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Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Adding Layer Styles

Like filters and effects, Layer styles let you transform objects by giving them new characteristics, like Drop Shadows, for instance. Layer styles are especially useful for modifying individual objects, like text and buttons, because you can edit the text and change the button's shape even after you've applied the Layer style.

The Effects palette's Photo Effects section lets you age a photo by applying an antique look to it, as shown in this color photo which has the Vintage Photo effect applied.

Figure 13-11. The Effects palette's Photo Effects section lets you age a photo by applying an antique look to it, as shown in this color photo which has the Vintage Photo effect applied.

Layer styles, as their name suggests, work on the contents of one layer—rather than on your whole image. That's important. A Layer style affects the entire contents of a layer. If you want to apply a Layer style to just one object in your picture, select the object and put it on a layer of its own (Ctrl+J or Layer → New → "Layer via Copy", or Ctrl+Shft+J or New → "Layer via Cut"). Figure 13-12 shows what you can do with Layer styles.

You apply Layer styles from the Effects palette (Window → Effects). Click the Layer Styles button, and then—from the pull-down menu—choose a Layer style category, or choose Show All. Finally, select the layer you want to modify (by highlighting it in the Layers palette), and then click the Layer style you want to use. The box on Adding Layer Styles shows you how to modify any style's settings.

Figure 13-12. Layer styles are great ...

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