Recently I was working with my sister to create some wallpaper images and she wanted to make the type on her photos stand out a little better by placing a faded blur of color behind the text. This is useful if your text goes across both light and dark areas of a photo--it can get lost in the background in some areas. The faded blur will set the text off from the background and make it easier to read. This is easy to do in Photoshop using the outer glow layer style effect, but since Photoshop Elements does not give you as much control over layer effects, it is something you will have to do manually.
Time Required: a few minutes
- Start by opening the photo you would like to work with, and use the type tool to add some text anywhere you like on the image.
- Open the layers palette if it is not already showing (Window > Layers), then Ctrl-click (Command click on Mac) on the T thumbnail for the type layer. This makes a marquee selection surrounding your text.
- Go to Select menu > Modify > Expand and type a number from 5-10 pixels. This expands the selection surrounding the type.
- In the layer's palette, click the "Create a new layer" button, and drag this new, empty layer below the text layer.
- Go to Edit menu > Fill selection... Under contents, set "Use:" to Color, then pick the color you wish to have behind the text. Leave the Blending section alone in this dialog and click OK to fill the selection with color.
- Deselect (Ctrl-D in Windows or Command-D on Mac).
- Go to Filter menu > Blur > Gaussian blur, and adjust the radius amount to the desired effect, then click OK.
- Optional: To fade the text background even more, go to the layers palette and reduce the opacity of the blurred fill layer (probably still called "Layer 1" if you never changed it).