How To Install Photoshop Layer Styles

You have found an awesome resource that has a ton of premium Photoshop layer styles and text effects and have downloaded a bunch of zip files but do not know how to make them work. Follow our step by step guide onhow to install and use Photoshop layer styles and you will be off and running in no time.

What Are Photoshop Layer Styles and Blending Options?

Photoshop layer styles are a group of effects that can be individually set and changed using non-destructive editing techniques. This allows you to tweak and preview your design changes without having to undo any mistakes.Photoshop layer styles can be activated two ways:

  • Double clicking on a layer
  • Right clicking on a layer and selecting blending options

Photoshop also allows you to export your blending options settings as an .ASL file which can then be imported by another user.

How To Install And Use Downloaded Photoshop Layer Styles

  1. Unzip the files. Photoshop styles usually come packaged as a .ZIP file. Using an archiving program like Winzipor WinRAR, unzip the files to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Open a document in Photoshop. Open a saved document (or create a new document) in Photoshop. You can fill the background with a medium-dark color if you want.
  3. Create a new text layer. Using the type tool, create a new line of text. The color of the text isn’t important because most layer styles will override the default text color.
  4. How To Install Photoshop Styles

  5. Open the styles palette. If it is not already visible, click Window > Styles to display the styles palette.
  6. Import your downloaded style. Click on the tab group option menu and select Load Styles. Navigate to the folder where you unzipped your style and double click on the .ASL file. Your new Photoshop layer style will now appear as the last item in the styles palette.
  7. How To Install Photoshop Styles

  8. Apply your new style. Select the text layer you created and click on the small style preview icon to apply your new style to the text. Remember, layer styles can be applied not just to text, but to any layer except background layers.
  9. How To Install Photoshop Styles

    How To Install Photoshop Styles

What If The Photoshop Layer Style Does Not Look Like It Should?

This is most likely because the typeface or font size used in the preview image is different from the typeface or font size you used in your Photoshop file. There are a few things you can do to make your file look more like the preview image online.

  • Resize your text. Try increasing or decreasing the size of your text. You may find that this is all you need to do.
  • Choose a different typeface. If the preview image you saw online used a bold sans serif font then you will want to use something similar (such as Arial bold) to achieve a similar look. Likewise, if it used a thin serif font (like Times New Roman), you will want to use something similar as well. Photoshop Style A Day preview images include the name of the exact typeface used so you can duplicate the look as closely as possible.
  • Scale the layer style effects. If you are applying a Photoshop style to a design and need the text to be a certain size, don’t worry, you can scale the blending options while keeping the text the same size. To scale the layer style, do the following:


  1. On the layer you want to scale the style for, expand the blending options by clicking the layer effects arrow. New layer styles are expanded by default.
  2. Right click on any of the effect names and choose scale effects.
  3. Try different values and check the preview check box to see your changes in action.
  4. How To Install Photoshop Styles