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Beginners Guide To The Photoshop Toolbar & Tools

*This post was updated for Photoshop CC in July 2016. Note that most of the tools are exactly the same, and work in exactly the same way in older versions, even if the tool icons have changed slightly in the Photoshop toolbar.*

Just like an artist’s work table, the Photoshop toolbar, the long, narrow palette on the far left side of the work area contains the tools you’ll use to draw, paint, erase, and do tons of other things whilst working on your image.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at what’s actually in the toolbar. The tools can be broken into several distinct categories. This will help you find them when you know what kind of tool you need. The illustrations below show an overview of the toolbox, with each tool available and its shortcut key.

Selection and Crop Tools

Photoshop Selection Tools

Painting and Retouching Tools

Photoshop Painting and Retouching Tools


Vector drawing and Type Tools

Photoshop Vector and Type Tools

Navigation Tools

How to find a hidden tool in Photoshop toolbar

Color Selection

Foreground and Background Color Photoshop

Quick Mask and Screen Mode

Quick Mask and Screen Mode Buttons On Photoshop Toolbar

How to use Tools and the Toolbar in Photoshop

To select a tool, simply click on that tool in the Toolbar.

When you hover your mouse over any tool in the toolbar, a tooltip appears showing you the name of the tool and the tool’s keyboard shortcut. This is very handy when you forget what a certain tool looks like when you’re learning Photoshop.

It’s worth making a concious effort to learn the shortcuts as it speeds up your work enormously. Some of the shortcuts are really easy to remember such as Z for the Zoom tool or E for the Eraser.  So instead of clicking on the tool in the Toolbar, just press the letter on the keyboard. This will dramatically speed up your workflow as it lets you change tools without taking your hands off the keyboard.

[box type=”info”] Download a free printable PDF poster of the Photoshop CC Toolbar Cheatsheet.


Hidden Tools

Wherever you see a little arrow on the bottom right of a tool in the Photoshop toolbar (or any Adobe application for that matter), it means there are other “hidden” tool choices. Hidden tools are accessed by clicking and holding on that tool. As you hold, a fly-out set of tools will appear giving you access to all of the hidden tools under that particular tool.  In the example below, you can see that by clicking and holding on the Magic Wand tool, the hidden Quick selection Tool becomes available.

How to find a hidden tool in Photoshop toolbar

To quickly cycle through hidden tools, hold down the Shift key and tap the tool’s keyboard shortcut that appears in tool tips. For example, to cycle through the Brush, Pencil, Color Replacement and Mixer Brush tools, you would press B to select the first tool and then hold down Shift and press B again to move through that particular set of tools.

Cycle through hidden tools in Photoshop

Moving The Toolbar

To change the Toolbar from a single column to a two-column panel, click once on the double arrow button in the top-right corner. To switch back again, simply click the double-arrow button again.

To float the Toolbar anywhere on your screen, drag it away from the left hand screen edge. Drag it by clicking the tiny row of vertical dashes near its top. It is now a “floating” panel and you can drag it anywhere you want as you work.

To dock it back to the edge of the screen, drag the panel all the way to the edge until a blue vertical bar appears against the edge of the screen. The blue bar is an indication to let go and the panel will snap into place and is once again docked.

Change from single to double column toolbar

Picking Colors

Near the bottom of the Toolbar, you can see the Foreground and Background Color Swatches (sometimes called color chips). By default the foreground is black and the background is white. Photoshop uses the foreground color when you paint of fill an area with color. The background color is used as a second color when you create a gradient and when you erase parts of a locked Background layer amongst other things.

Foreground and Background Color Photoshop

To change a color, click on its color swatch once to open the Color Picker. From here you can choose from millions of colors.

To swap your foreground and background colors, click the round double-headed arrow just above the foreground and background swatches or press X on the keyboard.

To set both color swatches back to their default factory setting of black and white, click the minature swatches or press D.

Quick Mask and Screen Mode Buttons On Photoshop Toolbar

The last two items on the Photoshop Toolbar are the Quick Mask mode and the Screen Mode Buttons.

Another useful panel that you can use when you’re learning about Photoshop tools is the Info panel. This gives further hints about how to use any particular tool.

Choose Window > Info if the Info panel is not already open. If you don’t see a tip at the bottom of the panel then go to the Info panel menu and choose Panel options, from there click on the checkbox for Show Tool Hints.


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 A printable PDF cheatsheet of the
Photoshop Toolbar & tools

Photoshop Toolbar Printable Poster Laughing Lion Design

Sign up below to download a high quality PDF poster showing all of the Photoshop CC tools and their shortcuts.



