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Photoshop gives you some great tools for making good looking buttons. I'm going to start by creating a vector shape layer. I'm going to use the Rounded Rectangle Tool and do a little double-check up here in the Options Bar to make sure it's making a shape layer, and then I've chosen a 100 pixels for the Radius, I arrived at that by experimentation, you almost always do want to go up that, it's too small or too big and change the value here. As I'm creating this I want to make sort of a wide but shallow button, but it's not centered. So here is a little trick if you don't know this.
If you hold down the mouse button, don't release it, press the Spacebar then you can reposition, then when you let go of the Spacebar you can continue drawing, just kind of a little nicer. Because, red was my foreground color, if you notice over here in the Layers Panel, it's sort of like a sheet of color with a Vector Mask, but I want to make it look more interesting. So I'm going to use Styles. If your Styles Panel isn't visible, go up to Window and choose Styles to bring it up. We have some styles in the Styles Panel by default that are kind of interesting but maybe they're not appropriate for buttons.
That one is kind of cute, but there is a nice resource sort of hidden from you. Go to the Styles Panel menu, Glass Buttons. Do I want to replace my current styles? No, I'd like to keep them, so I'm just going to append. Look at all those lovely glass buttons. So what you can do is pick one of these as a starting point and then modify the settings. I'm going to pull the Layers Panel here lose so that we can take a look at it. Notice that everything that constitutes this neat dimensional shape is listed under Effects. If I want to turn off one of them, I can just turn off the little eyeball control.
But what I want to do here is I want to modify the Bevel and Emboss settings. So, I just double-click Bevel and Emboss, that brings up the dialog and I think maybe I'm going to harden it a little bit and reduce the size of it so that it looks more like a flat button with an edge. So notice that you have complete control over how this effect is applied to this object, you can change the Gloss Contour, the Shadow Mode, everything. This is a very rich dialog box, but I think they are just reducing the Soften setting and maybe increasing the size a little bit.
There, I think that's the button that I want. So, now if I want to use this as a button in Acrobat, I just have to save it as a PDF. So I choose File>Save As, and then I'll just put this on my Desktop, and I'll just call it GoldButton, and then I will save it as a Photoshop PDF. There we go, Photoshop PDF, and that's it. When I save this as a Photoshop PDF, now when I go into Acrobat, I just go through the dialog box and accept the defaults, they are just fine.
You just keep clicking Yes until it shuts up. Now, when I go into Acrobat and I want to apply this as an icon, I can go and find that PDF and apply it to my button. So if you're familiar with Photoshop, you have a really rich set of resources for creating really professional looking buttons.
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