Photoshop/Photoshop Elements Tutorial: Customizing Photo Invitations with Text

I’ve had some questions about how to customize and add information to my photo invitations.  To help you, I’ve written this tutorial that shows you how easy this can be!  You will need to have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to follow this tutorial, but you may also be able to adapt the steps to other software programs.  I’m going to use one of my Free Gift photo cards in this tutorial.  If you want to receive this card plus four others, Like Hang a Ribbon on the Moon on Facebook or Follow this blog by email (see right-hand sidebar).  Facebook followers can find the download link by clicking on the Welcome tab on the Facebook page.  Blog Followers will receive the link to the download via email within 48 hours of following.

Ready?  Now, let’s get started!

  • Start Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
  • Click on File>Open and navigate to the invite .jpeg you want to add text to.  I’m going to use the temple 5×7 invite to create a Young Women in Excellence invitation.  Select the file you want and click Open.
  • Now it’s time to start adding your text.  Click on the Type tool in the toolbar. The Type tool looks like a T.

  •  The Type Tool toolbar will appear at the top of the page, just under the Menu bar.

  • To specify which font you would like to use, click on the first pull-down box on the left.  This is where you will select your font by clicking on the small down arrow and then scrolling until you find your desired font.  For this invitation, I’m going to be using two fonts:  Chocolate Box and Tagettes.  First, I select Chocolate Box from the pull-down. (Note:  If you download these fonts, you will need to unzip the files and then install them before you can use them.  You may need to restart Photoshop/PSE before the newly installed fonts appear in the pull-down.)
  •  Select the size you want your text to be in the Set Font Size box in the Type Toolbar.  It looks like a big T and little T together. There are two ways to set your font size.  You can click on the down arrow and select one of the sizes on the pull-down menu that appears OR you can click inside the box next to the number and enter a numeric value there.  For this size of project, you should not need to enter your own number.  Both the numbers and numerical values you enter refer to the point size of your type.  I am going to select 36 from the pull-down for my first lines of text in my invitation.

  • Now, move your cursor on the image roughly where you want text to appear.  Click and type.  It is a good idea to put each different line or phrase on a separate type layer.  This way, you can move them around easily without having to re-type things.  Don’t worry if your words don’t appear exactly where you want them to be–you will be able to move them around and rearrange them later. 

  • Enter all of your information.  As you enter each line of text on your invitation, a new layer in your layers palette will appear.  NOTE: if you want to put text on a black area of an invitation, be sure to change the color of your text to white (or another color) first by following the next step.

  • To change the color of your text, select the Type tool and highlight the text to be colored by double-clicking on appropriate type layer in the Layers Palette.

  • Then, click on the Select Text Color box that appears in the Type Tool toolbar.

  • This brings up the Select Text Color box.  Use the slider and reposition your cursor and click to change the color.  When you are satisfied, click OK.

  • Now it is time to arrange and finalize your text.  To make changes to a specified layer of text such as size and font, double-click on that layer in the Layers palette.  This will highlight the text to be edited.

  • Make desired changes in the Type Tool toolbar and click the check mark (Commit Any Current Edits) to accept the changes. To reject the changes, simply click on the circle with a line through it (Cancel Any Current Edits).

  • Move text layers around by using the Move tool. Double-click on the desired layer in the Layers Palette, click on the Move tool.

  • Now, move your cursor to the bounding box that appears and click.  Move your cursor inside the bounding box so it turns into an arrowhead and hold down the left mouse button while dragging the text layer to the desired position.  Release the mouse button when you’re satisfied.  Click the check mark to accept the move or the circle with the line to reject the move.

  • Once you’re done editing and arranging your text, save your file. Select File>Save from the File menu at the top.  Navigate to the desired location, RENAME your file and save.  This saves your file as a .psd file, which keeps the layers intact.  Open this file if you need to make changes later.
  • Now, SAVE YOUR FILE AS A HIGH-QUALITY JPEG FILE for printing.  Select File>Save As from the File menu.  Make sure you select jpeg from the pull down menu next to File Type when the Save As box pops up.

  • Type in your file name and navigate to where you want to save it and click save.  A dialog box will pop up that lets you set your .jpeg quality.  Drag the slider all the way to the right to the number 12–this will make sure you get the best print quality.  Click OK and it will save.  Upload the .jpeg to your photo-processing site or take it in to the store for printing.

Easy, right!  If you don’t have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements but want to give these programs a try, Adobe offers free trials–simply download the free trial, install and get going!

And, to get your started, get your free gift from me by liking Hang a Ribbon on the Moon on Facebook or by Following this blog by email (see how in the right-hand sidebar).  Find the download link by clicking Welcome on my FB page or get them by email within 48 hours of following this blog.

