Since we’re focusing on learning this month here at Write Click Scrabook, we’ve got an entire five days of new techniques for you to learn. Each day this week, come back to learn a new technique from Amy Kingsford, Lisa Borbely, Sue Althouse, and Jenny Larson.
Today you get me, Amy Sorensen, as your host, and I’m going to teach you a Photoshop technique.
One of my favorite approaches to a layout is to put something on top of a photo that has a lot of background. Especially the title or the journaling. Sometimes I use traditional supplies, but sometimes I add it digitally. Adding text in Photoshop is easy, but sometimes you need text with a slightly-opaque background, to set off the text from the image.
Here’s how to add a semi-transparent layer (like a piece of vellum) behind text. My instructions are for Photoshop CS6, but if you have a different version the steps will be fairly similar.
1. Open your photo and process it like you usually do, then crop it. (Cropping before you add text makes the proportions correct.)
2. Save a copy of your photo without the text. (I do this in case I want to use the photo somewhere else without the text.) Press CTRL+ALT+S to save as a copy.
3. Add your text and move/size/color it so it is exactly the way you want it. In this image, I’ve adjusted all the text:
4. Find the Rectangle Tool. It looks like this:
Or, just press U and you’ll switch to the Rectangle Tool.
5. Draw a rectangle around your text. Don’t panic if it looks like this:
because we’ll fix that in the next step!
6. In your Layers window (press F7 to pull it up if you don’t already have it open), make sure you are in the Rectangle layer, then adjust the Opacity.
Slide the slider back and forth and watch how it changes the shade of the rectangle.
7. If you want to add a border to your box, you use the tools that appear when you have the Rectangle Tool selected (mine are on the top left of my screen). They look like this:
Click on the button with the horizontal line to add a border, then click on the Stroke button to change the color. I wanted a fairly subtle line, so I chose 30% grey.
8. Once you’re happy with how the opaque rectangle looks, click on the Rectangle layer in your Layers window. Then click on Layer, Arrange, Send Backwards. This will make sure that all of your text is on top of the rectangle.
9. Flatten the layers (Layer, Flatten Image).
10. Save your file with a different name than you used in step 2. (I just added the word “text” to the file name.)
Here’s the layout I made with the photo:
One of the things I love about this hybrid approach is how quickly the layout comes together. As a super-slow scrapper, I appreciate anything that helps the process go more quickly!