How To Make Shiny Text in Photoshop

Photoshop, particularly the CS version, offers a variety of visual effects to enhance or create new images. The program's Layer Style feature is just one set of these effects, which can be easily applied to any input text on an image. Here are some guidelines to make shiny text in Photoshop.

1. Open a new file.

Click on the File menu and choose New. This will create a new file and open up the New dialog box. Here you can type in the filename and set dimensions, resolutions, and the background. Width and height dimensions define image size. Though it will only contain text, it would still be prudent to employ larger dimensions. When you use this file on other projects and need to resize to smaller dimensions, your image will remain crisp. For the same reason, you should also set a high resolution, about 300 pixels/inch and use only a transparent background. Click on OK once you've set these basic initial parameters.

2. Input text.

Click on the Text tool icon (the one with the capital T) on the Tools palette usually located on the left of the main work area. Then click on the blank new document, specifically where you want the text to be positioned. A blinking cursor will appear which signifies you can now type in your text. Each tool you activate will pull up its own options menu bar which will sit on top of the main work area. For the Text tool options menu, settings for font style, size and color can be modified according to your preference or design concept.

3. Apply effects to the text.

With the text in place you can now apply any of several effects to produce the shiny quality you're going for. Select the layer containing your text on the Layers palette, right-click on it and choose Layer properties. This will pull up the Layer Style dialog box and on it will be the list of effects with their associated options and parameters. To apply a layer effect simply click on one from the list at left side of the dialog box. Make sure the item is highlighted and a check appears before it. Clicking on a layer effect will pull up its associated options on the main area of the dialog box.

3.1 Stroke

This layer effect will produce a border or outline around the text. This can be used to create a crisp edge around the text to lend it emphasis. Relevant associated options would be the size of the stroke, measured in pixels, and its color.

3.2 Gradient Overlay

Since the goal is to make the text shiny, you should use the metallic gradient types. In its associated options you can adjust how the gradient will shift from dark to light hues, set the gradient color to blend with the text color, and define the opacity which sets how much of the effect is to be applied over the text.

3.3 Inner and Outer Glow

As the name implies, this effect will apply a layer of color that gives a 'glowing' quality inside and/or outside the text. You can set the color of the glow to blend with the gradient or text color, adjust the size and strength of the effect, and even define whether the inner glow starts from the inside edge towards the center or vice versa.

Layer effects are non-destructive which means that they do not permanently modify the original image to which they are applied. You can take them out or readjust them any time until you get the right look and feel for your shiny text.


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