Thanks for visiting Hang a Ribbon on the Moon!

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Free Digital Scrapbooking Magazine: February DST Insider

I’ve been so  busy working on printables for you that I forgot to let you know the latest issue of the FREE DST Insider is ready for you to read! I love working with the DST Insider staff to bring you great up-to-date digital-scrapbooking content every month!

This FREE online digital-scrapbooking magazine is packed with tips, tutorials and articles to help you learn to scrapbook the digital way or to inspire you if you’re a paper scrapper.

February’s issue is all about words with articles ranging from some pretty cool software font tips and hybrid projects featuring monograms to journaling shortcuts and finding, installing and using fonts.  You’ll also find our inspiring regular features and this adorable free download from Wyld Web Design, too:

My favorite articles this month include:

From beginners to advanced digital scrapbookers, you’ll find some great information and inspiration within this month’s issue of the DST Insider.  And don’t miss the free kit download from Wyld Web Design here.

Next month’s Insider is shaping up to be amazing!  Watch for it around March 1!

Happy reading!

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Christmas Card Magic: Selective Color in Photoshop/Elements with the Quick Selection Tool

I hope you had a chance to look at Miss B’s tutorials in the December DST Insider!  She has a super-fast way to extract objects from photos using the Quick Selection tool in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.  While she used her technique to combine parts of two photos into one, I’m going to show you how to use the same technique to create a Christmas card photo  with selectively colored elements like this one I used to design our 2011 family card:

(Look familiar?  Yes, Miss B used my photo in her second tutorial, swapping faces.)

This technique is so quick and easy!  Here’s how:

1.  Open your full-color image in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.  Decide which parts of your photo you want to remain colored and which parts you want to turn black and white.

2.  Duplicate your photo layer.  Name your original photo “original.”  Rename your duplicate layer “black and white.”

3.  Turn your duplicated photo to black and white.  You can use your software to do this (Image>Adjustments>Black & White) OR you can run a black and white photo action, which is my preferred method. You can find some great black and white photo actions here:

  • Paint the Moon (I love Annie’s gorgeous color actions and freebies.)
  • optikVerve Labs (Download their FREE PS/PSE add-on Virtual Photographer for lots of options.)
  • Pioneer Woman (Yes, she also does PS/PSE actions–her black and white action is gorgeous and free!)

I used an action from My Four Hens to turn my photo from this:

To this:

4.  Put your photo layers in order.  Arrange your photo layers so that the black and white layer is under the original, full-color layer in the Layers palette.

5. Activate the Quick Selection tool.  Now, duplicate your full-color photo again, click on it in the Layers palette and activate the Quick Selection tool.  The Quick Selection tool is nested with the Magic Wand tool and looks like a dotted circle with a paint brush.  You may need to right-click on the Magic Wand tool and then click on the Quick Selection tool icon to use it.

Look at the Quick Selection tool toolbar at the top of your screen (pictured below):  The symbol with the “+” and the brush ADDS to your selection (the area you want to have selectively colored).  The symbol with the “-”  and the brush SUBTRACTS from your selection.  Click on the symbol with the “+.”

6. Use the Quick Selection tool to highlight areas on your photo to remain colored.  With the duplicated original layer selected in the Layers palette, use the Quick Selection tool to “paint” on the areas you want to remain colored by holding down the left mouse button and moving your cursor over the area you want.  Lift up on the mouse button when you want to move the cursor on an area you don’t want to paint.  The area you paint on should start to be surrounded by marching ants (selected).  To remove part of an area from your selection, click on the symbol with the “-”  and paint again while holding down the left mouse button.   If you have a lot of areas you want to remain colored, you may need to repeat steps five to eight for each separate area.

7.  Zoom in very closely (CTL +) to make sure you get all the details.

Switch back and forth from “+” and “-,” painting as needed until the area you want to remain colored is selected to your satisfaction.

8.  Refine the edge of your selection and output it to a layer mask.  Look at the Quick Selection tool toolbar at the top of your screen and find the Refine Edge button. Click on it.

The Refine Edge dialog box will pop up.  Below are the settings I used when I created my image.  Play with them until you are happy.  Make sure you have Output To set to New Layer with Layer Mask.

Click OK.  Your selection will be put into its own layer in the Layers palette with a layer mask showing only the area you want selectively colored.  Turn off your original, full-color layer (click on the eyeball next to it in the Layers palette) and you should see your selectively colored area on top of the black and white layer.

9.  Repeat steps five to eight for each individual area you want selectively colored then adjust any layer masks as needed.  Reduplicate your original layer and use the Quick Selection tool for each separate area you want to remain colored.  I did this six times, once for each red item in my photo.  The beauty of using layer masks is that it is easy to go back and adjust them as needed.  To adjust a layer mask, click on it in the Layers palette and then “paint” on it with black (to remove areas) or white (to reveal areas) using the Brush tool.

