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Text Effect Quickies: Bubble Text

In this Text Effect Quickie, we’ll create an easy to use layer style that will quickly transform ordinary text into bubble styled font, perfect for use in underwater scenes.

This is a Text Effect Quickie — a tutorial that teaches an effect quickly, yet is an effective technique that can be used time and time again. If you’re looking for advanced tutorials, be sure to check out the rest of our Photoshop Tutorials on Tutorial9!

What We’re Making

This tutorial will show you how to produce text that will appear as shown in the graphic below. You can also download the Free Bubble Effect Layer Style if you’d like.

Bubble Text Effect made in Photoshop

Before getting started, you may want to find a suitable font for this effect, as not all fonts will necessarily look right when this style is applied. You want a font with rounded edges — no sharp corners.

Some fonts that should work well include:

Once you’ve downloaded a font that appeals to you, head on to the next part of the tutorial!

Step 1 – Background

This effect really works great on top of dark backgrounds, but will also work fine on lighter backgrounds (so long as it’s not too light, as the effect itself makes things brighter). Go ahead and create a new document, and fill in the background with a color of your choice (or #2d3134 if you’d like to borrow our background color).

Step 2 – Set the Type

Using the Horizontal Type Tool, set some text in the document with your font you downloaded earlier. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but make sure you set your Text Color to White.

Set this layers blending mode to Darken. This will make your text disappear from the canvas.

Step 3 – Setting Up the Style

Go into your text layers Blending Options (Right Click Layer > Blending Options).

Apply the layer effects shown below, making any modifications as needed.

Drop Shadow

A Drop Shadow helps create contrast between our text and the imagery behind the text. It’s not necessary for the effect, but does help over busy backgrounds.

Bubble Effect Drop Shadow for added contrast

Inner Shadow

Inner Shadow for the Bubble Text Effect

Inner Glow

These values may need to be adjusted to compensate for the size of your text. Larger text may require a larger size in the “Elements” settings.

Inner Glow for the Bubble Text Effect

Bevel and Emboss

This Layer Effect may also require some adjustments to compensate for text size.

Bevel for the Bubble Text Effect


Satin for the Bubble Text Effect

Gradient Overlay

For our Gradient Overlay, we’re using a White to Transparent gradient.

Gradient Overlay for the Bubble Text Effect

Bubble Text Effect Layer Style


This layer style works very well on more than just text. You may want to try using the Ellipse Shape Tool to add some bubbles surrounding the text, and applying the style to them as well.

Add Bubbles

You can also add in some smaller trailing bubbles with a small 1-3 pixel white brush rising to the surface if you intend to use this effect in an underwater scene. If you’d like to see some other touch-ups I added to our final version, feel free to download the Bubble Text Effect PSD!


  1. Add point Subtract point
    Aubrey Bernardino (0 Points) January 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    All I had to do was Lessen the percentages of Fill
    Maybe that was the problem for all :D

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  2. Add point Subtract point
    josephine pagran (0 Points) November 17, 2010 at 4:25 am

    nice tutorial..

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  3. Add point Subtract point

    it’s very useful for my project thanks a lot

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  4. Add point Subtract point

    Loved this…I am just beginning and it is really exciting to create an effect like this

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  5. Add point Subtract point

    i really interested in this tute.easy to understand make and read it.

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  6. Add point Subtract point
    Valentine (1 Point) August 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Love you tutes. Tried the bubbles text and it’s the only one I can’t get right. Even copied and pasted the layer styles but it looks nothing like the tute. Any suggestions?

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    Rogy (1 Point) July 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    A really interesant effect, :D


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  8. Add point Subtract point

    hey i have done the same thing u mentioned but dis dont work re

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลง mp3 (2 Points) June 9, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Great text effect. Thank so much

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  10. Add point Subtract point

    The bubble text really looks cool… and bubbly. I’ve been trying to design a textual logo incorporating elements somewhat like this for myself and I can’t manage to get it looking just right. It was a little bit… off somehow, proportion-wise. Finally, I decided to use the professional services of an online logo design site instead ( and got the logo I wanted at an affordable price and fast too, within 24 hours. I did provide this link for reference and inspiration to my designer as I liked how yours look. I’m not going to design a logo without any professional help anytime soon although it’s fun designing it or trying to at least.

