Change text in button?

Posted on 1998-05-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I've got a (free) rectangular button, saying "Library Catalogs".
I would like to use this button again, with a different text. I've tried opening it in PaintshopPro -
it does, but I can't work out how to change the text.
Text is white on black (file name is Cat_neg.gif) and it has a shadow below it.
I can open this file and enlarge it, cut a rectangular box which deletes the existing text, and
insert my text, but it does not replace the 'old' text - leaves a 'hole'.
I'm just trying PrintshopPro - probably not using it correctly, or - how can I tell if the original
file cannot be edited in PSP?
Question by:Angie111297
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Accepted Solution

vlad_impala earned 200 total points
ID: 1112710
Basically you will have to use the existing button as a template for your new button. - using PSP.
Before you do anything make sure you are working on a copy of the original so you can always go back to the original if a horrendous error ocurs.
Assuming you don't want to use the text that is already on the button step 1 is to fill in the white with the background colour.  Use the pipet tool to set the tool colour in PSP to the button backgound (just left click on the background of the button).  then carefully erase the text and shadow using one of the drawing tools (zooming in may make this easier).

You should now have a plain black button.
I would save this image to use again for more buttons in the same style, rather than starting again from scratch.
How you get the text and drop shadow on the text depends on the version of PSP you have - I would recommend version 5 if you haven't already got it, this stage is much easier with v5.

Version 5 method
1) Convert the image to 16Million colours (on the menu colours>Increase color depth).
2) Set your foreground colour to white.
3) Create a new layer on top of the button and use the text tool to write and position your text onto that layer
4) use the drop shadow effect (Image>Effects>Drop Shadow) to create your shadow this wil allow you to specify the position of your shadow and it's appearance
5) Save image and feel smug.

Pre v5
As you don't have layers this is not as easy to do.
Again convert you image to 16 Million colours

If you know how to use masks then mask off the edges of the button so that the effects don't apply to it.  However I find masks a pain in the butt so to make it easier make sure you have saved you image at this point under a new name.

Use the text tool to write your text on the button in white.
If you know about masks then mask off the edges of the button.
Use the Blur tool (Image>Blur>Blur More) to blurr up the image until the text is blurred enough to look like a shadow (you might want to use a shade of light gray for the blurred text for a better look on a black backgroud).
Use the text tool again to write the same text in white and position it over the blurred text to get the drop shadow effect.

If you didn't use masks...
By now you will have a blurry button with text and shadow to get the sharp edges of the button back open the original plain black button you saved earlier and use the selection tool to draw a box round your blurred text and cut and paste it onto your plain black button.

It might need a few tries to get it exactly right, good luck.
If you need any other hints just ask.


Expert Comment

ID: 1112711
As an after thought..
No boubt the button is quite small with little room for error.
Rather than working directly on the button you could create a new larger image with a black background and use this as a canvas to construct you text with shadow before and then cut and paste it from there onto the button image.


P.S. when pasting remember to paste "as new selection"

Author Comment

ID: 1112712
Thanks, your explanation helped, but as my version is 4.14 and I'm not really familiar with paint programmes, I've had some difficulty.
I also didn't explain properly that the text doesn't have 'shadows', only the black rectangle (which has the text in it), does.
I did not see any option anywhere on PSP which said convert to 16 million colours!
Where do I find this?
Actually, the whole image only uses black, several grey shades, and white.
I'll try to find a later version, too. I do not wish to register this programme unless I can actually do something with it.
Obviously, I'll need more practice and a better understanding of the programme, but
thank you for your help and I won't delay the rating beyond your next reply.

Expert Comment

ID: 1112713
I've quick re-installed version 4.1 of PSP, the option to convert to 16 million colours can be found under the Colors>Increase color depth menu (if the image was a jpg file is would already be 16 million colours, as it is a gif it is probably 256 colours).

If the text does not need shadow then your task is much easier, you won't need to increase colour depth, you simply use the paint brush to paint over the original text and use the text tool to write on your new text.

If you are in the UK  PSP 5 can be found on one of the cover CDs of the July edition of PC Plus magazine, alternatively it can be down loaded from or (but it's a big file!), and I'm sure it will apppear on many other cover CDs.

If you can get your hands on it PSP v5 is much better than v4 (in my opinion v3 was better than v4).  The best way to see what it can do it to open up and image and play around with it, you'll quickly get used to the concepts.


Author Comment

ID: 1112714
I appreciate the extensive help you've given me. I'll be spending some more time learning
PSP v. 5 (it's on my lastest apcmag CD - Australia), and the 'B' grading in NOT a reflection on your help, but a compromise between the 200 points I offered and the actual use I could make of the info you gave (completely my fault, I should have spent more time learning about the programme before asking for help).


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