Photoshop: how to create buttons that look "subtly pushed"?


Any ideas how can I create "subtly pushed" buttons like the "Active filter" buttons in the following screenshot?

Mockup with subtly pushed buttons

The mockup is from here.

UPDATE: Here's what I have got so far:

Current status

12/26/2012 3:50:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Try using an Inner Shadow Layer Style:

Inner Shadow Layer Style

You can tweak the size and opacity to adjust how subtle you want the effect to be

Pressed Button

Edit-- How to closely replicate the example:

Taking a very close look at the example, it "pops out" using 3 features:


  1. An inner shadow to give the button depth
  2. A white drop shadow to give the foreground depth
  3. A gradient stroke to give the button more depth

I used the following layer style settings to try and recreate the example as close as possible (in addition to a Gradient Overlay of course):

Layer Styles

The Result:


12/26/2012 5:19:00 PM

This is a fairly simple CSS button being replicated in PSD. I believe what John was seeing as an inner shadow is actually just a mis-aligned pixel.

Here are the basic ingredients:

  1. Dark outer border
  2. Medium to light gradient (same hue as the border)
  3. Text shadow shifted down 1px using the border color

The "remove" button looking debossed in the button provides further illusion of depth.

To improve the 3D affect of the styling, I would make a change to the text shadow. If the text is empressed into the button and not sitting on it, the shadow would be shifted in the opposite direction.

enter image description here