Capping IT Off

Capping IT Off

Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

Power of the gradient tool

Category : User Experience

You found a good image for your slide and you want to put some text on it. But now you can’t figure out where to put the text because the image is just too “busy”. So what to do? There are some things you can do of course, one of them is to put a semitransparent background behind the text for contrast. This method is a usable one but personally I’m not a great supporter of this. I still think it looks messy and most of the time a lot of people make the area to light and I can still not read the text that well, especially when you are far away from the screen.

How do I put a semitransparent background behind the text for contrast?

  1. Get your slide;
  2. Choose your background image, send it to the back;
  3. Insert text box;
  4. Format shape of the text box and fill it;
  5. Make your filling transparent.. there you go.

Use the 'gradient tool' within Photoshop

Another method for putting text on a slide together with an image is to use Photoshop with the gradient tool. Some of you might think now: “brrr Photoshop.. isn’t that a really hard tool to master?” Yes, if you want to become a Photoshop super user  it will be a hard and painful road. But some options within Photoshop are easy to master. And besides, if Photoshop can help you make your slides look more professional and smoother, why not invest some of your spare time? Believeme, using the gradient tool will let your slides look more professional.

A great introduction to the gradient tool within Photoshop can be found here: Gradient tool usage.

Using the tool is straight forward but understanding the behavior of the tool can take some getting used to. Fill a selection by clicking and dragging the pointer across the canvas or selection. The larger the drag the more gradual the gradient will be. All of the control of the tool lies in the dragging of the pointer. Pressing and holding the shift key will create perfectly aligned gradients.

Mastering the behavior of this tool takes time and practice. Take time to play around with the foreground colors and try many different gradients before diving too deep into other features of the gradient tool.

Open up a random picture within Photoshop and go crazy. Remember that practice is the key. Some examples of slides I made using the gradient tool below.

About the author

Arjen van Doezelaar
Arjen van Doezelaar

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.