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    โหลดเพลงฟรี (0 Points) May 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Great text effect. Thank so much

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  12. Add point Subtract point
    Nala (1 Point) May 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    This was sooooooooo…etc awesome!!!

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  13. Add point Subtract point
    l’money (1 Point) May 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    This was a great exersise to get me to be active on text!!! I love it!!!

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  14. Add point Subtract point
    May Phat Dien (1 Point) May 13, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Nice tut, thank for share

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  15. Add point Subtract point
    bam (0 Points) May 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    It didn’t work on Adobe photoshop 7, Why is it not working?

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    LEANDRO (1 Point) April 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

    WTH?! i do everything you do, and then i click ok and it doesn’t changes ANYTHING!! WTH?! Can someone tell me what the problem is?! i Use photoshop CS4…

    Please e-mail me or respond:

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  17. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลง (1 Point) March 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Great tip , Thank you for your share!

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  18. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (1 Point) February 2, 2010 at 1:47 am

    wow thanks so much.152

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  19. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงสากลใหม่ (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 3:04 am

    wow thanks so much.147

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  20. Add point Subtract point
    ดาวน์โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 11:59 am

    great tutorial . Thanks

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  21. Add point Subtract point

    Nice tutorial man. It really helped me through the hard times, you know what I’m saying? Gosh, I was lost and then I found your tutorial with those bubbles and GOLLEE!!! I was astounded at how well it worked. You changed my life and I would like to meet you for lunch if that’s alright with you…haha. We can talk about photoshop and stuff…email me and we will set a date!

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  22. Add point Subtract point

    Nice tutorial man. It really helped me through the hard times, you know what I’m saying? Gosh, I was lost and then I found your tutorial with those bubbles and GOLLEE!!! I was astounded at how well it worked. You changed my life and I would like to meet you for lunch if that’s alright with you…haha. We can talk about photoshop and stuff…email me and we will set a date!

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  23. Add point Subtract point
    Meredith (1 Point) November 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    How did you make the water effect that you had on the final product?

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  24. Add point Subtract point
    Noermanto (1 Point) November 17, 2009 at 4:52 am

    Fantastic … I love it! :-)

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  25. Add point Subtract point

    Thank you very much, nice tutorial… I love it! :-)

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  26. Add point Subtract point
    Prince (1 Point) May 15, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Nice tut, continue doing it,

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  27. Add point Subtract point
    huwaw69 (1 Point) May 3, 2009 at 3:52 am

    hahaha bubbly effect, hmmmmm good text effect man!

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  28. Add point Subtract point
    arnab sarkar (1 Point) April 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    dear david im presently persuing masters in multimedia developement and i m greatly benifited by your work..
    i also do hold the same view as you and looking forward to provide free designing tutorials
    wishes- ARNAB

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  29. Add point Subtract point
    haroon (1 Point) March 16, 2009 at 2:10 am

    yaaaaaaaaaaa its a cool txt efftec
    nice dude

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  30. Add point Subtract point

    Yeah, thanks a lot, I never noticed that on the site. Should be okay from now. One more thing though, would you mind telling me what font you’ve used to create the bubble effect above, as the fonts you’ve suggested look nothing like the one in the picture?

    Thanks again.

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  31. Add point Subtract point

    Ok, I’ve found your tutorial very helpful but I’ve never used photoshop before. I’ve got as far as going through all of the steps your tutorial shows but it still looks nothing like yours :D. Please could you contact me at my email address provided, I’m in need of a little photoshop job doing which I am willing to pay for.

    Thanks a lot.

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  32. Add point Subtract point

    i think, it’s good job;)

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  33. Add point Subtract point
    sabrina (1 Point) January 10, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I’ve just joined this site and it looks great.

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  34. Add point Subtract point

    Ohhhh i cant make the text whayyyy ????

    When i make a new document in Black Background and writ “DARDAN” and when i Select The style that Does not work WHAY ?

    p.s In all other Styles Work but in Your Not :S:S

    Have i Loaded wrong or what ?

