Photoshop Elements 10 can display and print type in two different formats: vector and raster. Occasionally, however, you may need to simplify your type — to convert your type into pixels. After it’s simplified, you can apply filters, paint on the type, and apply gradients and patterns.

Remember that as long as you keep type in a vector format in a type layer, you can edit and resize that type all day long.

If you’re working with layers and flatten your image (merge your layers into a single background image), your type layer is also simplified and merged with the other pixels in your image. By the way, if you try to apply a filter to a type layer, Elements barks at you that the type layer must be simplified before proceeding and gives you the opportunity to click OK (if you want to simplify) or Cancel.

To simplify your type, select the type layer on the Layers panel and choose Layer→Simplify Layer. Your type layer is then converted (the T icon disappears) into a regular layer on which your type is now displayed as pixels against a transparent background.


To avoid having to re-create your type from scratch, make all necessary edits before simplifying. This includes sizing your text. After you simplify your type, you can’t resize your text without risking the dreaded jaggies. The other downside to remember about simplified type is that although it looks identical to vector type onscreen, it never prints as crisply and cleanly as vector type.

Even at higher-resolution settings, a slight jagged edge always appears on simplified type. So, if you’re experimenting with painting or filters on your type, just make a duplicate of your type layer before simplifying it and then hide that layer.