Stylize Type in Adobe Photoshop Elements

If you’ve tried your hand at creating a type mask, you know that Photoshop Elements is capable of much more than just throwing a few black letters at the bottom of your image. With a few clicks here and there, you can warp, distort, enhance, and stylize your type. If you’re not careful, your creative typography can outshine your image.

Adjusting type opacity

Layers are a digital version of the old analog transparency sheets. You can change element opacity on layers to let the underlying layer show through in varying degrees. This is also possible on a type layer. The figure shows how varying the opacity percentage of your type layer makes more of the underlying layer show through. In the figure, the underlying layer is an image of water.

You can vary the opacity of type layers to allow the underlying layer to peek through. [Credit: 
Credit: ©istockphoto.com/Mikosch Image #2592893
You can vary the opacity of type layers to allow the underlying layer to peek through.

To change the opacity of a type layer, simply select the layer on the Layers panel, click the arrow to the right of the Opacity percentage, and drag the slider. The lower the percentage, the less opaque the type (and the more the underlying layer shows through).

Applying filters to your type

One of the most interesting things you can do with type in Elements that you can’t do in a word-processing or page-layout program is apply special effects, such as filters. You can make type look like it’s on fire, underwater, or on the move — as shown in this figure, where a motion blur is applied.

The only caveat is that type has to be simplified before a filter can be applied. Be sure to do all your text editing before you move to the filtering stage.

Applying the filter is as easy as selecting the simplified type layer on the Layers panel and choosing a filter from the Filter menu.

Applying a motion blur to type can make it appear as fast as the car. [Credit: ©istockphoto.co
Credit: ©istockphoto.com/EduLeite Image #13233892
Applying a motion blur to type can make it appear as fast as the car.
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