I hope you’ve found this Photoshop’s tutorial useful and I would be really grateful if you would share it. Thank you so much! 🙂

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How To Save A Selection & How To Use An Alpha Channel In Photoshop

Here’s a quick guide to saving selections, refining them and reusing them using the alpha channel in Photoshop.

What in blue blazes is an alpha channel?

Not always the first question a person asks when they’re learning Photoshop. But I’m glad you’ve asked 🙂
An alpha channel lets you save or store a selection that you’ve made so that you can use that selection again at a later time. This is a really useful, if underused function in Photoshop.

Let’s run through an example of making a selection and then turning it into an alpha channel. If you’d like to know lots more about how to make a selection, check out my guide to using all of the selection tools in Photoshop.

Saving A Selection In Photoshop

1. In Photoshop open an image that you want to make a selection in. I’m using this photo of a skateboarder by Andrew Pons which is free to download from Unsplash.

01 - Skateboarder Image

2. Zoom in so that you can clearly see all of whatever you’re selecting.

3. Use your favourite or the most appropriate selection tools to make a selection. For this particular example, I’ve used the Magic Wand.
I picked the Magic Wand because there are large blocks of similar colours in the areas I’m selecting and they’re easy to select with this tool.

By holding down Shift while clicking with the Magic Wand, you can add to the selection. If you make a mistake and add too much to the selection, hold down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key. As you can see below, I’ve selected all of the skater, but there are a few extra bits around his right hand that should not be included. For now, though we’ll leave it and come back to it in a moment.

02 - Initial Selection Made In Photoshop
4. Now that the selection is made, you can save it in case you need to use it again or if you want to refine it further using an alpha channel. Choose Select > Save Selection. This lets you convert your selection to an alpha channel.

5. Choose New for Channel and give your selection a name. (Mine’s called skater). Click OK.

03 - Save Selection in Photoshop

At this stage, if you were happy with how your selection looks, you could continue about your business in Photoshop and come back later and choose Select > Load Selection and the exact shape of your selection will appear. However, I want to show you how to improve your saved selection.

The Channels Panel

6. Click on the Channels tab (usually in the Layers palette group) to view the new alpha channel. If you can’t see the Channels panel, you’ll find it under the menu Window > Channels.

(Optional tip) If the thumbnails in the Channels palette are very small, you might find it useful to increase their size by clicking on the Channels palette menu and choosing Palette Options. From there you can pick larger thumbnails.

04 - Channels Panel Photoshop

7. Click on the new channel (Skater) in the Channels palette. You now have a black and white view of the selection you made earlier. You can see where I made the mistake selecting around his right hand, but you can also see little black “islands” in various spots where the selection was missed.

05 - Alpha Channel Visible

8. Even though you have converted the selection to what is now a mask, you’ll see that the dancing ants still appear around the original selection. Press Cmd + D (Mac) orCtrl + D (Windows) to deselect.

Refining A Selection By Painting On The Alpha Channel

At this point, you can refine your selection further.
1. With the alpha channel still selected, choose the Paintbrush tool from the toolbar.  When working with an alpha channel, you will either paint in black or white or the shades of grey in-between. If you paint with a black Paintbrush, you are subtracting from the selection and if you paint with white you are adding to the selection. You can fill in any gaps this way.

06 - Refining The Selection

2. Paint over the obvious bits of the selection that were missed out or over selected.

3. To make it easier to see exactly what you are selecting, click on the Visibility toggle eye icon beside the RGB channel at the top of the Channels panel. You will now be able to see your image and your selection at the same time. You will see a mask. The area that you have selected will look normal, while the area outside your selection will be covered with a red transparency. This red transparency is known as a rubylith and is used in traditional masking.

07 - RGB Channel Turned On

4. Continue to paint in black or white to add or subtract from your selection until you have refined it.

08 - Selection With Rubylith

5. To convert the mask back to a selection click the Load Channel As Selection button at the bottom of the Channels palette.

09 - Load Channel As Selection

6. Click on the Visibility toggle Eye icon beside the alpha channel you made, then click on the RGB channel at the top to switch back to a full-colour composite.

The alpha channel in the original image is saved when the file is saved. Once you store the selection as an alpha channel, you can reload it at any time or even load it into another image.

Load a saved selection

When you’re ready to use your selection again you can use the Load Selection function as follows:

1. Choose Select > Load Selection.

Specify the Source options in the Load Selection dialog box:

Document: Chooses the name of the file with the selection you want to load.

