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Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Special Text Effects

You can spice up Photoshop text in a variety of ways by adding strokes, drop shadows, textures, and more. You can even take a photo and place it inside of text. The great thing is that you can perform all these techniques without rasterizing the text, so it remains fully and gloriously editable. Read on to learn all kinds of neat ways to add a little something special to your text.

Tip

Perhaps the easiest special effect of all is creating partially opaque or ghosted text. All you have to do is lower the Type layer's opacity in the Layers panel, as explained on Tweaking a Layer's Opacity and Fill. That's it!

Stroked Text

One of the easiest ways to enhance text is to give it an outline, making it really stand out. Photoshop calls this outline a stroke, and it's simple to add using the layer styles menu you learned about back in Chapter 3 (Layer Styles). The following steps explain how to add a plain black stroke, as shown at the top of Figure 14-28.

Tip

You might be tempted to choose Edit→Stroke instead of following the steps below. Don't. To use the Edit menu's Stroke command, you have to rasterize the text first (in fact, the Stroke menu item will be grayed out if you've selected a Type layer, since it's vector-based). Using Layers Styles is a much more flexible way to outline text because your text remains editable.

  1. Add some text.

    Press T to grab the Type tool and type a word. Be sure to choose a fairly weighty font like Futura bold or Cooper (the words in Figure 14-28 ...

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