Sahlin Studio | Digital Scrapbooking Designs

Change the Text Spacing in Photosohop “Tracking and Leading”

Do you ever want to line up your journaling with the lines on a journal card, or fit it onto a tag? How about creating a title with letters spaced extra-wide or closer together? If so, then you need to know a little bit about leading and tracking.

How to Change your Text Spacing - Tracking & Leading in Photoshop

Before we start, make sure your Type tool  is selected, and open the Character palette.

photoshop-type-toolCharacter palette



The term leading is derived from the practice of placing lead strips between lines of type on older hand-set printing presses such as a letterpress. It refers to the distance between lines of type (and it’s pronounced “ledding”). You can find the box to adjust leading in the Character Palette in Photoshop. Look for the icon with two As stacked on top of each other:

Character palette leading

Here’s a quick comparison of sentences using various sizes of leading to give you a visual:

Leading examples

As you can see in the image above, changing the point size on the leading affects the distance between your lines of type. Different fonts often need different leading, too, so if you’re journaling in a pretty, scripty font that seems too “squished,” try upping the leading to get some breathing space in your block of journaling.

See an example of leading in action on this journal card:

leading example notecard



Now that you’ve got leading down, tracking is a piece of cake. Instead of spacing between lines, tracking is the spacing between each character. You can find the tracking adjustment menu right below leading on the character palette.

Character palette tracking

It’s normally set to zero. If you need more space between your letters/characters, bump up the number until it looks right! Here’s an example:

Tracking example notecard


You might adjust your tracking to get a title or line of text to fit within a certain area, such as on a journaling strip or across a photo. Different fonts look better with different sizes of tracking and leading, so the next time you type out your journaling, play around with these type tools to get the perfect, custom look!



  • Great tutorial! Thanks for posting! Looking forward to more and learning a lot from you!

  • This is fantastic. Thanks for the tutorial

  • Thanks for this great tutorial. I did my first journal layout a couple of days ago and couldn’t figure this out. I made it look somewhat decent but this will make it perfect.

  • Sounds really great. Does it work in Elements 7 or 10? I don’t have Photoshop

  • Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I have really needed this information and will certainly put it to use.

  • PS needs a feature to do **line-spacing** as a separate feature from **paragraph spacing**, like MS Word does….

    if I have three paragraphs of font, say 12pt, and want 18pt between the paragraphs, PS also puts 18pt between THE LINES OF THE PARAGRAPH!! this is a glaring omission on the part of Adobe.. they really should think about this for the next upgrade….

  • thank you for this tutorial. Three thumbs up.