Channel: Chooses the channel containing the selection you want to load, in this example it’s the alpha channel called Skater. You can save multiple selections in any Photoshop file.

Invert: Inverts the selection so previously non-selected areas will now be selected.

Select an Operation option to specify how to combine the selections if the image already has a selection:

New Selection: Adds the loaded selection.

Add To Selection: Adds the loaded selection to any existing selections in the image.

Subtract From Selection: Subtracts the loaded selection from existing selections in the image.

Intersect With Selection: Saves a selection from an area intersected by the loaded selection and existing selections in the image.

Note: If you are loading a saved selection from another image, make sure to open it. Also, make sure your destination image is active.

I hope you found this useful. I’d be super grateful if you would share it. Thank you!

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Beginners Guide To Using The Pen Tool In Photoshop: Part 3 – Drawing Curved Paths

The Pen Tool is often avoided by new Photoshop users because it can be a little tricky to use at the beginning. It is, however, a really important tool to have in your design arsenal for both drawing vectors and for making selections.

In the previous part of this guide, we looked at how to draw straight lines using the Pen Tool, but in this lesson, we’ll look at how to draw curves. You’ll learn how to draw

  • a gently curving open path  (easy peasy)
  • a close circle path  (easy)
  • a complex path made from curves and straight points (a bit more tricky, but an essential skill)

Once you’ve gained an understanding of how the curves work, combined with some practice, you’ll soon find yourself becoming a Pen Tool Master!

How curved paths are created

Unlike straight paths, which are simply a matter of clicking once, then picking where you want your next point and clicking again, curved paths are created by clicking and dragging out direction handles. The first time you click and drag, you set a starting point for the curved path and importantly, you also determine the direction and size of the curve. As you continue to add a point and drag, a curved path is drawn between the previous point and the current point.

Straight Points And Curved Points

Two things happen when you click and drag with the Pen tool.

1. An anchor point is placed on the artboard when you click.

2. Direction lines and direction points are drawn when you drag.

We use the direction lines and points to determine the direction and shape of the curved path we’re drawing.

Drawing Curved Vector Paths With The Pen.

Let’s start by drawing a gentle curving line.

1. Select the Pen tool (P) from the toolbar. Pen Tool Photoshop

2. Choose Path mode in the Options bar at the top of the screen. Note that we could use Shape mode here, but in that mode, Photoshop fills the path with colour when you start drawing and it can become confusing as to where your anchor points are. I’ll talk about drawing shapes in another post.

Choose Path From Pen Tool Options

3. Click once to put down your first anchor point.

1a - First Anchor Point

4. Move your pointer to the right of your first anchor point, then click again and drag up and to the right. This creates a slight curve in the path and as you can see, two handles appear either side of the second anchor point. These are the direction handles and the control the direction of the curve and the size of the curve.

1 - Adding a curved anchor point

5. Add another point farther to the right and click and drag in a downward direction. You should now be seeing a nice gentle wave-like path.

2 - Add Second Anchor point and drag

6. Add one more point to the right and drag out horizontally.

3 - Add third anchor point and drag

7.To finish drawing your path, just Ctrl + Click (Windows) / Cmd + Click (Mac). Notice how the Pen Tool cursor changes and a small asterisk appears. This indicates that when you start to draw again, you will be starting a new path.

4 - Open Path Complete

How to draw a closed circle path with the Pen Tool

A closed vector path is simply a path where the first anchor point is the same as the last vector point, for example, a circle, a rectangle, a star. We’ll draw a circle.

1. Select the Pen tool (P) from the toolbar. Pen Tool Photoshop

2. Choose Path mode in the Options bar at the top of the screen.

Choose Path From Pen Tool Options

3. Click and hold and drag the pen tool pointer upwards. In this example, we’re creating an upward curve.

2 - Draw A Circle With The Pen Tool

An anchor point appears where you first clicked and two direction lines extend above and below the anchor point.

4. Continue the curve, by clicking to add a new anchor point and holding and dragging downwards.

3 - Draw A Circle With The Pen Tool

4 - Draw A Circle With The Pen Tool

If you make a mistake while you’re drawing, choose Edit > Undo New Anchor Point or press Ctrl +Z (Windows) or Cmd + Z (Mac) to undo the last point you drew, and try again.

5. Move your pointer over your first anchor point and notice how a small circle appears below the pen tool cursor. This indicates that if you click on the first point, you will close the path. So go ahead and click on the point.

