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How to Rasterize Your Type Layer in Photoshop CS6

The Type tool in Photoshop CS6 creates editable type layers. You can change the wording, spacing, font, font size, and other factors as much as you want, as long as the type remains in a type layer.

However, after you make all the changes you want, you may need to convert your type layer to pixels in the form of rasterized type. After they’re rasterized, you can apply filters, paint on the type, and apply gradients and patterns.

Rasterizing type layers allows you to merge the type with other pixels in your image and, eventually, flatten the image to create a finished document suitable for use with other programs.

After you convert your type to pixels, you can no longer edit the type. Nor can you resize the text without risking jaggies. Rasterize your type only when you’re certain you won’t need to edit or resize it anymore.

Make a copy of the type layer before you rasterize it and toggle off the visibility of the copy, and make sure you save an unflattened copy of the document with all layers intact. By making these copies, if you need to edit the type, you can use the layered file that has the unrasterized text.

To rasterize your type, select the type layer that you want to convert to pixels. Then, choose Type→Rasterize Type or Layer→Rasterize→Type. The type is shown in the Layers panel on a transparent background.

In addition to rasterizing a type layer in the usual way, you can also rasterize it by merging it with a non-type layer. For example, in your Layers panel, if your type layer is directly on top of a text layer that has already been rasterized, you can merge the layers by choosing Layer→Merge down or pressing Ctrl+E (Command+E on the Mac).

You may also come across the opportunity to rasterize a type layer because Photoshop reminds you to. Some commands, particularly filters, operate only on pixels. When you try to use them, you may see a warning dialog box. Often, the dialog box includes an option for immediately converting the type layer to rasterized form.

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