just one space? You could figure out which letter to highlight and use the Character Panel, or you could do this super-quick trick!

Try this: (Photoshop only, sorry Elements folks!)

  • Get the Type tool (if you’re not already using it).
  • Place your cursor between the two letters where you want to change the spacing.
  • Hold down your Alt (Mac: Opt) key and press your left arrow to make the space smaller, or the right arrow to make it bigger!

That’s it!

Look what it did for my recipe title here:

This is also a great method to snuggle up the rest of a word to a larger capital letter like this:

So next time you get a font that just looks a little “off” to you, take a look at the spacing between the letters. If there are just one or two problems you can fix them up quickly with this handy keyboard trick!

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  1. Anita says:

    Wow – I’m off to try this quick and ‘simple’ tip – which of course is only simple if you know about it – thank you!!

  2. Zanne says:

    Does this work in Photoshop as well as Elements? Neat tip… thanks for sharing.

  3. Jenn says:

    Actually, this is a photoshop only tip – I neglected to mention that in the beginning. I’ll edit the post so it’s clear. Sorry, Elements folks. They gotta give us something for the $600 we pay for PS!

  4. Sandy L says:

    Thank you Jenn! I’m still learning PS, so this will really help.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Does that work in regular PS also or just Elements?

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