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I am frequently working to create background textures in Photoshop to be used on the web. Unfortunately I usually have to guess, or just use freebies from other websites.

I would like to build my own textures in Photoshop and check if they tile properly before exporting the image. Is there a way to do this quickly? I remember a method using offset, but I'm not familiar with the tools.

Below are a couple example background tiles so you can see what I'm talking about:

tile1

tile2

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7 Answers 7

up vote 13 down vote accepted
  • create your image. For example, let's say it's 200px square
  • go to FILTERS > OTHER > OFFSET and type in x and y numbers that are half your image size (in this case 100px)
  • this will shift your image over that many pixels and put the pixels that were moved off the canvas on to the other side. You now will see a seam running down the middle of your image where the pattern doesn't quite repeat fully.
  • touch up this seam to make it a smooth blend using whichever tools you like (clone tool is a common option).
  • save your new image.

For more complex images, you may need to do a final offset of say 1/4 the pixel dimensions to touch up the edges you might have missed the first time that fell near the edge of the canvas.

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Thank you this is perfect! Exactly what I was looking for –  Destiny Islands Apr 18 '12 at 16:21

DA01 answers how to make it but your question is how to test it. The answer to that question is:

  1. Select your pattern layer
  2. Edit > Define Pattern
  3. Create New Layer
  4. Select All
  5. Edit > Fill > Pattern > Choose your pattern
  6. Hit okay and see if it looks good
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2  
ugh. I totally misread the question! Good tip. Another option is to simply make a test HTML file with a repeating background. Then just keep re-saving the file and reloading the browser. –  DA01 Apr 18 '12 at 16:29
1  
Yes I knew how to do it in HTML/CSS but wasn't aware that Photoshop could test as well. Thanks for the advice! –  Destiny Islands Mar 23 '13 at 17:26

The way I do it is just save the tile as a jpg and set it to tile on my desktop. Pretty quick and easy.

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I traditionally save the image as a jpg or png and then use basic html to test the tiling.

<html>
<head></head>
<body style="background: url(image.jpg) repeat 0 0;">
</body>
</html>

Open that in a browser and you can see the tiling and simply re-save "image.jpg" and refresh the web page to check revisions.

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There is also another way to do this, but the limit is that all the other patterns must be of the same size you will see why.

Steps:

  • Make a 200px by 200px box.
  • Convert it into an smart object.
  • Duplicate and align it so there are 3 boxes horizontally. Make sure no overlapping or spaces in between.
  • Duplicate the three boxes selected into 3 vertical columns.
  • If not already enabled, enable floating windows in Preference.
  • Double click and open the smart object.
  • Align both windows as so that you can see both files.
  • Fill the smart object with whatever pattern you want and see it in action in other window simultaneously.
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There's a great (freeware for personal use) tool called AMP Tile Viewer that lets you very quickly check whether an image is tileable and how it will look tiled. I use it all the time and it works just great. No need to make patterns in Photoshop you will never use or have to delete afterwards.

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Very easy way to test if images tile correctly with Tile View extension for Google Chrome.

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