The Secrets of Styles

Guest Post by Melothria.

What is a Style?

A Style or Layer Style, is a range of layer settings and options. So when you choose to add to a shape, for example a drop shadow, a pattern, some color and a bit of emboss, you’ve created a new Style.

You can:

  • copy this Style to another layer (copy/paste)
  • save it to use it later, or
  • save it by creating a new file with a .asl extension. This is a new Style file.
  • Styles can be saved in ASL file format. ASL files work in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. I use Photoshop but I found a quick tutorial for installing and using styles in PSE.

    One ASL file can contain multiple styles. ASL files are located in the Styles folder of the Adobe/Photoshop/Presets folder.

    Styles appear in the Photoshop Styles palette and if you don’t see it on your Photoshop screen, you can make the palette visible by clicking on Styles in the Windows menu. By default the Styles pallette is set to appear next to the color palette on your Photoshop screen.

    Photoshop comes with default styles already installed. If you click on the little downward arrow top-right on the styles palette, you can choose to load and try some styles.

    For example, if you are on a layer (ie the layer is active) on which you have typed a sentence and you click on a style, it will be applied to your text.

    Have you got ‘Styles’?

    The Internet is full of little (and big) places where you can find Styles for free. You can download ASL files thatwill generally contain several different Styles. Place your ASL file in the correct folder (described above) and then load the Style you want to use in your software.

    Unfortunately these free Styles are most often aimed at webdesign and they are as cute as… the default Photoshop Styles… :(

    Digital Scrapbooking online stores offer Styles that will enable you to add beautiful effects on your elements and texts. Using Styles, you can add a wide range of effects to your elements and texts like glitter, metal, paint, reflections, glass, textile and so much more.

    You could also play with your layer’s options yourself, modify all settings (and there are a lot) and save your work when you’ve made something you like. You can then share your ASL files with your friends.

    Create your own Style

    Let’s say you’ve played for a while in the layer options and you came up with a beautiful effect on a shape, it doesn’t look like anything special but it’s beautiful or maybe, you’ve managed to create some very realistic effect.

    What you have to do is:

  • While being on the layer on which you have set the options for this new style, go to the styles palette and click on ‘New Style’. You will be asked to provide a name for the Style and choose if you want to include in your styles the layer effects and blending options or not. You have saved your style.
  • If you have made several new styles, you might want to save them in an ASL file. Make your own ASL file by clicking on ‘Save Styles’ and choose to save in the appropriate Styles folder.
  • Hope you found this helpful.

    Scraps of Mind would like to sincerely thank Melothria for this Guest Post.

    10 Responses to The Secrets of Styles

    1. Kahshe Cottager aka Jen October 10, 2007 at 6:17 am #

      Thanks for this Karen. I will be reading this article closely as I am always looking for ways to increase my competency with PSE. I have slowly trying to get caught up in Blogland reading!! Have a wonderful week! *-)

    2. Melothria October 10, 2007 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you so much Karen for posting another article from me :)

    3. Antoinette October 11, 2007 at 10:36 am #

      I opened Photoshop once… and closed it again. I was totally lost! Of course I could try one of the many tutorials available online, but I just don’t have the patience. I can operate PSP7 with my eyes closed – well, almost – and I hate to start from scratch again. My loss?

    4. karooch October 16, 2007 at 4:37 pm #

      Glad you liked the article ladies. Melothria did a great job.
      I don’t think it’s your loss Antoinette. Everyone has their preferred software. I had the same experience with PSP when I downloaded the trial version. It all comes down to whatever software you’re familiar with is the one you’ll get the most out of.
      But if someone were just starting out I would recommend PSE as the easiest to learn, with a lot of tutorial material available, at the lowest cost, that produces great results.

    5. Louise October 30, 2008 at 2:58 am #

      Thanks for your post. I use Photoshop quite a bit and will definitely try this out.

    6. karooch October 31, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

      I’m glad you found the tutorial helpful Louise. And Melo will be glad too. Thanks a lot for your comment.

    7. Aftab December 12, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

      hi, thanks for such a nice article but there is one problem with save style.
      when you create new style and save so it also save other styles which is present in style tabe(pallate).
      how can i make my own style file(.asl) just style which i have created.

    8. Laura Millar March 13, 2010 at 1:03 am #

      Thank you so much for this, I’ll be sure to use it a lot. They are amazing.

    9. Balu September 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

      Cool article, thanks.


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