PHOTOSHOP How To: Signatures (automated or manual)


Original poster
MFK Member
Oct 16, 2004
Azores, Portugal
This tutorial will teach you how to make a signature for your images in Photoshop. The signature created can be saved and added easily to your images later on. Photoshop CS2 was used to create this tutorial, but it should be very similar in other versions.

1. open photoshop

2. click the file tab, and then click new.

3. set the width to 500 and height to 50 and change the background contents to read "transparent".
note: a larger size can be set - as long as it is adequate size to fit your signature.

4. select the type tool, click inside your new file - and type your signature using the color, font and size of your choice.
for this tutorial i chose white and 14pt font size.

don't worry if it's hard to see your text on the transparent background, it's there.

5. you can change the blending mode of the text layer, by "right clicking" the text layer in th layers window
and then click on blending options. if you don't want any special blending modes for your text, then skip to step 7.

there are many things you can do, for this tutorial, i decided to add an "outer glow".
i set blend mode opacity to 100% and changed the color to a point selected in my image with the eye dropper.
you can make any color you want.
i changed the technique selection to 'precise', and 'spread' and 'size' both to 4.
once you have your signature the way you want it, click ok.

6. in order to use the signature created so far with the blending effects intact,
you have to group it into a smart object. to do this, click the round button in the top right side of the
layers window, and choose "Group into New Smart Object".

7. crop your image to remove the excess dead space.

8. save this signature as a psd file.

9. drag and drop onto your image. your signature can be moved around as long as you have the arrow tool selected, and the text layer highlighted in the layers window.
note: you can open your saved signature file later and "drag and drop" it onto another image.

here is a sample with the signature created for this tutorial. read below for an action to automate your signature.

On the next page, I will show you how to automate this into a quick action...


You can easily create an action to open your signature and place it on your image. here is how:

1. make sure your signature file is saved somewhere on your hard drive that it won't be moved from. somewhere
in your photoshop program directory would be a safe bet. close the signature in photoshop before we start.

2. adding your signature should be the last step when you are finished with your editing. when you are ready for
your signature, right click the background layer in your layer window and select 'merge visible'. this will make
sure the you get your signature on the right layer.

3. your 'actions' window is behind your history window. if your history window isn't visible, than click the window tab
at the top of the screen and select 'actions' (or press alt+F9). click on the 'create new set' button and name your
new set. after that, click on the 'create new action' button. name it and click 'ok' to start recording your action.

note: notice that your action is now recording.

3. open your signature file.

4. drag your signature from your signature file and drop it on your image.

5. close your signature file.

6. click the stop recording button on your actions window.

you are done. when you want to use your signature select it in the actions window, and click the 'play' button.

your signature will appear on your image, but it will be on new layer in the layers window. you will be able to move it wherever you want it by making sure your signature layer is selected. use the arrow tool to move your signature.
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Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 11, 2006
What if you don't have photoshop? Is there another way to finger print or watermark photos ... With cool lettering :)


Feeder Fish
Jul 18, 2008
Nice how to....

And yes there is a way.... I took a Black Sharpie wrote my name on a white piece of paper then took a picture of it... I then removed the background and converted the black writing to white.... Saved as a Gif with transparent background and then add it to the photo. This should be able to be done with any of the free photo editing programs.


Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Feb 17, 2006
Bay Area CA.
the latest version of picasa has a text editor so you can add text to your pictures. and the best part is that it's free.


Feeder Fish
Feb 10, 2010
Stratford-on-Avon U.K
or alternatively after step 4 you save the text as a custom brush by selecting

Edit/define brush preset.

A box will pop up to name the brush.

now open your image.

Select the brush tool. From the drop down menu select your new brush, it will be the last on the list.

Change the color on the foreground color. Adjust the size of the signature with the bracket keys [ ] .

Then single click on the picture where you want to stamp your signature.

The signature brush will remain in your brushes until you delete it or restore the default brushes.


Feeder Fish
Feb 22, 2010
Really nice tutorial. Very easy and step-by-step instructions. One question: Could you maybe make a tutorial on the process on how to make the background image? Maybe you already made one and I missed it or you know of any good ones on the web please let me know, thanks.