Does anyone know a way of addding a square background to text in photoshop? I want something like the same effect that is on subtitles in movies.

See examples below. I can do it with adding a new layer with a black square and reduced opacity behind, but it seems so "hackish" and its difficult to get the same offset, correct position etc.

Is there a simpler way? Something like a "squared stroke" blending option?

Hmmm.. wasnt allowed to post images :\

Word calls it "Text Highlight"


Mancester city uses it on their newspage (probably not photoshop though).


1 Answer 1


Simply use the Shape tools within Photoshop to draw boxes, then move those layers below the type layers.

There's no automated method to add an encompassing shape around text that I'm aware of. You simply have to use multiple layers.

Now in Illustrator.... It is possible.

An example of the above technique in Photoshop using 50% opacity on the background:

Example of transparent background in Photoshop

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