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Hour 13. Using Repair Recipes and Tutori... > Task: Create a Text Panel Using a Re...

Task: Create a Text Panel Using a Recipe

Just for fun, let’s try following a recipe. “Create a Highlighted Panel for Type” sounds interesting. By following the recipe, you’ll highlight some text by muting the background behind it. This is a particularly effective technique to use when you want to make text that you’ve placed on an image more noticeable and a bit easier to read.

To display the recipe, select the Enhance Text category, then click on Create a Highlighted Panel for Type. If needed, move the How To palette to an area of the screen where you can read all of its text while you work. Resize the palette as needed.

Given that the recipe asks you to start by dragging a marquee, it clearly assumes there’s already an image or at least a blank page open. (It’s always a good idea to read through the recipe before you do anything else, so you can get a sense of the assumptions it makes.) Open any image you have, and save it with a new name if you don’t want to make permanent changes to it. If you don’t have a photo available to use, start a new image and use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the background with your favorite color. Now you’re ready to use the recipe to create a highlighted panel that will make the text you’ll add later stand out against your background.

The first step in the recipe instructs you to select the Rectangular Marquee tool. If you click the Do This Step for Me link, Elements opens whichever marquee tool was last selected, even if it was the circular one. Just to be sure, select the Rectangular Marquee tool yourself.

Follow the next step and drag to create a rectangular box that will hold your text later. You don’t have to be all that precise, because you can always change the size of the box if needed.

Follow the next step in the recipe by choosing Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Brightness/Contrast. This step inserts a new layer that you can use to make the chosen adjustment (brightness and contrast) to part of your image. In this case, you’ll adjust the brightness and contrast within the selected area for any layers below the adjustment layer.

Because you only have one layer in your image at the moment, the adjustment layer will not change anything else. But if you had already typed your text on top of your image, you’d have two layers because text is always placed on its own layer. So, to avoid lightening the text with the background, you would need to activate the background layer first, before performing step 3 of the recipe.

The New Layer dialog box appears; click OK to create the adjustment layer.

The Brightness/Contrast dialog box appears. Step 5 tells you to make sure that the Preview option is on so you can see the changes you’re making. Select it if needed.

In step 6, the recipe tells you to adjust the brightness and contrast levels until you get the result you want. Drag the Brightness slider to the right to lighten the background in the selected area. Adjust the Contrast as well if you want.

When you’ve lightened the background sufficiently to make text placed on top of it easily readable, click OK as instructed in step 7.

The next step, of course, is to add some type. Click the Horizontal Text tool, select a font and font size, then click in the lightened area and type some text. My result appears in Figure 13.3, and in the color section.

Figure 13.3. The light background really draws attention to the text.



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