Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tutorial: Adding a Stroke to a Word

I don't know about you, but I love multiple-word titles that use more than one alpha. That's how this technique was born...well that and laziness. While I like using more than one alpha, I hate taking the time to find an alpha that works with the kit and the alpha that came with the kit. That's how I started using strokes. When I first started digi-scrapping, I used Elements and strokes are easy to find and use on photos from the very beginning in that program. After about a month of learning how to digi-scrap, I took a year and half break. When I returned, I jumped in with CS3 (this tutorial is done in PhotoShop CS3). It was a whole different ball game and strokes aren't as easy to find and use for the first time. After about six months, I finally figured out how to use strokes. Once I figured it out though, a whole new world opened up to me... That brings us to today's tutorial on how to add strokes to words. Everything used on the page shown in this tutorial is GG's newest kit Boys and their Toys. (Click on images to make them bigger...)

I almost always leave the title on my pages until the very end. So here's my layout waiting for the finishing touches:

Next you'll need to decide on the color you want your word written in and the color you want your stroke in. I always select my font color by using the eye dropper tool and selecting a color from the kit/page. 
For this page, I selected the color of the blue ric rac. For my stroke I selected the color that is around "Longhorn" or the alpha that came with the kit. Of course you could choose practically any color under the sun for either color, but I personally stick to white, cream, tan or very neutral colors for the stoke. Once you have your colors selected, set your font color to the foreground and your stroke color to the background. Then select your type tool and pick a font. I chose Everytime I Miss You for this page. My go-to favorites are CK Cursive and Thinking of You.  Now type in your word(s). Play with the font size until you get your word(s) the size you want. 
The next step is to rasterize your type. (In PS Elements it is called "Simplify Layer.") To do this you will need to right click on your layer in the layer palette. Click on Rasterize Type. You will notice before you rasterize your type, you can change fonts or sizes. After you rasterize your type, you can no longer do this. It becomes like an element you get in a kit. You can resize it like you do a flower or piece of string, but it is no longer a text box so you can't change the font.
Now that our layer is rasterized, we can add a stroke. First you need to switch your foreground and background colors so your second color you designated for the stroke is on top. Make sure your word is still selected in the layers palatte and then go to your menu along the top of your screen and click on the edit tab. From there, go down to the "Stroke..." option.

Then this window pops up:
I generally like smaller strokes on my words, but you can play around with width and find your personal favorites. I typed in 7 px into the width box. You want to make sure under the location option "outside" is selected. Then press OK.

There you go. You have a stroke on your word. At this point you just need to put your word where you want it on your page like so:
I also prefer to add a shadow:
There you have it. Now you have a title that isn't made out of only one alpha. Here is another example for you:
Of course this tutorial can be applied to lots of different things. You can go more traditional and add strokes to pictures...and you can go even more crazy and add it to anything... If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them. AND...Make sure you try this out and upload your pages to the gallery so I can check out your work!



Dale and Shanell said...

I figured this out about a month ago and my life is changed! Thanks for sharing Natalie!

Becky said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been adding an outline to my fonts a different way that isn't nearly as quick and simple!

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [20 May 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria