Larry's Graphics Tutorials - Buttons

Make a cool (link) button (elliptical)



Button 2


I don't think anyone has managed to surf the Net without having seen at least one set of
buttons. Buttons often comes in sets and are, mostly, used for navigation. Shape and style
differ quite a bit. Some are rectangular, some are elliptical and some are more or less irregular.
In this tutorial you will learn how to make at least one kind of button.

Step 1

The first steps

As always (if you have followed these tutorials) we will start by opening a new file. This time
the size is of less importance. Set it to 300 x 100 pixels.
You have probably seen that the New dialog box has got three radio button on the bottom half.
This is in short what they do:


Sets the background of Layer 1 to white


Uses the present background colour as
background colour for Layer 1


Sets the background of Layer 1 to transparent

*If you use either of these you will not be able to
add effects to Layer 1

OK, now we have a file (work space) to work with.

• Fill Layer 1 with white colour

Note: The reason why I didn't choose White in the New dialog box is because I want to have
the possibility to add effects later on.

• Create a new layer by clicking on the appropriate button on the Layer palette

You can also go to the Layer menu and choose New and then Layer from the submenu, but
it is easier to just click the button :)

• With the new layer active select the Elliptical mask tool

How to:

Click on the Rectangular mask button, hold down the mouse
button and move the cursor to the Elliptical mask tool button
on the pop up tool bar. Release the mouse button

• Click in the file (work space) and draw an ellipse (about 100 x 25 pixels) by holding down
the left mouse button and drag.


When making a series of buttons for navigation first type in
the longest word (e.g. INFORMATION) and then draw the
mask around the word (on a different layer, though!)

• Select a colour, not too light, (I chose blue) and fill the mask

Step 2

Adding effects

Now we can have some fun with this image. We can add filter effects to make it jagged or
wavy. Or we can add a texture to it. However, this time we will only make a quite plain and
ordinary button. Time for effects!

• Right click on the layer and choose Effects
• Add these settings:



Bevel &

Style: Inner bevel
Blur: 20 pixels
Highlight: Difference
Shadow: Bright light

Inner glow

Mode: Luminescence
Blur: 15 pixels
Radio button: Middle (Center)

• Click OK

Now we have a button looking like this:

Step 3

Adding text

Let's add some text now. Keep the same blue colour you used for the button.

• Select the Text tool and click on your button
• Set the font to Helvetica, style to Regular and the size to 20
• Type in the word "Contact" (without the quotes)

Below the OK and Cancel buttons there are three buttons for aligning text (like in a word

• Click on the button for Center aligned text

As you can see your text changes position. This is because you have changed the starting
point for the text from left to center (i.e. the center part f the text is now where starting
point was before).

• With the mouse position the text in the center of the button

If your are making a set of buttons using the Center align is a very good idea. All you have
to do with the additional buttons is to change the text. Because of the center alignment it will
always be right in the center of the buttons.

• Click OK

This is the way the button looks now:

Step 4

Adjusting the opacity

We are not going to add any effects to this text, but we are going to do something. This:

• Make sure the text layer is active

On the Layer palette there are two drop down list boxes (or so it seems) at the top.

• Click the arrow button on the one labeled Opacity

A slider appears

• Push the slider to set opacity to 60 %

Now the text seems to be floating inside the button.

Let's settle for this look and be satisfied. Save the file. We will use it again later on to make
the button look different. Something like this:

Then click here!