Text -> Smart Object (the Better Way)

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PLUS: Some free summer text templates 😎

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For this recent issue, there’s a tip and a free Photoshop tool you can use to improve and inspire your digital creations.

🙌 Today’s Tip: A Better Way to Convert Text into a Smart Object

Insight from Photoshop Essentials

Smart objects are a game-changer, especially when working with text.

Using smart objects allows designers to apply non-destructive filters and maintain high-quality text that’s editable despite effects.

Typically, converting a type layer to a smart object involves right-clicking (Windows) or Control-clicking (Mac) on the layer and selecting “Convert to Smart Object.” This method is quick but can be limiting.

(For instance, if you later decide to change the text, it might not fit the smart object’s canvas because it is cropped to the text’s exact dimensions).

Here’s a better approach involving an additional background layer:

  1. Start with your type layer positioned above the background layer in your document.
  2. Click on the background layer to select it, then duplicate it using Ctrl+J (Windows) or Command+J (Mac). Ensure the duplicated layer is positioned above the original background layer.
  3. Select both the type layer and the background copy. Right-click or Control-click and choose to convert these combined layers to a smart object.
  4. Open the smart object and remove the background copy layer, leaving your text against a transparent backdrop and maintaining the full original canvas size.

This method allows you to apply any effects, such as Gaussian Blur, and edit the text afterward without any portion getting clipped. The full canvas size in the smart object ensures that all text edits fit perfectly.

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John Culotta
John is the chief editor here at WebDesignDev. He is a creative who enjoys writing, research, and all things design related as well as (formerly) a full-time musician. As an entrepreneur, he has many years of experience in designing websites, packaging, logos, photo editing, and the development of his own top-selling products on Amazon and Shopify. You can see his motivational Instagram account or connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

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