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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Scale Layer Effects

While working on my glass tutorial, I discovered a neat trick for re-sizing layer styles. I have been laboriously moving pixel sizes because I'll install a style and then discover that on my item it looks different than on the preview.  However, I have now figured out how to scale any set of layer effects that it doesn't matter how large or small my item actually is.

1.  Here is the text before the layer styles are scaled.

I got this style from DeviantArt and it should look like the top example.

2.  In the layer palette, go to the layer that has layer styles.  Click the fx button to expand the layer styles if they are not already expanded.

3.  Right-click on the word Effects or any of the layer styles to bring up the layer style menu.  Select Scale Effects.

4.  Either move the slider or type in a number into the box to re-size the layer effects.

5.  Make sure that Preview is checked so that you can see the result of your changes before clicking ok.  I reduced this style 40%.

Here is the re-scaled layer effect and there isn't any need to change the pixel sizes of the individual styles.

Words of Caution: Upon pressing ok, all the layer styles in the effect are re-scaled (including pattern overlays). The new scale becomes the baseline off the image, so if you click Scale Layer Effects a second time, the number in the box will say 100%.  Therefore, if you want to return to your old scale, you must re-apply the original style, undo, or move the slider in the box.  In this example, I would have to move the slider to the right and increase the scale factor by 250% to return to the original scale.


  1. This is such a useful tutorial. Thank you.

  2. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Tutorials search engine today (look for timestamp: 05 Jan [LA 03:00pm, NY 06:00pm, UK 11:00pm] - 06 Jan [OZ 10:00am]).

  3. How cool, I never knew that! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us!