Category: Photoshop

Improve text appearance with Photoshop’s anti-aliasing

One of the most important things you can do to improve the look of your text in Photoshop is adjust the anti-aliasing of the text based on the size the text will be displayed at.

Photoshop text anti-alias
Text anti-aliasing can be found in Photoshop’s Control Bar (usually located at the top of the screen) when you have the text tool selected. You’ll find it just to the right of the point size entry box, as seen in the screenshot above. You can adjust the anti-aliasing by selecting the options in the drop-down menu.

There are four anti-aliasing options, Smooth, Strong, Crisp and Sharp. Which one you use depends on the size of your text.

Photoshop anti-aliased text sample
As you can see in the image above, larger text sizes look better with Smooth or Strong. Smaller text sizes tend to look better with Crisp and Sharp – with tiny text on a website almost always looking best using the Sharp setting. The image doesn’t really show the difference in smaller text as well as I would like, but if you adjust the settings in your own document, you’ll surely see the difference.

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The one Adobe Photoshop plugin you should absolutely be using

FlatIcon for Photoshop
I’ve tried a LOT of Photoshop plugins. They all have their specific uses, and many of them are worthy of your purchase. But few are as useful on a daily basis as this one.

FlatIcon is a plugin for Photoshop CS5 and later that places a new panel in Photoshop that allows you to search for, and place in your document, vector icons from a collection of over 41,000. Best of all, they’re free. And because they’re vector shapes, you can resize and edit them without losing quality.

To use FlatIcon, visit Window > Extensions > Flaticon to bring up the panel. Then you simply search for the icon you wish to use, click and drag it to your document, and start editing it as you would any other vector shape in Photoshop. It couldn’t be easier.

FlatIcon is a plugin many designers, particularly web designers, will use daily. For me, having a collection of arrows and typical web elements is worth the install alone.

FlatIcon is free, works with Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6 and CC. You can download FlatIcon here.

By the way, if Photoshop plugins aren’t your thing, you can also download the icons individually from FlatIcon as a PNG, SVG (vector) or Webfont from the main site.

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Photoshop documentor plugin for web designers & developers

Ink plugin

Ink is a plugin that helps web designers and developers provide extra information about their mockups by documenting layers, typography, effects and shape sizes, etc.

Though I’m not a web designer or developer by trade, I can totally see how the free Ink plugin would be extremely useful. Truth be told, I use Photoshop’s built-in Notes feature to document complex PSD files that I share with clients and other designers/vendors. It’s also a great way to leave notes to yourself on how you created a particular effect (the settings you used in Gaussian Blur filter, for example).

The Ink plugin is currently in beta and is available for Photoshop CS6 and CC only.

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100 Free Photoshop mockup actions

Bag mockup

Bags, Books, Brochures, Cups and More.

This collection of 100 awesome Photoshop action files creates realistic mockups of your designs with the click of a button. Here are a few samples of what you can create (click to enlarge/see details).

The action collection is a small part of the PSDCovers collection, and is brought to you free by WebDesignerDepot.com.

The collection includes:

  • 17 Hardcover books
  • 9 Softcover books
  • 9 Paperback books
  • 8 Pamphlets
  • 5 Magazines
  • 6 Flyers
  • 4 Envelopes
  • 8 CD/DVDs & cases
  • 8 Business cards
  • 25 Brochure layouts
  • 5 Bags

You can grab the collection of 100 Photoshop Mockup Actions here.

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Long Shadow Generator for Adobe Photoshop

Long Shadow Generator

Long Shadow Generator is a Photoshop extension to which creates long shadow with a single click! It’s the perfect add-on for web designers working on a site with a flat design who want to add a little dimension to the design without using typical drop shadows.

You can control the direction, opacity and length, as well as black or white shadows. Long Shadow Generator works with Adobe Photoshop CS6 and CC, and is absolutely free.

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