Photoshop Tutorials


Micro Buttons

Here you can learn how to make those cool little buttons often found on many British design sites, because we all wish we were British, right...that's what I thought.

Picture 1
Step Start by opening Photoshop and creating a new image; make sure to click the trasparent background box when doing so. The size only as to be as large as you want your button to be. Zoom in to 400% so you can more easily see what your are doing by holding Alt (Mac: Option) and hitting + three times. Create rectangle that will be the outer border of the button with the Rectagular Marquee Tool (Marquee Tool). Fill the rectangle with black by hitting D and then Alt+Backspace (Option+Delete).

Picture 2
Step Hold Ctrl (Command) and click the layer with the black rectangle in the Layers Palette to load the selection. Then, go Select>Modify>Contract and choose 1 pixel. Choose two colors that you want the background of your button to be (one as the foreground color, one as the background color). Create a new layer by hitting New. Select the Linear Gradient Tool (Linear Gradient) and fill the selection by first clicking slightly above the selection, then hold down Shift and click slightly below the selection. This should produce a vertical gradient like the image to the left. Afterwards, click the layer with the black rectangle in the Layers Palette and use the rectangular marquee to select each of the four corner pixels and press Delete.

Picture 3
Step Now add white text in to the button with the Type Tool (Type). Try to make the text centered so the button looks spoonodelic. (If you like the font I used, you can download it from our Font Archive in the Pixel section. It's called 04b_09).

Picture 4
Step All right, now it's time to add a nice outline to your text. Ctrl+click (Command+click) your text layer and create a new layer on top of it. In a new layer, go to Select>Modify>Expand and expand by 1 pixel. Now, fill your selection with black. Then, go to your Blending Mode options for that layer, and change Normal to Soft Light. Adjust the opacity until the color looks right to you, I used 60%.

Picture 5
Step Create yet another layer and grab the Pencil Tool (Pencil Tool). Make the row of pixels directly below the top black border and the column of pixels directly right of the left border white. Similarly, make the row of pixels above the bottom border and to the column to the left of the right border black. Change the Blending Mode to either Overlay or Soft Light, as in the Step 4, and adjust the layer's transparency. Zoom back out to 100% and view the final image. All right, it looks great.

Picture 6
Step You can also apply this technique to make those ever popular 88x31 buttons that many websites use to exchange links.

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Written by: Brian Fusco
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