5 - Draw A Circle With The Pen Tool

Your path is now closed and you should have a near perfect circle, or at least a reasonable elipse shaped path.

6 - Draw A Circle With The Pen Tool

Remember you want to use as few anchor points as possible to get smooth curves when drawing with the Pen Tool.

Tip: If you hold down Shift as you click and drag, you constrain the slope of the directional line to 45° increments.

Combining curved and straight path segments with the Pen Tool.

Now we’ll draw paths that combine straight corner points with curved or smooth points. Curved anchor points have directional lines that are opposite each other, 180° apart. Corner points either have no directional lines, only one directional line, or two directional lines that are at an angle that is not 180°. ( A little bit confusing, I know!)

Straight Points And Curved Points

Probably the most difficult part of drawing with the Pen Tool in Photoshop is joining up two curves on a corner point. If you can do this, then you can do any type of drawing with the Pen. For his exercise we’re going to draw the path below.

Curves And Straight Points

1. Select the Pen tool.

2. We’re starting with a straight segment, which is dead easy, so click once for your starting point (don’t drag) and then click again to put down your second anchor.
1 - Pen Tool - Draw A Straight Segment

3. Now we’re going into a curve. Move the pointer over the second anchor point and hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac), the cursor changes to show what looks like an upside down “v”. This indicates that you are going to convert the point from being a straight point to a curved point.

2 - Convert Anchor Point

4. Click on the same point and drag upwards in one motion to start the curve.

3 - Click And Drag Up

5. Then click and drag downwards to create your next anchor point and finish the curve you started.
4 - Click to add next anchor point

5 - Drag Down Too Create Curve

Now we need another curve. However, you will find that if you simply click and drag a new point, the curve is going down.

6 - Curve Going Wrong Way

6. To prevent this happening and have our curve go up again, we need to start a new curve by holding down Alt / Option + Clicking on the last anchor point.You will again see the little upside down “v”. This basically resets the curved point to a straight point.

7- Convert Curved Anchor Point To Straight Point

7. Click on the anchor point again and drag upwards to create a second curve going up. It will look as though you have dragged the new handle over the previous handle.

7b- Drag Curved Anchor Point

8. Add a new anchor point and drag down to finish the second curve.

8 - Drag Handle Up To Create New Curve

9 - Click and Drag Down With Pen

9. Repeat step 6, 7 and 8 to create a third “upwards” curve.

10 - Repeat third curve

10. To finish up, we need to convert from a curved point to a straight point. Once again, hold down Alt / Option and click once on your last anchor point.

11- Convert from curved to straight

11. Click again to put down your last anchor point. You should now have made a path that looks like this;

12 - Curved And Straight Path Complete

12. Ctrl / Cmd + click anywhere to complete the path.

You’ve no successfully joined straight and curved segments in a path drawn with the Pen Tool. This is the hardest part of drawing with the Pen Tool and the one you need to get the most practice with.

There is, of course, lots more to learn about the Pen tool, but at this stage, lots of practice combining straight segments and curves will turn you into a Pen-jockey really quickly.

A really good way to practice combining curves and straight points with the pen tool is to try drawing the outlines of letters. Start with easy ones like I and Z, then try lowercase T, S, P and so on. This is an exercise I give to my classes and they find it useful.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial on how to draw curves with the Pen Tool in Photoshop useful. There are more Pen Tool tutorials coming!

I’d be really grateful if you would share this post. Thank you! 🙂

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Beginners Guide To Using The Pen Tool In Photoshop: Part 2 – Drawing Straight Paths

This is the second post of my guide to using the Pen Tool in Photoshop. Previously I wrote about WHY should we learn how to use the Pen tool. Now we’re going to get into the nitty gritty and actually start using it.

The Pen Tool & Straight Lines

It is super easy to draw straight lines with the pen tool, so that’s where we’ll start. Straight paths are created by simply clicking the mouse button. The first time you click, you set a starting point for a path. Each time you click after that, a straight line is drawn between the previous point and the current point.

Before we use the Pen tool, whether for making a selection or for drawing shapes, we need to configure the settings on the Options Bar.

1. Open a new blank document in Photoshop. I’ve created one at 1000 x 1000 pixels with a resolution of 72ppi.

2. In the toolbar, select the Pen Tool. Pen Tool Photoshop

The shortcut is to hit P on the keyboard.

3. In the Options bar at the top of the screen;

  • Choose Path from the first dropdown option.
  • Click the arrow for Geometry Options and make sure that the Rubber Band check box is not selected in the Path Options pop-up palette.
  • Make sure that the Auto Add/Delete option is selected.
  • Select the Combine Paths option.

