Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding layer effects, part of Photoshop CS6 Text Workshop.
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Photoshop includes a wide variety of layer styles that let's you really customize the appearance of your text. And that can be a subtle effect, such as a very basic drop shadow to something incredibly wild. Let's take a look at the ability to add layer affects to our text. I'll start off by choosing the Type tool from the toolbox. And then I'll click inside of the image and I'll just type some basic text here. You'll notice that the text is currently appearing in black but I'll go ahead and select the text and change that color to white.
And I could also adjust the font for the text, for example, if I'd like to. I'll go ahead and just choose a different font, in this case. And I can adjust the text size etcetera. But those are all of the basic attributes. Let's take a look at how we can actually apply layer effects to our Text layers. The Text layer, of course, is active on my Layers panel. It's the currently selected layer. And so I can add layer effects to this layer simply by clicking on the FX button. The Layer effects button, at the bottom of the Layers panel.
And you'll see that we have a variety of different effects to choose from. I'll go ahead and start off with Bevel and Emboss, for example. I'll click on that option. And the Layer Style dialog appears. And you can see that my text already has that embossed effect applied to it. And I can change all of the settings for that layer effect. So, for example, I can increase the depth, in order to create a larger effect. Or I can adjust the overall size, to change how that effect blends into the text. I can even soften the edge of that effect.
And I can increase or decrease the opacity for the lightening and darkening effect. So, for example, if I reduce the opacity of the darkening effect. You'll see that that sort of shadow effect that defines the embossing starts to fade away. In addition, I can adjust the direction of the light. In other words, which direction the shadow is cast for that Emboss effect. And I can also change the shape of the Bevel or Emboss effect itself. So you'll see that I have a Pillow emboss, for example, as well as a Stroke emboss. So you can choose among the various options.
And you can also change the contour, which will affect what that edge actually looks like. I'll go ahead and leave those options established for the moment. I can add a stroke to the text. In other words a line outlining the text. I'll go ahead and change the color to red, so that we can see the effect a little more clearly. I can add an inner shadow, which is like a drop shadow, but it falls inside the text rather than outside the text. An inner glow adds a color glow inside that text. The satin effect gives us a little bit of a texture to the image. And color overlay adds a solid color to the image but it blends into that text. So we still have all of those other effects applied. I can add a gradient overlay.
So, for example, if I want to have some random colors within my text. I can choose one of the gradient presets and then in this case turn off my color overlay so that it doesn't interfere with that gradient. I can also apply a pattern to the text if I'd like. I can add an outer glow, which is very much like a drop shadow. I'll go ahead and increase the size for that outer glow and you can see that effect. And then the drop shadow, of course, which is by default black with a multiply blend mode, so it's only darkening the area behind the text. I'll go ahead and switch this to a white drop shadow with a normal blend mode so that we can see the actual effect. I'll go ahead and increase the size and increase the distance, for example. And I can adjust the angle if I'd like.
So you can see that we have a variety of different possibilities for all of these effects. And you can see that we can make a very big mess very, very quickly. In most cases you'll probably want to be relatively subtle with your effects. And that's not to say that you can't use some wild and crazy effects from time to time but more often than not less is more. The less those effects stand out, the more the text will be appreciated. But some of those effects can be very nice, especially when applied in a relatively subtle way. Bare in mind that we can turn off any of these effects if we want to, so I can turn off my Stroke effect for example.
I can turn off the Inner Shadow effect if I'd like to. I can adjust all of the settings for these effects. You'll notice by the way that my drop shadow moved, and that's because I've chosen to use global light. So, as I adjust one of the other effects, that effect is going to be changed as well. So, for example, if I wanted to change that direction I could certainly do that. Now let's assume just for sake of argument, that we're actually happy with this effect. This obviously is way over the top, and nothing like I would probably apply to just about any text under any circumstance.
But lets assume that we're happy with these effects. I'll go ahead and click and OK. And you'll notice that all of those effects appear below my Text layer. I can turn Off or On any of those effects, by turning off or on the Eye icon to the left of the effect. Or I can turn off all of the effects by clicking the Eye icon to the left of the word effects. And of course at any time, if I want to modify the effect, I can double-click on the name of that effect. That will bring the Layer Style dialog back up, so that I can fine tune all of my settings. Now one of the things to keep in mind is that when we apply these effects we're just adding an effect.
We're adding a visual effect to our text, the text itself remains fully editable. So I'll go ahead and click on the Text layer for example. And you'll see that I'm able to go back and modify the text if I'd like. And I can even change the font. I'll go ahead and select that text and perhaps choose a different font. I can make that font bold. I can apply whatever changes I'd like to that text because it remains a Text layer. I'm still able to fine tune everything about this text. I can go back and revise my Layer effects.
I can change the words all together, any of it is possible, because this remains, in editable Text layer. So, while I've certainly made a mess of this text. It does give you a good sense of the many options that are available in applying Layer effects to your text.
- Type tool basics
- Editing, moving, and aligning text
- Basic text attributes
- Character and Paragraph panels overview
- Kerning and tracking
- Vertical and horizontal scaling
- Transforming text
- Adding layer effects
- Putting an image inside text