[XeTeX] Could Adobe Photoshop's "blending options" for text be supported in a future {Pdf|Xe}TeX variant

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Thu Apr 5 00:39:25 CEST 2018

Hi Phil.

On Apr 5, 2018, at 4:38 AM, Philip Taylor (RHUoL) <P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk<mailto:P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk>> wrote:

I have been playing with Adobe Photoshop's "blending options" for text recently, adding a gold or metallic texture to otherwise plain text.  The results are visually very striking, and I therefore began to wonder whether similar functionality might one day be added to Pdf/XeTeX, in the former case natively and in the latter case via \specials and an extended (x)dvipdfm(x) driver.

Three examples of the sorts of effect I have in mind can be seen at :

  *   https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7a1383rb1dx2vp/Ao%20dais.pdf?dl=0
  *   https://www.dropbox.com/s/7s6s7n9w8popiyg/MENU%20001%20new%20ellipse.pdf?dl=0
  *   https://www.dropbox.com/s/smmcjy9zuuxa1nu/MENU%20001%20%28metallic%20gold%20text%20demo%29.pdf?dl=0

I would be interested in others' reactions to this.

These are using PDF’s concept of “Text Rendering” modes.
In particular  7 Tr   meaning mode 7,
which uses the outlines of characters to be the clipping path for an underlying graphic.
Thus the letter shapes restrict what parts of the graphic come shining through.

This is essentially already available with pdfTeX; viz.


There is one part missing:  how to make the underlying graphic correctly?
e.g., to have letters looking like they are embossed, or standing out in 3D, etc.

You need to construct the desired view in an image, and then place the actual characters,
with appropriate rendering mode, exactly over that image so that only the desired parts are shown.
This requires external image-processing software, which is what you paid Adobe to do with Photoshop.

Philip Taylor

Hope this helps.


Dr Ross Moore

Mathematics Dept | 12 Wally’s Walk, 734
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

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