Reflected text and gradient question

Hello all,

I hope this is a fairly simple question, but for the life of me I can't figure it out right now.

I have created a new image, with a transparent background. On this transparent image I have some text (coloured white with black border for what is its worth!) which is in layer one, and then I've duplicated this text (in layer two) and flipped it upside down.

What I'd now like to do is add a transparent gradient to the flipped text to fade it out into nothing.

I added a layer mask to the flipped text layer and then tried to add a gradient to the text, but it doesn't add any transparency, it just covers the text in a white to black gradient.

When I tried doing this on some text before on a different image it worked absolutely fine, the only difference was that I didn't use a transparent background. This time I cannot get it to work with the text being on a transparent background.

Annoyingly I managed to get it to work fine using a copy Paint Shop Pro in the office at work, so I'm thinking there must be a way with the mighty Photoshop?

I've uploaded the .psd file I've been working on if that helps anyone help me! lol

Really appreciate some advice if anyone doesn't mind helping a beginner :)

Thanks in advance.


What I would do is make a layer below the type layer and merge everything (I prefer to make copies first and merge those (hide the others. Then add a layer mask. If the gradient still isn't to your satisfaction, right click on the gradient picture and move the white and black stops. Give that a try.


I did that really fast so the gradient is poor but I am on wya to work.
Thank you ibclare, will that keep the transparent background? The text is going to be positioned on a website background (one it is finished!!) hence the need for transparency :)

Thank you again for your reply.
If you want to keep it transparent you will need to save as .png but keep an eye on the file size. Merging layers into a .jpeg will give it a generic white background.

Quick way to fade the reflected text to get this:


Take a look at this, just made it to hopefully illustrate how to achieve this faded text.

Remember to save as .png if you want to keep the background transparent.

Hope it helps :thumbsup:


Staff member
Hi HH,

I created the following image without rastorizing the text layers and I merged them all. I use the same technique as Clare and Chris described with one exception, I used the NEUTRAL DENSITY gradient. I did apply the gradient several times until it looked the way I wanted. I also added a shadow in the background.

When I created the image, I used a layer to serve as a colored background, which you can see in the second photo, that I turned off when I was done. The background color should be as close to that of the website in order to make sure it will look right. The second photo also shows that the transparency was preserved.

Save the final transparent layer as a PNG file as was stated above.


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OK, looks like you've gotten plenty of good advice. And just to clarify, in case you aren't already sure, if you merge two layers together and both have transparency, you will retain the transparency. Flattening is different. It's like the option make background of layer. Or save as a jpeg is essentially flattening. But just merging is not. Ping's the thing. (sorry . . . )
Thank you again guys, sorry to pipe back into this, but I'm still having difficulty (yes, even with clear, precise instructions, AND a video!)

I've attached a video of my method, it isn't a great video, but I've tried to follow the Youtube above exactly, however when I try to add the gradient it doesn't work as it does above.

The only thing I cannot find on my version of PS CS5 (PC, not Mac) is that in the Youtube posted by Remote-Medic you have the option of "Rasterize Layer Style". I don't have this, I only have "Rasterize Type" - I guess this is important, as my layer doesn't appear to flatten?

Sorry to bug you all about this... quite embarrassing - however, I am an utter beginner after all.

To rasterize and flatten the entire layer contents, create a new, empty layer below the layer with your effects and merge down (Ctrl+E on Windows/Command+E on Mac) failing that try converting the layer to a Smart Object and then Rastersize the layer mate.


Staff member
Harry, when you try to stroke the font, after you make the copy layer, you have to rasterize both the type and the Layer style of the copy layer before you add the gradient to the mask. Otherwise it will turn out the way it did in your video.
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