Pen Tool Options In Photoshop
Note: If you’re outlining a subject for selection, or for drawing a path to add pixels to afterwards, choose the Path option. If you wanted to draw a vector shape with the Pen tool, you would choose Shape. It’s not the end of the world if you choose the wrong one, but it saves a few steps if you pick the right one before you start.

When you first select the pen tool, before you draw any points, a small x will appear beside the cursor. The x means that you are about to start drawing a new path.
Pen Tool - Start A New Path
It’s important to pay attention to the small symbols which appear beside the Pen tool cursor because it tells you how the Pen will behave.

2. Click once on the document where you want the straight line segment to begin. Do not drag.

3. Click again where you want to add the next point. The points that connect paths are called anchor points.

3 - Add Second Anchor Point

Note: If direction lines appear (they look like extra lines coming out of an anchor point), you’ve accidentally dragged the Pen tool and you will draw a curve rather than a straight line. If that happens, choose Ctrl + Z (Windows) or Cmd + Z (Mac) to undo, and click again.

Notice that the first anchor point you created when you clicked the first time is now hollow, while the last anchor point is a solid square. A solid anchor point means that it is currently selected.

4. To continue creating your straight line segments, just keep clicking on the document where you want to put an anchor point and Photoshop will create the path in between.

4 - Continue Clicking With Pen Tool

Tip: If you want to constrain the angle of the segment to a multiple of 45° hold down the Shift key as you click.

The path you see above is called an Open Path. That means the starting point and the end point are different, they do not join. You do not have to create closed paths every time you draw. Open paths are perfect for drawing all types of lines.

If you want to fill an area with colour though, it’s a good idea to close the path. To close a path, simply click back to the first point you created. You will see a small circle appears next to the Pen tool pointer indicating that the path will close correctly.
Once you close a path, the cursor will immediately change to indicate that the next time you click on the document you will be starting a brand new path.

5 - Closing The Path

If you want to leave a path open but then start another new path, Ctrl + Click (Windows) or Cmd + Click (Mac) anywhere away from the path you drew. Alternatively, you can finish a path by clicking on any other tool in the toolbox.

Adding and Deleting Anchor Points

There will, of course, be times when you want to add extra anchor points to your lines or delete existing anchor points that you don’t need. A good rule of thumb when working with vector graphics is to use as few anchor points as possible to achieve smooth lines. This is particularly true when drawing curved paths with the pen tool, which you’ll see in the next post.

Deleting an anchor point to a path

1. Select the Delete Anchor Point tool from the toolbox (hidden under the Pen tool). Delete Anchor Point Photoshop

2. Click on the point you want to delete.

7 - Delete Anchor Point From Path

Adding an anchor point to a path

1. Select the Add Anchor Point tool in the toolbar. Add-Anchor-Point-Tool Photoshop

2. Click anywhere along a line segment using the Add Anchor Point tool.

8 - Add Anchor Point To Line

Often the path shape may not look very different after you add a point to a straight segment, but when you edit the point (we’ll come to that in a future post) then you’ll see the difference.

Pen Tool Practice!

So that’s how to draw straight line segments, very easy and nothing to be frightened of there. The key to using the Pen tool is practice, practice, practice.

  • Try drawing open paths of Zig Zags.
  • Try drawing closed paths of triangles, rectangles, squares, polygons, stars and other random shapes where the first anchor point becomes the end point.
  • Get a feel for finishing paths and starting new ones. Have a go at drawing all of the shapes below. It will help you get a feel for using the pen tool

Straight paths drawn with the pen tool in photoshop
The next part of this guide will show you how to draw curves with the pen tool in Photoshop.

I hope you’re finding this guide useful and would be super grateful if you would share it. Thank you! 🙂

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How to quickly straighten a photo in Photoshop using the Ruler Tool

The Ruler Tool

The Ruler tool is an often overlooked tool hidden beneath the eyedropper on the Photoshop toolbar. You can use it to to measure lengths, straighten photographs and place objects exact distances apart. In short, it’s very handy. Here’s a video showing you how to quickly straighten a lopsided photo.


How to Straighten A Photograph With The Ruler Tool in Photoshop (Notes)

1. With your photograph open in Photoshop, select the Ruler tool. Ruler-Tool Photoshop

The Ruler tool is hidden under the Eyedropper tool in the toolbar. Press and hold, or right-click on the Eyedropper to reveal the hidden tools, then select the Ruler tool.


