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Making Text Pop in Photoshop
For the purpose of this article let's create a title that pops for a newsletter called Laserlaura's News... The size of the masthead is going to be eight inches wide by two inches high. In Photoshop we will create a new document. On the New screen you can add your title, dimensions 8 x 2" or 2400 x 600 pixels, resolution 300 pixels per inch and mode CYMK since we are going to print the newsletter, and make the contents transparent. Transparent will keep the background invisible so that when the text is placed on the top of the newsletter, there won't be a white box behind it. Then click okay.
With your new file opened, choose the Text tool, click in the open space and type your title. Once typed, you can highlight the type with your text tool and change the font, font size, style, alignment and color. When the font and other options are decided, then you can move on to more fun stuff. If you want, you can always come back and change any of these options.
Make sure that the Layers menu is open. If it isn't, click on Window and down on the list is Layers. Click on it so that it is checked. The Layers menu should now be visible on screen. From the image below you can see the Layers box and that the layer for the text is highlighted in blue. This is important to know in case you have multiple layers; the layer highlighted in blue is the selected layer and the one you can make changes to.
You can see by the Layer Styles drop down menu the styles I applied to my text: shadow, inner glow, bevel and emboss, and stroke. The drop shadow gives it that pop off the page, inner glow highlights along the edges of the letters, bevel and emboss gives the letters dimension, and stroke is the green outline around the edge of the text. As you can also see there are other shadows, overlays and blending options available to use. All of these styles can be manipulated further -- shading and placement of shadows, width and color of stroke, variety of textures, gradients and pattern overlays. Don't get too crazy though! Just enough is enough, too much is overkill.
However, play around and see the different results you can get by combining different styles. When you get the text the way you want it, save your Photoshop file. Depending on what program you are using for your newsletter and the type of files it will accept, you can either use the Photoshop file or do a Save As or a Save for Web and choose the format that will import into your newsletter file. In order to keep the background transparent, you will have to be able to import a GIF or PNG or Photoshop file, depending on the program you are importing into. The Save for Web option will allow you to save your file as a PNG file while keeping the background transparent. Choosing PNG-24 will give you a sharper image.
PageMaker will import all of these formats but it will not import the transparent background. In this case you could complete your masthead in Photoshop by adding your background color and any other images you may want to use. Microsoft Publisher will import the Photoshop file with a white box around it, but the PNG file will import beautifully!
Note: Always save your file as a Photoshop file first. Then do a Save As or a Save for Web. This way if you need to make changes you can go back to your Photoshop file and make those changes.
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