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Tutorial#1: Using Photoshop to make Navigational Buttons

Step#1: Open a new document in Photoshop. Go to file>New or press CTRL+N.


Step#2: It will open a box where you can mention the width and height for your navigational menu. I have chosen 600 (width) x 147(height) pixels at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Mode is RGB and background is transparent although you can choose white as well. Name of the file is Navigation.


Step#3: Here’s the interesting part. You need to think of the color for your navigation menu. You can choose a single color or two colors. I chose 2 colors: The foreground color is #1C61A6 while background color is # 519FEC using the color picker. Both are shades of blue.


Note: You can choose the color picker by simply clicking on the color boxes shown in the Photoshop menu as shown above.

Step#4: Now choose a new layer by clicking on the layer icon on the layer’s palette as follows. Once the new layer is there, pick the Gradient tool from the Photoshop tool bar.


Step#5: Now drag the gradient tool (linear gradient) on your new layer from top to bottom. This is the result:


Step#6: Add another layer (layer 3). Create a rectangle on the layer using the Rectangular Marquee Tool . The rectangle should be created where you want your navigational links. Fill the rectangle with White (#FFFFFF) Now your layer should look like this:


Step#7: Now you need to change the opacity of the layer to 25% and change the blend mode to soft light. To do this, you can right-click on Layer 3 to bring up the Layer Style window. In the Layer Style window, Change the Blend mode to soft light and the opacity to 25%. Here’s how you do it:


Your navigational menu should look like this:


Step#8: Now you will need to add a separator between your links like Home| About Us
| Services| Portfolio | Contact Us.
Start by creating a new layer (layer 4) and use the rectangular marquee tool. Make a selection of one pixel. Now reverse the colors (foreground and background) that we had used for the Menu. So your foreground color will now be # 519FEC and the background color will be #1C61A6. Pick the Gradient tool (linear gradient) again and drag from to bottom of the selection.

This is how it will look:


Step#9: Now use CTRL+J to copy the layer depending on the number of links you require. I need 4 links, so I copied it twice. Now place the separator equidistant from the previous separator. It should look like this:


Step#10: Now let us proceed towards adding some detail to the navigation. Make a new layer and use your Rectangular Marquee tool again to select the space between two separators. Choose a color. I chose # F36544. It will now look like:


Step#11: Use CTRL+J to copy the layer. Select the layer by holding CTRL while clicking the layer. Now choose your foreground color and use the Paintbucket Tool to fill the color in the next section. Repeat this for all the layers till they look like this:


Step#12: To spice up the look of the Navigational Menu, we will add a dark blue border. To do this, open a new layer. Now use the Rectangular Marquee to make a selection at the bottom of your Navigational menu or Header and fill it with Dark Blue. I used # 1C61A6


Step#13: To enhance it a little more, I opened another layer. I took the Pencil tool and using # ECE6EC as my foreground color, I drew a thin line just above the dark blue border I had just created. Now it looks like this.


Step#14: Select the Text tool to name the different links. I took four links: Home/Services/Portfolio/Contact Us. You can choose the font and the color. I used #ECE6EC as my Font color. I also added a Text Logo on the Left side of the Header. After this, I downloaded some icons from the Internet. You can Google to find different websites, I downloaded them from http://www.glyphlab.com. Now the final Navigational Menu looks like:


You can use different colors for the Navigational menu depending on your choice.