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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Write on Wood
Photoshop Elements


This is a Photoshop Elements Tutorial - Click Here!

 Blend Text With Wood
 Suitable for Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor
Skill Level Intermediate

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Detailed Elements Workspace Tutorial Plus The Redesigned Workspace, Palettes & Toolbar Of Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15
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This tutorial demonstrates how to superimpose your name onto old wood using a Displacement Map. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Images I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto Photoshop Elements’ workspace.

Undo Note
You can step backwards at any time by clicking the top menu’s Undo Tool.

Open your Start Image onto Elements’ workspace; File then Open: Ctrl/Cmd then O.

Centralise your photograph by snapping it to the top menu’s orange horizontal line.

You now need to save a copy of your image as a PSD file: therefore, from the top menu, choose Edit then choose Save As - and save it as a
PSD Photoshop.

Because you will be retrieving it later, save this file to a memorable place: I am saving mine to My Documents:.

Elements 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - Tool Options Palette positioned at the bottom of the workspace. Although the palettes have been redesigned the tools work in more or less the same way.

Now, from the Toolbar, activate the Horizontal Type Tool.

Your type’s size depends on the size of your image - these are my settings.

Set the Text’s Colour to White.

Then enter your desired text and commit it by clicking the following Commit any current edits tick - or press Return/Enter.

Now, reposition your type (or multiple lines of type) over the wood using the Move Tool

Press Ctrl and tap the T Key. And then resize your text by manipulating (tugging) the tiny Vector Transformation Boxes that are attached to the large Transformation Bounding Box.

Then tap your Return/Enter Key to commit any changes. (Alternatively, click the Green Commit Tick).

You can nudge the Transformation Box into position, pixel-by-pixel by tapping your Keyboard’s Arrow Keys.

It is time to apply the PSD file you saved earlier: however, before doing so, merge any multiple Text Layers by Ctrl/Command-clicking over each Text Layer to highlight them, then right-click and select Simplify from the subsequent drop-down list. Now right-click again, and this time select Merge Layers.

Now, from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Distort then choose Displace. Reply OK to the Rasterise/Simplify prompt, if you see one. Then from the subsequent Displace dialogue box, set the following attributes, and click OK.

For personal displacements, experiment with the Horizontal Scale and Vertical Scale settings.

You will then be asked to Choose a displacement map. Therefore, search the Look in tab and locate the PSD file you saved at the start of this tutorial, then click Open.

Your white text will then change to the following.

In order to blend your text with the wood: from the Layers Palette, change the Type Layer’s Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay.

This changes your type to the following.

To brighten the type: right-click the Type’s Layer, then from the subsequent drop-down menu, choose Duplicate Layer. Reply OK to the Duplicate Layer dialogue box - there is no need to name this Layer - unless you wish to. If the text is too bright, then lower the Text Layer’s Opacity.

I am going to blur the type’s edge, very slightly. Therefore, from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur: from the subsequent dialogue box, set a Blur Radius of around 1 Pixel, then click OK.


The size of your image dictates the strength of the blur - larger images require a slightly higher Radius.

To add a little depth to your type; (working on each individual Text Layer, one at a time): from the Text Tool’s Options Bar, click the following Styles Button, then navigate to and double-left-click Inner Ridge - or experiment.


Congratulations, you have blended text with wood. For personal blends, experiment with different Backgrounds and Text: additionally, you can apply images to backgrounds, (as I have with the dove and fern leaf Custom Shapes), in exactly the same way.

Preserve your Layers by saving your work as a
PSD Photoshop File

To finish, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

Congratulations, your work is complete
and is ready to save

Sharpening Tip
Your blend may benefit from a Sharpening Filter; top menu, then Enhance then Adjust Sharpness.

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