photoshop creative

Tool Tip: Working with Layer Styles in Photoshop

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Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
February 5, 2013

Here are five top tips for using layer styles in Photoshop

Tip 1 – Inner Glows

You can use an Inner Glow to your advantage to hide the obvious signs that a subject has been cut out and placed onto a new background. Set to white, a thin Inner Glow around the inside of a subject can help hide dark edges. This helps to blend layers into the background for more realistic compositions.

Tip 2 – Custom shadows

When you apply a drop shadow to a subject, sometimes it’s tricky to get it in the right position. Apply a basic one to start with, and then Ctrl/right-click over the style’s name in the Layers palette and select Create Layer. Now you can use the Transform commands such as Distort to reshape the shadow to fit better under the subject.

Tip 3 – Move an Inner Shadow

Did you know that an Inner Shadow can be positioned simply by dragging it with your mouse? This removes any guesswork, making it much easier to get the perfect Angle and Distance settings without having to tweak each slider while in the Layer Style menu.

Tip 4 – Efficient styles

This is a small option that can make applying layer styles much quicker. The Make Default button under each style in the menu will remember your preferred settings. So, if it’s a specific colour or size you like, this can be saved for every time you apply the style.

Tip 5 – Reset styles

Working with layer styles, it’s easy to get carried away! If you get to the point of no return then just hover over the Cancel button and hold Opt/Alt. You’ll see it change to Reset instead, so you can start from fresh.


If you enjoyed these, then read the full article for another five tips in issue 97 of Photoshop Creative magazine, on sale now!

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  • The five tips are very much useful for Photoshop learners.But you only use two example Inner Glows and Efficient Styles. If you give example for other Layer Styles that more helpful for me.Thanks for sharing.