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A note upfront: The background does not have to "survive" the process. It's the type (and visible style/design) I'm after.

I have this situation:

cropped screenshot

Using Photoshop, what is the best technique to "undo" the drop shadows from a flattened image like this?

I'm guessing cutting out the individual letters and symbols with manually traced paths would be an option, but the results are not satisfying. Also, the image above is a cropped screenshot… as the complete image contains more than 100 characters and symbols, manually tracing each and every one of them steals too much time.

I'm open for any suggestion that works and helps me save time.

  • 4
    Due to matching values within the characters and in the shadow, tracing is about the only method - other than resetting type and reconfiguring a layer style to match the original. – Scott Jul 29 '13 at 3:14
  • @Scott That's what I was afraid of. – e-sushi Jul 29 '13 at 3:17
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Due to matching values within the characters and in the shadow, tracing is about the only method - other than resetting type and reconfiguring a layer style to match the original.

  • To elaborate a bit, using a vector mask is the only way to get a clean edge, don't waste your time with any selection tools or painting/raster tracing it. – John Jul 29 '13 at 14:03
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Snowballing off of what @Scott said, I like the prospect of matching the font to the flattened image in question.

What I don't think is necessary though is to match the exact layer style of the font-- it's difficult to get exact. What is slightly easier is if you could match the font type, height, tracking, etc and perfectly overlay it. You could then convert that shape outline of the font to a selection and apply it as a mask to the flattened image.enter image description here

  • Thank you for thinking further on this one Adam. But as things stand, I'll have to go "font ident" and "layer rebuild"... which makes me accept @scott's answer. Yet, that doesn't mean I do not appreciate your answer! +1 – e-sushi Jul 30 '13 at 7:33

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