Photoshop Tutorial: Gel Text Effect

In this tutorial you’ll learn a really cool effect you can use on your text or other objects, that makes them appear to be made of gel-like material.

Step 1

Type your text using the color you prefer. The font used in this tutorial is called DomCasual BT… some other fonts that may work well include (but are not limited to) Arial Rounded MT Bold, Challenge Extra Bold, Comic Sans MS, and GoodDogPlain. Choose Layer » Rasterize » Type, then hold Command (PC: Control) and click on the layer to get a selection around the text.

Step 2

Now, make a new layer above the the one with your text. Go to Select » Modify » Contract and choose a setting of about 5 (this may vary depending on the size and “fatness” of the font you are using). Choose a lighter shade of your text’s color and press Option+Delete (PC: Alt+Delete) to fill the selection. Press Cmd+D (PC: Ctrl+D) to deselect.

Step 3

Next, go to Filter » Blur » Gaussian Blur and choose a setting of about 2.0 (again, this will vary depending on the size/fatness of your font).

Step 4

Now that we have the basics out of the way, it’s time to add some nifty Layer Styles to pull everything together. Select the original text layer and choose Layer » Layer Style » Bevel and Emboss. In the Bevel and Emboss menu, use the following settings, or if you prefer, click to view the Bevel and Emboss settings.

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 61%
Direction: Up
Size: 8
Smooth: 0
Use Global: unchecked
Altitude: 30
Gloss Contour: Rolling Slope
Highlight: Screen with 100%
Shadow: Multiply with 100%

Step 5

Once you have those settings entered, simply select the Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow layer style options, leaving them with default settings (or of course you can play with the settings to achieve the effect you are looking for).

You now have some very cool looking “Gel Text”.

I have enjoyed all of your text tutorials. In the last couple of days I have been working my way through them. The instrutions are very easy to follow. Thank you for tutorials.


These tutorials suck… even morons who play around in photoshop for a day can do these tutorials… smh. dude you need to do better.


While I could certainly pass on your antagonistic attitude, you know, I agree that they (well most of them) are not great by today’s standards. Even the better ones are in need of revisions to work with changes in newer releases of Photoshop. Please do look at the publishing date of this tutorial though: October 4th, 1999 (approximate date, since the site was hand-coded at the time). When it was written, it did not suck, and was likely done in Photoshop version 6, when the point and click magic of today’s graphics apps was barely beginning to become a reality (I was also in high school at the time, way back when). It’s here because I don’t believe in deleting content from the web. Perhaps I will add a more visible warning as to the age of this content. I do have plans to get back into writing tutorials for Photoshop and other graphics apps, however right now my focus is more on writing about the Drupal CMS; I’m on the Drupal project’s documentation team and have written some very well appreciated lessons. I also got married recently, run a full time business, am involved in many volunteer positions… just a pretty busy guy is all I’m sayin’ ;)

Anyhow, in the future, please try to be a bit more thoughtful when posting comments.


I haven’t used the layer effects very much, and I enjoyed your tutorial. I needed to make an poster for hotdogs so I needed a ketchup effect for the text. The fonts that I can find on the internet do I have to pay, so I made it with your tutorial and modified the effects, your tutorial was a really good start!


I also needed a ketchup effect and this served as a nice beginning, thank you.

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