Quick Tip: How to Use Transparent Halftone Patterns

Earlier this week I offered a set of Transparent Halftone Patterns, and today I am going to explain a couple of ways you can use them. They are simply an alternative to a solid black transparency, and add a little texture and interest while on the practical side, they enhance the visibility of text over an image.

Quick Tip: How to Use Transparent Halftone Patterns

Step 1

Open the image you wish to work with. For the purposes of this tutorial I found an image of a lighthouse at freeimages.com, which is very light in color, so will illustrate the effect well.

Again, for the purposes of this tutorial I reduced the size of the image to 600px x 450px – if you are using larger images you may have to adjust some settings, but you can use these patterns on any size image.

Step 2

Duplicate the background layer.

Double click on the new layer to bring up the blending options and select Pattern Overlay.

Select the pixel pattern you require – you will probably need to go through them to find out which one works best on your image.

For my image at 600px wide, I used Transparency-8.

I then reduced the opacity to 60%.

Transparency Overlay

Step 3

Now to test the readability of thin, white type placed over this transparency layer.

I used Existence Light, size 60pt.

Here you can see the before and after:

Text Before and After Transparency

And here is the final result:


You can also add a new layer instead of duplicating the background layer and fill this layer with the pattern – then you can add a color overlay in the blending options to change the color of your overlay, and here are a couple of examples:

White Transparency

Red Transparency

I hope this tutorial has helped!


I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).

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