How To Add Shadows To Text in Photoshop: a simple step-by-step guide

By Timothy Brauning on March 16, 2022

We'd probably all agree that learning how to add shadows in Photoshop is something everyone needs to know. Not only is it useful for text styles, but shadows can also be used for images and even icons. 

Although people don't use drop shadows very often, they can still occasionally use them for things like quick headers, buttons, and images.

Learning how to add shadow to text in photoshop can lead to countless creative opportunities. Simply put, it can help you create better designs. 

Most people don't know how to use this properly, or if they do, it's in an excessive amount which contributes to an unprofessional look to their design. So, let's find a nice middle ground and learn how to add the perfect amount of drop shadows while keeping our designs on the clean side.

Learning how to add shadows in Photoshop is pretty straightforward (at least this method will be).

Table of Contents

how to add drop shadow to text in photoshop

Step-by-step guide on how to add shadows to text in Photoshop

Creating a drop shadow to a text in Photoshop is not a difficult task. 

Step 1. Create a white background 

To begin, you'll have to create a new document. 

To do that, you'll have to select File ->New and then click Create.

how to add shadows in photoshop

how to add shadows in photoshop

And there we have it: a blank background.

add shadows in photoshop


Step 2: Create text

To create a drop shadow for any object, we need to use the Layer Styles option. 

First, we will create a text layer from which we will make the drop shadow. 

To do so, go to the left bottom corner of Photoshop and click Horizontal Type Tool to create the text.

how to add shadow to object in photoshop

Then type out your text. Once you're done, select the color, the size, and choose your font.

how to add a drop shadow in photoshop


Step 3: Ad Layer Effects 

As I said earlier, learning to add shadows in Photoshop is easy.

In your Layers panel, click on the FX icon at the bottom of the panel.

Then from the list of options, choose Drop Shadow, and you'll see different adjustments you can make.

You can also choose Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow from the menu.

photoshop drop shadow

Step 4: Adjust the Drop Shadow Position

A new window will open where you can adjust the drop shadow's settings.

To start, choose a color for the drop shadow and press OK. I chose black.

drop shadow in photoshop

how to create shadows in photoshop

You can adjust the angle by using the Conversion Ratio. Although I suggest using 45 or 150 degrees (it seems to be the best angle that fits this picture), you can change it if you'd like to.

Also, you will find adjustments like Distance, Spread, and Size (but I will explain it in more detail in the next step.)

When learning how to add shadows in Photoshop, keep in mind this;

Hard, dark shadows often look fake.

You can choose whatever works best for your image, but if you're going for a realistic look, keep in mind that real-world shadows are usually soft and faint. 

To make your drop shadow look more realistic, you'll want to move it around a bit. 

The default will probably have it in a good spot already, but if you want to make changes, you can use the Angle slider to rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise. 

photoshop drop shadow

Step 5: Refine your shadow’s look

Now it's time to adjust the look of your drop shadow by using the three sliders called Distance, Spread, and Size. 

Distance: This control changes the distance of your shadow from your text. 

Spread: This controls how wide your drop shadow is in relation to the layer.

Size: The size setting operates just like the feather adjustment of the Brush Tool.

You can also change your shadow's opacity by choosing 60% or 70% values, for example. 

Experiment with these sliders to see how various settings can change the appearance of your text and shadow.

That's pretty much it. You have officially learned how to add shadows in Photoshop.

drop shadow in photoshop

Step 6: Click OK for the changes

When you've finished tweaking the settings, click OK to exit the Layer Style window and make your text look like it has a drop shadow. 

Then go File->Save to save your document.

drop shadow photoshop

That's it!

Learning how to add shadow to text in Photoshop is a great skill to have under your belt. It can give your images and designs that 3D, glossy feel. 

Once you've learned how to apply this effect, the possibilities with it are endless; the only limit is your imagination. 

But you'll need to follow specific steps to create the perfect drop shadow.

The results speak for themselves. 

As I mentioned at the top, this is meant as a quick, friendly guide rather than a how-to on every shadow function in Photoshop, so I tried to keep it basic and easy to follow. 

I hope you found it useful! 

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If you're looking to up your Photoshop game, take a look at this article on “How to remove white background in Photoshop.”

You can also check out our live, online Adobe Photoshop classes to get more of an in-depth, instructor-led hands-on experience.

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how to add shadows to text in photoshop

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