This has bothered me for ages, a way out of the problem is to, of course, create the text in a new layer, and then position that where you need it. My question is, however, why does Photoshop render (a large majority of fonts) Helvetica, one of the most popular fonts ever, not directly under the letter above?

The green line is a guide, with the letter 'P' just off of the guideline. The first letter of the top sentence is exactly where it should be.

Double checking, It could have been to do with my letter spacing at 44; reducing to 0, does not rectify the problem.

Why does Photoshop render the font so?

text not directly underneath a family letter close up of same image of letter not directly under in text field

  • Hi David, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your excellent question! If you have any questions about this site's general idea and on and off-topic definitions, have a look at the help center. Thanks for joining, happy to have you!
    – Vincent
    Sep 14, 2018 at 11:52
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    This is the most welcome I have ever felt on an Exchange network. Thank you, and Billy, for your amazing responses.
    – David
    Sep 14, 2018 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


It's to visually correct for an optical illusion which occurs when lines beginning with straight edged letters are perfectly aligned geometrically to letters with a curved edge.

It also happens in many fonts where there are curves at the top, or bottom - these also don't line up exactly with characters with straight lines at the top or bottom. It's entirely deliberate and nothing to do with your software. There is nothing wrong. It's how the fonts were designed.

Example here:

Example of optical illusion

Column B has been arranged so that the P and C letters line up perfectly, and yet the lines beginning with C appear not to line up with the P, and seem to be ever so slightly indented.

  • 1
    Most informative. All down to illusion. Thanks!
    – David
    Sep 13, 2018 at 21:47
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    The same is done, for the same reason, in lots of fonts with the round letters. They slightly extend below the baseline and the capital / x-height to look optically the same size as the other letters, while they are geometrically slightly bigger.
    – Vincent
    Sep 14, 2018 at 11:50

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