Solution

1 Place your basic aqua button on top of a faint, patterned background, as shown here.

Basic aqua button on top of faint, striped background

Double-click on the f icon for the layer— this will bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Select the Gradient Overlay style and click on the Gradient swatch to bring up the Gradient Editor. Click once above the gradient bar, in the position shown in this image, to create a new opacity stop. Change its opacity to 50%. Click OK to exit the Gradient Editor, and OK again in the Layer Style dialog box to apply the style.

Changing the fill of the button layer

Adding new opacity stop

Changing the fill of the button layer

Adding new opacity stop

Set the fill of the button layer to 0%, as shown at left. The background will show through. That's looking pretty good! But, as always, there are a couple of things we can do to make it look even more polished.

6 Double-click the f icon to open the Layer Style dialog box, and select the Drop Shadow style. Choose a bright aqua color for the shadow (#90c9e7) and increase the Distance and Size slightly. Change the Opacity to 40%, as illustrated at right.

Layer Style

Sjjgg.;

□Inner Shadow

0 Inner .GlfjW

Erqboss', n n^fflrr

□ color overlay

rags

Drop Shadow Structure

#09c0e7

Blend Mode: [Multiply Opacity: —

Quality Contour: Noise: Q-

% CH Anti-a|iased

0 Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow

Adding a drop shadow

7 Next, select the Stroke style. Add a dark blue (#0d487b) 1px stroke, with about 75% opacity, as shown below.

Layer Style m

Styles

Blending Options: Custom

0 Drop Shadow

□ Inner Shadow El Outer Glow El Inner Glow

□ Bevel and Emboss

□ Color Overlay

El Gradient Overlay

□ Pattern Overlay

Adding a stroke

Finally, select the Inner Shadow style. Change the shadow color to a blue that's slightly darker than the one we used in the original gradient button. Lower the Opacity to 50%, and change the Distance to about 10px (or whatever suits the size of your button), as shown below.

Layer Style m

Styles

Blending Options: Custom

0 Drop Shadow El Inner Shadow

El Outer Glow El Inner Glow

□ Bevel and Emboss

□ Color Overlay

0 Gradient Overlay

□ Pattern Overlay El Stroke

|— Inner Shadow r- Structure

#0d52b2

Blend Mode: Multiply Opacity: —

Angle:

@Use Global Light

Adding an inner shadow

9 Click OK to apply these new styles. And—as you can see below—we've got our final transparent aqua button! Swish, very swish!

See-through aqua button

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