I've recently spent a lot of time creating a logo for my website using basic text layers with blending options in Photoshop CS5. I'm aware that because all of my layers are text, I should be able to (theoretically) resize everything inside photoshop and get a good image. This isn't quite the case as the blending options need to be adjusted after a resize - however a resize is certainly possible using a little effort.

I am now trying to find an easy way to convert all of these simple text layers with blending options (which are simply just gradient overlays and shadows) to a vector format (something I can play with in Illustrator). I want it in this format simply so that I can have a version which can be dynamically sized and look "exactly" the same (whereas in Photoshop when resizing, the human element of adjusting blending values makes things look a little different).

How can I go about doing this?

2 Answers 2


Honestly, if you're willing to do the work, just re-create the text in Illustrator.

In Photoshop, assuming you haven't rasterized your text layers or your layer effects (convert to layers), then resizing these text layers will be done in vector format, and the layer effects will be updated accordingly, after the resizing is completed. I do this all the time.

As far as I know, there's no way to transfer this data to Illustrator. You would need to recreate the text in Illustrator.

  • I guess Photoshop will have to do me for the time being (since changing the image size seems to scale fine now) - if you do figure out how to get the data into Illustrator though, please tell me! :P I'll mark this as correct for the time being simply because I don't think I'll get a better solution. Thanks for your help!
    – user2545
    Sep 29, 2011 at 17:21
  • 1
    I'm afraid I have to agree. I've been using Photoshop and Illustrator for quite some time now - never seen a way to import a text layer with effects, in tact, into Illustrator. If anyone else out there knows otherwise, hopefully they see this! Sep 29, 2011 at 17:33

I have a few suggestions that may help:

  • When resizing the image, turn on "Scale Styles" in the Image Resize dialog to avoid having to rescale them yourself. They should then look exactly the same whenever you scale.

  • If you make a huge version and turn it into a smart object, you can scale to your heart's content, place it in other documents, etc.

  • To take text into Illustrator, select the text (not the layer!) and Copy, then Paste into AI. This is essential when you need to really get down and dirty with OpenType options such as alternate glyphs.

  • In Illustrator you'll find many effects that work the pretty much the same way as they do in PS. Just be sure to set your raster effects (Effects > Document Raster Effects Settings...) to 300 ppi or whatever you need. The "Photoshop Effects" section uses the same code as Photoshop, so it all works the same way.

  • Under Effect > Stylize you'll find inner and outer glows and drop shadows.

  • To get effects to scale in AI, turn on the "Scale Strokes and Effects" checkbox in Preferences > General.

  • To recreate your gradient overlay effect, which is one that's NOT available natively in AI, create a new gradient fill swatch in AI and add it to the text using the Appearance panel ("New Fill" is what you want here). You can change its blend mode via the Opacity settings, and edit the gradient itself using the Gradient panel while the text is selected. (You can't fill text with a gradient in AI unless you use the "Additional Fill" feature in the Appearance panel or outline the text using Object > Create Outlines.)

  • The Appearance panel in AI allows multiple fills and strokes to be added to a single object.

You should be able to bring your text into AI easily enough, then apply the effects just as you're familiar with. From there you can scale as needed, but you can also scale in PS, as I've indicated, if you turn on the "Scale Styles" checkbox.

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