why do I have to make my photoshop elements canvas nearly 3x bigger than I need it?

I am trying to create a new banner & buttons for my blog in photoshop elements. I've had some experience in graphic design (not too much, though). I consider myself a bit better than novice & am pretty good at figuring out software, etc. I've gotten familiar with other, more basic editing programs & used some old program that came with my laptop in like 2006 to manipulate shapes & text to create graphics, etc

However, I do not understand why when I am creating a blank canvas to which I will add text, shapes, color, etc I've been having to make the canvas nearly 3x the size I want in order for the text to appear at a high quality when shrunk down to the original banner size.

This wouldn't be a problem except I've seen tutorials online where they say 'make the canvas the size of your banner dimensions'. When I do this, the text isn't smooth (if you will) & you can see every little pixel around the outline.

I feel as if there should be a way for me to create a canvas with the dimensions I want and am able to upload as that size. Instead of making buttons 3x bigger and then using code to make them 240x100 or whatever size I want.

Any tips would be helpful! Am I just not getting it? Is this how it is?

1 Answer

  • Nahum
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    Photoshop renders text differently from other programs (word processors, web browsers, the operating system). Font renderers in other programs are designed to keep straight lines as crisp as possible and to reduce aliasing on curves by using special "hinting" instructions built into the font. Photoshop ignores hinting and uses the basic shape of the font, even if it means a straight vertical now straddles a pixel boundary and must be rendered with an ugly 50% gray line next to it.

    Even Photoshop's built-in font anti-aliasing doesn't help as much as oversizing your work and shrinking down.

    Wherever possible, it is best to have the web browser display text rather than built into an image. If you must put text in an image, it may help to use Layer Styles such as Drop Shadow, Outer Glow, or Stroke to increase contrast and readability. Avoid using small type sizes, which are often mangled by aliasing.

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