Published on March 12, 2023

Create a transparent text with a gradient outline

In this blog I will show you how to create a transparent text with a gradient outline in Adobe Photoshop.

Rather watch the video with instructions? Scroll down to the end of this page or click here to watch the video.

Step 1: Create file and text

First create a new file. My file is 1920 x 1080 pixels (resolution 150), but you can also use a different file size.

Also pick a background color while making the new file. I make the background black.

Then select the horizontal type tool. Pick a font and type your text. It doesn’t matter what color the text is, because we’ll make the text transparent in the next step.

When you’re done, click on the ✓ icon.

Create text

Press CTRL+T to activate free transform. You can now resize and/or move your text.

Step 2: Transparent text with gradient outline

Lower the fill of the text layer to 0%. The text is transparent now.


To create the outline, click on the fx icon and select ‘stroke‘.


You can find the settings I used in the image below. If your file has a different size, these settings might give a different result.

Adjust the size to determine the thickness of the stroke.

Select ‘gradient‘ for the fill type and click on the gradient to adjust it. Pick one of the presets or create your own gradient. I’ve created my own gradient.

If you want the gradient to go from top to bottom, make the angle 90°. To make the gradient go from left to right, make the angle 0°.

Pick a style. I used linear this time, but you can use any style you like.

Stroke settings

Optional: Adjust tracking

As you can see in the image above, the R and the A are touching each other after adding the outline. I will now show you how to fix that.

Select the horizontal type tool. Then select the first letter that’s touching the other letter. So in this case only select the R. If you select both the R and the A, the space between the A and the D will increase too.

Then increase the tracking until there’s enough space between the letters. If more letters are touching, repeat this process. And again, make sure you only select the first of the touching letters!


And that’s how you create a transparent text with a gradient outline in Adobe Photoshop!

If you look at the image below, you’ll see that I’ve created 2 different gradients. I used an angle of 0° for the first word and an angle of 90° for the second. To create 2 different types of gradients, you simply create a new text layer for the second word/text line. Then you repeat the process. You can also use this to create different colored gradients or gradients with a different style.

Transparent text with gradient outline

Learn more about Photoshop

Want to learn more about editing in Adobe Photoshop? Check out my other blogs or take a look at my YouTube channel

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