Adding Text

Provided you aren't working the old Marvel way (a barebones layout script with no dialogue), you likely have some words in front of you that you'd like to place on the page.

Simple enough. Break out the Text tool and add dialogue and other text to your page by following these steps:

, 1. Click the Text tool on the Tools palette.

2. Ou the canvas, click the area you wish to add text to.

Manga Studio automatically creates a new layer to hold the text and opens the Layer Properties palette. Only this time, there is a new Text tab, as shown in Figure 12-1. As you can probably guess, the options here are what you'll be using to add the text to the canvas.

3. Select the font you wish to use from the Font drop-down list.

Only the fonts that are installed on your machine appear in the drop-down list. Be sure to check out the sidebar "Knowing where to get comic and manga fonts" for instructions on finding, downloading, and installing new fonts onto your computer.

PropsrtesJ TeJ |

Fart Tahora v!

Sis 12 port * line Spacing - > Le'i- Spacing I.,

□ OufcBlSmall □ Oulinefljcgil

□ Vestal Tt*f G HaiartaHfrVeitiwI

Ahjr ASgri Top

Figure 12-1:

The Text tab gives you all the options to tweak your text.

rtisn ^iHtytxi add 19X1

4. Select your font size from the Size drop-down list.

The font sizes are measured in points. This means the font size you select remains the same relative size, regardless of the print resolution.

To get an understanding on how large the font is on the page, there are about 72 points in an inch. So, if you were to use the default 12 point font, the text would be about >£-inch tall.

5. Set the spacing between the lines of text by entering a value between 0 and 99 points in the Line Spacing text box.

6. Set the spacing between the letters in your text by entering a value between -99 and 99 points In the Letter Spacing text box.

You can see examples of differences in line and letter spacing in Figure 12-2.

Norma I Text and Line Spacing

Figure 12-2:

Examples of text at different line and letter spacings.

Normal Letter Spacing and 6 Point Line Spacing

9 Point Letter Spacing nd S Point Line Spacing

7. To format the lext as bold, italics, underline, or strike through, select their respective check boxes.

You can select more than one check box to apply multiple effects to the text. For example, select the Bold and Underline check boxes to create bold, underlined text.

If you want to apply formatting to just a word or two, or if you want to adjust formatting on any text you've already typed, you first need to select the text in the text box at the bottom of the Text tab by clicking and dragging.

8. To convert the text Into a thin outline (as shown in Figure 12-3), select the Outline (Small) check box,

9. To convert the text into a thick outline (as shown in Figure 12-3), select the Outline (Large) check box.

10. To add a white outline around the text, select the White Outline check box, and enter a value between 0.1mm and l.Onun in its respective text box.

Additionally, you can preview the outline on the page by selecting the Preview check box.

11. To convert the text so that It's written vertically (as shown in Figure 12-3), select the Vertical Text check box.

Figure 12-3:

A few examples of the simple effects you can create by changing the text properties.

Thick OlDftDDiniffi

12, If you want text written horizontally when the Vertical Text check box is selected, highlight word with your mouse or stylus and select the Honzontal-in-Vertical check box.

This function is used primarily when writing Japanese text (which is written vertically), and an exclamation (like "!!") or English word needs to be written horizontally in the dialogue.

13, Select the color of your text with the Text/BG Color drop-down list.

You have four options to choose from:

* Black/Transparent: This default value produces black text on a clear background.

* White/Transparent: This produces white text on a clear background.

* Transparent/Black; This produces clear text on a black background.

* Transparent/White: This produces clear text on a white background.

14. Select the text alignment (left, center, or right justify — listed in the program as Top, Center, and Bottom, respectively) from the Align drop-down list.

15. Type the text in the large text box at the bottom of the palette.


Manga Studio doesn't have an automatic word wrap, so you need to enter line breaks manually. Be sure to check out the "Formatting Pitfalls" section, later in this chapter, for tips on how to avoid any potential reader confusion.