10.  Save your work, complete your design and order prints.  After you’re happy with your photo, save it and add any design elements you choose.  I created a bracket shape with a scalloped edge and white beaded stripe plus some word art to finish my card.  I saved my document again as a .psd file once I was happy with the layout.  Finally, I saved my card as a high-quality .jpeg file and uploaded it to one of my favorite online printers, Shutterfly, to order my five-by-seven-inch glossy folded greeting cards.

Easy!  I just love using the Quick Selection tool.  Give it a try and link me up to your project in the comments 🙂

Don’t miss these great digital-scrapping resources! The DST Insider and The Daily Digi’s Digital Scrapbooking Manual

I’m excited to share with you one of my ongoing projects, the Digishoptalk Insider. As assistant editor of this FREE digital-scrapbooking ezine, I get a lot of satisfaction putting it together each month with our great staff. The December issue is fresh off the presses and we’ve loaded it with inspiration and information centered around the theme of family.  Even if you’re not a digital scrapbooker, you can find some great ideas inside.

Pop on over and read these great articles:

Plus, we always have a small digital-scrapbook kit freebie for our readers!

My two favorite articles from this issue are some fantastic Photoshop tutorials by my friend Miss Behaving.  A few months ago I participated in Miss Behaving’s Fantasy-style Workshop and I learned sooo much. Can I say I was thrilled when she agreed to share her expertise with the DST Insider’s readers!  Don’t miss her tutorials on how to combine photos and switch faces .  As a bonus, in the next post I will show you how to apply her techniques in another way:  enhancing photos with selective coloring.

If you’re interested in taking one of Miss Behaving’s Photoshop/Photoshop Elements courses, use the coupon in the DST Insider for 15 percent off! The coupon code is on the December DST Insider table of contents page here and expires January 5, 2012.

Not sure about digital scrapbooking, but want to give it a try?  The Daily Digi just released this FREE ebook to get you started.  From collecting supplies to software to making your first layout, this useful book covers everything you need to know to go  digital. Take a peek at this ebook and give digital scrapbooking a try.  You might find yourself addicted to this hobby–I know I am!

It’s a Date! Creating Quick and Easy Calendars with Scripts in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements

Later this week I will post some calendars featuring the 2012 Mutual theme.  They’re not done yet, but I’m excited to share one of my favorite Photoshop tools with you–scripts!  I was introduced to Photoshop/Photoshop Elements scripts by one of my digital-scrapbooking friends, Anna Forrest.  Anna, an amazing scrapper and programmer, creates scripts for PS/PSE that make certain tasks, like generating calendars, a snap.

A script is a mini-program launched within Photoshop/Photoshop Elements that quickly does a repetitious or time-consuming task.  With a few clicks, the task is done and you go on designing.

I LOVE Anna’s Calendar Creator script!  In just seconds, I can build a calendar for any month and year I want and with the fonts I want.  Such a time saver!

Not sure about purchasing a script yet, but want to give one a try?  Anna’s blog, Anna Forrest Designs, has three FREE sample scripts for downloadPlease Note:  the Mini-Calendar Maker Trial Version  generates a very small 2010 calendar with a generic font, but is a great way to see how scripts work.  If you like it, you can contact Anna via Facebook to receive instructions on how to purchase the script.

Here’s how Anna’s calendar-maker script works:

  1. Purchase the calendar-maker script or download the sample script.
  2. Install the script following Anna’s installation instructions for your program (Photoshop or Photoshop Elements).
  3. Open Photoshop.
  4. Navigate to file>scripts and click on AFD Calendar Maker or mini calendar maker trial to run the script.
  5. Once the calendar-maker dialog box comes up, select the month, year, language, heading style, day week begins, paper size, save-to location, and fonts and sizes for the month headings, day headings and grid settings.  Click OK.
  6. Now, just wait.  That’s it!  The script may take a few minutes to run, but once it is done, you will have a full calendar page to use!
  7. Finally, use your creativity to build your calendar page. Customize it with digital-scrapbooking supplies, Photoshop patterns, clip art, etc.  Whatever you want!  Remember to save your file as you go.

Now, I hope you can see why I LOVE scripts for Photoshop!

I’m busily working on some Arise and Shine Forth 2012 calendar printables for you (using Anna’s script, of course!) and hope you enjoy getting a  little sneak peek of my project and the behind-the-scenes look at how I’m making them.

If you get a chance to try one of Anna’s scripts, leave a little note in the comments here and let me know what you think.

And, if you’re too intimidated by scripts, why not use these 2012 Calendar Brushes or 2012 Calendar Templates created by my friend, Wendy.