Make a selection, select Edit>Fill> and then pick Pattern from the drop-down list. Click on the down arrow in the Custom Pattern to view the available images. Pick a pattern and click OK.
This image shows just two of the many seamless tiles available.
To load additional Patterns, click the gear icon in the upper right corner. Then click on Load Patterns and pick the group of patterns you want to add.
This screen grab shows the additional patterns that come with Photoshop.
The Presets Manager is located in Edit>Presets>Presets Manager. Pick Patterns from the Preset Type drop-down menu. Tiles can be deleted, renamed or rearranged in this menu. The small gear icon will give additional options.
Instead of using the Fill With Pattern option described above, consider using the FX layer style by clicking the “fx” icon in the lower left corner of any Layer. Pick Pattern Overlay from the list of ten options. Pick a pattern from the drop-down list. Notice the “Scale” option to resize the pattern to fit your needs.
If you study this screen grab, you can see the ten options. I used three of them here, but you can use all ten! Doubleclicking on any of the ten options brings up the adjustments for that feature. Notice that you have additional controls for the layer Mode and Opacity for the pattern.
You can fill a Layer Mask with a pattern, then add additional gradients and textures on the mask. For this illustration, I started with purple text, then added a “cloudy pattern” in the layer mask using the Edit>Fill>Pattern option. At that point, I spattered the mask with a black spatter brush and later a white spatter brush. (White reveals and black conceals in a layer mask.)
The FX layer style also works on text, along with shapes. All of the adjustments are easily editable by clicking on the effect in the Layer options. The current effects will be applied after changing the text size, font, spacing, etc. For this image, I added a drop shadow and an emboss effect on the letters while still in the FX layer style menu.
For this image, I simply made a blank layer and filled it with a pattern using the FX feature in the Layers tab. I was able to resize the pattern to fit my selection as desired.
Select some text, pick a pattern and let Illustrator cover the text with the pattern.
Any selected shape or text can be filled with a “pattern” or “texture” swatch. Instead of assigning a shape with a solid color, pick a pattern. A stroke can also be created using a pattern.
Just as you can change the color of a selection, you can easily change the pattern.
Text will remain fully editable, even after it has been filled with a pattern. Change the font, size, spacing and so forth, and the current pattern will adjust automatically to the changes.
To add pattern swatches in Illustrator, click the small “Library” icon and choose from the patterns that ship with the program. Click on the “three bar” icon in the upper right corner of the Swatches tab to Load purchased or downloaded patterns.
The newly installed patterns will appear in tabs below the standard Swatches. You can click, drag and drop patterns from the tabs below to the Swatches. Right mouse-click to close any of the tabs.

Using swatches, patterns and tiles in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

These tools make it easy to add textures and patterns to graphics

By Mike Jackson

Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

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Do you ever wish to add a texture or pattern to letters or graphics? Maybe you’ve never really needed them, but with a little time experimenting with patterns, textures and tiles, you’ll likely add them often. This is especially true if you’ve moved into the digital printing world.

Photoshop loads initially with a few default textures and patterns. However, there are a lot more that come with the program and additional patterns can be downloaded or purchased. Photoshop Patterns are usually described as either “seamless tiles” or simply “textures”. If the textures are not “seamless tiles”, you’ll see some sort of noticeable seam. Illustrator offers a similar feature, but instead loads textures and patterns as “swatches”. Swatches can be either a solid color or seamless tiles of textures or patterns.

Adding a pattern in Photoshop: Basic method The easiest method for adding a pattern in Photoshop is to make a selection, then use the pull-down menu Edit>Fill>Pattern and choose any of the installed patterns currently in the Contents pull down. Most will be either black and white or black and transparent, but some patterns are colorized. After picking a pattern, simply click the Okay button.

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Mike and Darla Jackson operate Golden Studios in Loveland, Colorado, and do a variety of sign-related projects. Mike’s website is His email address is You can see more of Mike’s photos at and

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