Photoshop Friday!

Here’s one quick tip, and then a cool trick.

In Photoshop Elements 6, you can change your canvas background color (the area around your document) by right-clicking, and then choosing either Black, or Custom Color from the flyout menu. With the dark interface, black certainly makes more sense, I think.

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Photoshop Friday: Transparent Drop-Shadow Text 

And now, on to the Quick Trick of the day. :D It’s a bit of drop-shadow-blending-mode goodness. :D

We’ll be adding some drop-shadowed text to our photo, but only letting the shadow itself show through - the text will be transparent.

Here’s what it looks like:


First, open a photo.

Select your Horizontal Type tool, and choose a font. I used Yukon Gold from

Set your font color to black.

Type your text.

In PSE 6: 

1. Drop down your Effects Palette (in PSE 5 it’s called Artwork & Effects). In the Layer Styles, Drop Shadows menu, double-click on Soft Edge (choose Low in PSE 5).

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1. With your type layer targeted, go to Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow. Set the angle to 30, then the Distance to 16, the size to 34, and everything else at its default (you can play with it later, obviously). Click OK.

In any version of Photoshop: 

2. At the top of the Layers palette, select the Difference blending mode. This hides the black text and leaves only the drop shadow showing through. A cool shadowy-transparent text effect. :D

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(p.s. This only works over light-colored portions of images, since all you can see is a grey/black dropshadow)

Have a super, Phabulous Photoshop Phriday and a great weekend! We bought a bike trailer, and since the weather here is still in the 60s and 70s, we’re going on a family bike outing tomorrow. Every time I get on a bike I have to consciously get over my fear of riding it. Remind me to tell you sometime about the broken elbows from my bike wreck on my mission …

Jessica Sprague10 Comments