    And sory for my bad English becouse i am from Albenien :$:$

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  35. Add point Subtract point
    sriganesh (1 Point) October 14, 2008 at 11:45 am

    its good but the text is hidden, i cant get result

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  36. Add point Subtract point
    James Qu (1 Point) October 3, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Nice tutorial, i love the layer styles
    thanks buddy!

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  37. Add point Subtract point

    @David sorry im so behind, here in cyprus, i moved to my permanent housing, and its been 8 months and still no internet. im so behind, please excuse not seeing these months articles :P

    and yes this worked out great as the bar i designed for was called…wait for it :P …..keep waiting…


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  38. Add point Subtract point

    @Uproar: Of this month? We’ve already released several mate ;)

    Glad to hear that this effect worked out so well for you!

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  39. Add point Subtract point

    I absolutely LOVE this simple, but very intriguing text effect. It will come in great use with my latest project, the concept fits the project perfectly. I have not been around a tutorial site for this long, and for this many hours before :P

    Again this site intrigues me so much. Full of wonderful items and resources.

    p.s. David when will the first tutorial of this month be released. i’m so eager to read it.

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  40. Add point Subtract point

    great work nice tuts :)
    really liked this “School Of Photoshop”
    thnx for every thing

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  41. Add point Subtract point

    This is the best Photoshop tutorial site online! Thanks a million for your hard work! Keep it up.

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  42. Add point Subtract point

    nice tutorial..
    thanq david..
    terima kasih

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  43. Add point Subtract point

    @Paul – No, but they really shouldn’t differ too much in look or in how they work.

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  44. Add point Subtract point

    My options looked nothing like the tutorial. Did you use PS CS3 Extended?

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  45. Add point Subtract point
    leonardo (1 Point) July 29, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    vai ti fude filha da puta vagabundo lazarento corno pau no cu

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  46. Add point Subtract point
    avdezoysa (1 Point) July 20, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Text Effect Quickies: Bubble Text

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  47. Add point Subtract point
    ladyheart (1 Point) June 15, 2008 at 9:20 am

    oh.. I see.. I’ll try then. thanks David!

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  48. Add point Subtract point

    @ ladyheart – Actually, Font’s are different to install than the “Layer Style” document provided in the tutorial. Installation depends on your operating System. For Windows, I believe you’ll need to move the font to your C > Windows > Fonts Directory (or something like that…), or if you have Vista, Right Click the Font, and then install it.

    It may require you to restart Photoshop before that font will be made available.

    After that, you may want to look through our Drawing and Type Tools Tutorial if your not familiar with using Type in Photoshop.

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  49. Add point Subtract point
    ladyheart (1 Point) June 14, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Oh.. btw,I noticed that the file’s type should be .tpl, am I right?
    All the fonts I install is in .ttf file. so, how can I change the type please?


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  50. Add point Subtract point
    ladyheart (1 Point) June 14, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Dear David… I’ve downloaded the fonts.
    I’ve also read your comment to Jana on how to install them – Install Brushes and Custom Shapes.

    The problem is, I followed all the steps but when the new window appeared to load the files, I was unable to see them. All of the fonts apparently invisible. I don’t know what to do.

    The properties of the font is –
    Type – TrueType Font File (.TTF)
    Open with – Windows Font Viewer.

    Hope you can help. Thanks! ( I am using PSD CS3, and windows vista. )

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  51. Add point Subtract point
    Ruth Lopez (1 Point) June 14, 2008 at 6:15 am

    Dat was a gud one. Thanxs. :-)

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  52. Add point Subtract point

    @ Jana – It actually works in the same way which you Install Brushes and Custom Shapes. Only, look for the Arrow icon in your “Styles” palette vs. your brushes or shapes palette.

    So… Find the Arrow on your “Styles Palette”, then click Load Styles, and finally browse to the style you wish to install. Good Luck!

    Thanks bl4kdev1l and Blue Buffalo! I’m very proud to be featured on PSDTuts right now! Enjoy the effect! We’re going to start releasing a few “Text Effect Quickies” on a more frequent basis here I think.

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    Blue Buffalo (1 Point) June 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Cool! This reminds me of Spongebob’s “Bubble Buddy

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  54. Add point Subtract point

    If I want to download the layer effect where in Photoshop folder should I save it?

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  55. Add point Subtract point
    bl4kdev1l (1 Point) June 13, 2008 at 11:43 am


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