Apply Gradients to Text

If you try to use the Gradient tool on a type layer in Photoshop, you'll receive an alert that warns, "Could not use the gradient tool because the pixels in a type layer cannot be edited without first rasterizing the layer." While you could rasterize your type layer to use the Gradient tool and apply a gradient to it, that would cause your type to no longer be editable.

Instead, you can apply the Gradient Overlay layer style on your type layer. Figure 7-9 shows an example, and the following tip provides the details.

Figure 7-9 To easily fill the word "rainbow" with a rainbow gradient, I used the Gradient Overlay layer style.

Figure 7-9 To easily fill the word "rainbow" with a rainbow gradient, I used the Gradient Overlay layer style.

TRY IT

To apply a gradient to text, first use the Type tool to create a new text layer in Photoshop. Choose Window | Layers to make sure the Layers palette is visible, and click once on the text layer in question to make it active. Then click the first button at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Gradient Overlay, or choose Layer | Layer Style | Gradient Overlay to reveal the following options.

Use this window to select the type of gradient you want to apply, as well as its style (linear, radial, and so forth), angle, blend mode, opacity, and scale. When finished, click the OK button. To edit the style after it's been applied to the layer, double-click the / button.

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