Do you want to learn how to highlight text in Photoshop and essentially create a yellow highlighter effect? If so, you’re in the right place, so let’s get started.


I wrote a how-to post earlier this year on a Windows 10 topic. Creating the images for that post are what sparked my interest to write this article.

Check it out, it shows the highlighter effect in action.

What You Need

  • Photoshop
    • An image you want to create the effect on
    • 2 layers
      • Image Layer
      • Highlighter Layer
    • Rectangular Marquee Tool
    • Any Shade of Yellow
    • Paint Bucket Tool
    • Blending Mode: Multiply

Step 1

Open your image. I’m using the one below.

how to highlight text in photoshop

Step 2

Create a new layer. Optionally, rename it to Highlighter.

photoshop new layer photoshop rename layer

Step 3

Make sure the Highlighter layer is selected. It will be highlighted a light gray color, as shown in the image in Step 2.

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the toolbar.

photoshop rectangular marquee tool

Step 4

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, select text or a section of your image you want to be highlighted. Notice the dashed lines indicate the area you’ve selected with the Rectangular Marquee Tool.

photoshop select text

Step 5

On the toolbar, change your foreground color to a yellow color. I chose #efe100.

change foreground colorefe100

Step 6

Select the Paint Bucket Tool from the toolbar. Fill in the selection using the Paint Bucket.

photoshop paint bucket tool

photoshop paint bucket fill

FAQ: Why change the foreground color instead of the background color? When you fill in the selection created from the Rectangular Marquee Tool, the selection will fill in with the color in the foreground, not the background.

Step 7

Now, it’s time for the magic to happen. From the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode to Multiply on the Highlighter layer.

photoshop blending mode multiply

FAQ: Why use the Multiply Blending Mode? Your main goal here is to create a highlighter effect. So, you want to pick a blend mode that will create a transparency effect. Now, there are a few blend modes that could be used to achieve the same result. Choosing Multiply was my first choice, but Overlay and Darken also would have worked too.

Step 8

Highlighter effect is now complete.

photoshop highlighter effect


Something I really like about this effect is it is not only really easy, but you can do this effect using any color you want. It is also pretty fun to try out different blend modes to see some interesting and strange results.

What do you use to edit images? Are you a fan of Photoshop or something else like Gimp? Let me know!