Create A Custom Navigation Menu

Create a new document with the dimensions 600×100

Once your document is created, you can add a background color or pattern. If you have a site layout or color scheme, go ahead and put it in. For this tutorial, I will use a background I designed myself.

Create a new layer. After creating your layer, select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, and create a path in the new layer. After creating the path, right click inside the path, and select fill. Use white to fill the path.

Once you have the path filled, click on the layer in the layer palette. Then click on the “add layer style”, and choose the Gradient Overlay option. Depending on the style of your site, you’ll want different colors to be displayed. For this tutorial I chose white and a shade of blue similar to my background.

Then to make the first button stand out, you’ll want to add a drop shadow behind it. Click on the layer as you did before, and click on the “add layer style” button again, but this time click on drop shadow.

Now make as many copies as you need to fill in your menu. Make copies by dragging the button layer over the create new layer button at the bottom of the layers pallete. Once you create a new layer, click on the “move tool”, and position the button where needed.

Now that your menu buttons are laid out it’s time to add text. If you end up using a color for text that is similar to your button then to make the text stand out, put an outer glow around it. The outer glow is under the “add layer style” where the gradient overlay and drop shadow were.

This is the basic beginning to a nav menu. Beyond this it’s up to your creative mind to add the effects you think will help make it stand out better. Here is what my finished product looked like.

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