2. Click, then drag along the edge of something in the photograph that should be perfectly vertical or horizontal.

2. Click the Straighten button in the Options bar. If you’ve made a mistake when drawing a line with the Ruler, hit the Clear button instead of Straighten and start over.

3. To crop away the areas that have become transparent, select the Crop tool, and use the handles to drag an area that encompasses the part of the photo you want. Then hit Enter/Return on the keyboard or press the Commit button on the Options bar.

You should now have a nicely straightened and cropped photo.

How To Make A Double Stroke Text Effect In Photoshop

In this quick tutorial for beginners, you’ll see how to use Photoshop’s Stroke layer effect to create a simple and cute text effect.

The Layer Effects in Photoshop allow you to easily add effects such as Drop Shadows, Glows, Stokes, Colour Overlays and more to any layer. By combining effects within the Layer Style dialog box you can create interesting looks which can be applied to text, shapes, blocks of colour and so on.  In older versions of Photoshop, you could add one Drop Shadow, one Stroke and so on.  However, a new feature in Photoshop CC allows us apply the same effect more than once and that’s what we’re going to do now. You’ll add two strokes to the same piece of text to create a cute text effect. Here’s how to do it!

Create a new file and add text

  1. Create a new blank file in Photoshop with a size of 1000 x 500 pixels. For this example, we’re creating a simple graphic for web use, so set the resolution to 72 ppi. If this graphic was required for print purposes, you would set the resolution to 300ppi.
  2. Now to add some text to your new document. I’m using a free font I love, called Folk. You can download it here.   You can use any big fat bold font for this exercise, but it works extremely well with a heavy hand drawn font like Folk.
    Select the Type tool by pressing T on the keyboard, or click on the Type Tool on the Toolbox.  Text-Tool- Photoshop
  3. In the Options Bar at the top of the screen, set the type size to 280 pt (you may need to make this bigger or smaller if you’re using a different font). Set the colour to bright blue – Hex #0099ff.4 - Type Tool OptionsTo change the font colour, just click on the colour swatch on the Options Bar and the Colour Picker opens automatically.5 - Photoshop Colour PickerOnce you’ve set your options, click once on your document and type in some text.

    1a - Text on image
    When you’re finished adding text, either click on any other layer in the Layers panel, or click on the Commit button Commit-Button Photoshop on the options bar.

    Using Layer Effects

  4. Now you’ll add the strokes to the new text layer you’ve just created. Click on the Type layer to make sure it’s selected, then click on the Layer Effects icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. A drop down menu will offer lots of different effects, click on “Stroke”.6 - Add A Stroke Effect
  5. The Layer Effects dialog box opens and will show options for adding a stroke to your layer. Make sure the Preview checkbox is clicked so you can see your changes as you make them.Set the size to 5px
    Set the Position to Inside
    Leave Blend Mode as Normal and Opacity as 100%
    Click on the colour swatch and change the colour to white.7 - Stroke Layer Effect

    Now it will look as though your text has gone a bit wierd because it’s sitting on a white background and you’ve add a white stroke around it. Next we’ll add another stroke and it will look much more interesting.

  1. Click on the word Stroke on the left hand side of the Layer Style box, underneath the Stroke you’ve just added (which will have a tick in the checkbox).Set the size to 8px
    Set the Position to Outside.
    Leave Blend Mode as Normal and Opacity as 100%Click on the colour swatch and change the colour to the same bright blue – Hex #0099ff8 - Add Second Stroke

    We could finish this effect at this stage, it looks nice, but I want to show you how to continue in the Layer Style box to add a drop shadow.

  2. Don’t click OK yet.  Click on the word Drop Shadow in the bottom left hand side of the Layer Style box. You’re going to add a subtle shadow in the same colour as the text, but with just enough drop shadow to lift it slightly off the page.Now you’ll see the drop shadow options.Blend Mode is Multiply by default, but if it’s not currently set to Multiply, change it in the drop down menu.Set the colour to the same bright blue – Hex #0099ff – this will give a subtle shadow rather than a heavy dark one.
    Set Opacity to 100%
    Any Angle is fine for this example
    Set Distance to 10px
    Set Spread to 10%
    Set Size to 10%9 - Add Drop Shadow

    Click OK. Your text effect should look something like this:

    10 - Final Text File

    As I mentioned earlier, this effect works well with chunky hand drawn style fonts but you can create interesting effects using these styles with any font.

    I hope you found this Photoshop tutorial useful and I’d be really grateful if you would share it. Thanks you very much! 🙂