16. Click OK when you're done.

17. If you need to readjust the position of the new text on the page, click the text (it should have a red box surrounding it) and drag it along the canvas to wherever you'd like it.

If you're feeling adventuresome, try lettering your text by hand (if you have a drawing tablet, that is)! If you use the rulers that I talk about in Chapter 8, there's really nothing stopping you from lettering the old-fashioned way. Look for some books discussing how to letter and try applying those exercises and tips in Manga Studio!

For a quick way to organize your text, simply select the Store in Text Folder check box, located on the Text tool's Options palette. Now, any text you enter is automatically placed in a text folder on the Layers palette. You can't miss the check box — it's the only option on the palette!

Editing Text

Editing text layers is easy. On the Layers palette, double-click the text layer you want to edit, and the Text Properties appear. Follow the steps 1 outline in the "Adding Text" section, and you can edit and reformat the text however you'd like. Alternatively, you can double-click the text on the canvas to bring up the Text Properties.

In Manga Studio EX, the Text tool always uses the default setting, regardless of what you formatted previously. Rather than redoing all your formatting, you can save time by copying the first text layer you created, placing it in the next position on the page, and then editing the text. All the formatting you apply to the first text layer is copied to the new text layer.

If you feel limited by the formatting you can apply to your text, you can convert the text layer into an image layer and then scale and transform the text as you wish. (Note that after you convert a text layer to an image layer, you can no longer edit the text.) If you want to convert a text layer into an image layer, choose LayerOChange Layer Type from the main menu. Select whichever layer type you would like to transform the text into, and you're all set!

Knowing where to get comic and manga fonts

There is absolutely nothing preventing you from using the default fonts your computer came with in your comic book or manga. But if you're looking to give your book's lettering a more authentic feel, grabbing a comic book or manga font off of the Internet is exactly what you need. Fortunately, there are a few places you can get them — some of them for free!

i"* Famed comic book letterer Richard Starkings created a Web site showcasing a variety of professional dialogue, title, and sound effect fonts over at www. comicbookfonts. com. Many favorite North American artists, such Dave Gibbons, Jim Lee, and Scott McCloud have fonts based on their style housed overthere.

The potential drawback is that all of the fonts on the site cost money, and they aren't exactly cheap. So, if your budget is a bit tight, this place might not be what you're looking for. Even so, you should still check out the site. The folks who created Comic Book Fonts also provide a series of (free!) tutorials to help improve you lettering skills at http: / /

V Like, Blambot (www. blambot. com) provides sets of dialogue, title, and sound effect fonts to purchase and download. They are also of superb quality, and you can use them on both PCs and Macs,

There are two distinct differences between the two sites, however: Blambot's fonts are significantly cheaper, and Blambot offers a large selection of free fonts!

So, if you're on a tight budget, see what Blambot has to offer. The price point is certainly right.

f If you check out both of the above sites and still don't find what you're looking for, try searching the Internet for sites devoted to all kinds of free fonts. One site in particular, DaFont ( contains a nice collection of comic fonts, but it also carries practically every other type of font currently out there. If you're looking for a look for your book's title, for example, this might be a good area to rummage through.

If all else fails, create your own font! There are several programs out there that you can purchase to create a font that you can truly call your own. If you're unsure about laying down some cash on a program you're unfamiliar with, you can see if they offer a demonstration version. Then, you're not down any money if you find ifs not what you want.

Remember I can't emphasize this enough — always read the user agreement before you start lettering with your new fonts. Many fonts, especially the free ones, come with a ReadMe file that contains the rules you have to follow if you want to use the font in your work. Be sure to carefully read the rules regarding using the fonts on a comic or book that will be sold for profit (as opposed to publishing the comic on the Internet) — you may need to pay a licensing fee to use them for commercial use. It's common courtesy to follow the rules the font's creator sets, considering you're saving a lot of time using a font that someone else created. (Not to mention it could save you a lot of headaches, should the creator go after you legally for not adhering to the terms Of use. Not than I'm a lawyer or anything.)

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