By Jennifer Farley

Triple Stroked Text In Photoshop

By Jennifer Farley

Here’s a fairly straightforward way to create the effect of text with a triple stroke. Unlike Adobe Illustrator, where you really can apply multiple strokes, Photoshop only allows you to add one stroke on any particular layer. In this case, we’ll use a gradient trick to apply this effect. The good thing here is that the text remains fully editable after the effect has been applied.

1. Create a new Photoshop document with a white background.

2. Select the Type tool from the tool bar and add some text. The font used here is called Blair.


3. Double-click on the text layer to open up the Layer Style dialog box. Click on the word “Stroke” on the bottom left. Set the size to 10 px and set the Fill Type to Gradient. Don’t click OK yet.


4. Click on the Gradient dropdown box and choose the Black, White gradient.

5. Still in the Gradient Editor click on the Black Color Stop, then in the Location field type in 33%.


6. Click on the White Color Stop and in the Location field type 33%.


7. Click to the right of the white color stop to add a new one. The new color stop should be white by default. If it is not white, just double click on it to open the color picker to choose white.

Type 66% in the Location box.


8. Click once more to the right of the second white color stop. Double click on the new color stop and set the color to dark red #990000. Set the Location to 66%.


OK so that’s the special gradient created. You’ve removed the smooth transition from one color to the other producing three solid blocks of color which will make up the strokes.

Click OK.

9. Now back on the Layer Style dialog box, set the Style to Shape Burst. You will be able to see all of these changes on your initial text.



When you’re happy with how your text looks, click OK.

As I mentioned earlier, the text is fully editable so you can add more type and it will keep the layer style. Also by changing the color of your original text you can get some nice effects. For example, my original text was black, if I go back and change it to white, it looks like this.


You can also get cool effects by going back to the Stroke style and changing the thickness of the stroke.

Here the stroke is 18 pixels.


Here the stroke is 35 pixels.


And finally, you can always go back to the Gradient Editor and change or add color stops as in the steps 5 – 8. Below you can see the text with four uneven strokes.


  • Joanne

    Is this CS4?

    • Hi Joanne
      No I did this in CS3, but I *think* it is applicable in all CS versions.

  • Tom Waterhouse

    Interesting, I’ve never spotted that one before!

    It almost solved my problem of multiple strokes/borders to items (would of been great for buttons) however at small sizes the gradient becomes blurry. But an interesting one to know!

  • I’ve always done this by hand with selections and Edit > Stroke, but this is clearly better :) Thanks!

  • Good Job Jennifer..

    I want use in my next design.

  • TimothyAaron

    Can also be done with a 100% choke’d drop shadow and a transparent stroke.

  • Nice one Jennifer. End result looks great!

  • od3n

    nice shot!

  • where can i find the fonts? official url please

  • markfiend

    I spotted this trick a while ago, it works on the first CS release, and possibly even on PS7 and earlier versions.

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