How to Create a Computer Screen Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Computer Screen Effect in Photoshop

You may have noticed recently that some of our posts have included images with a computer screen effect (or monitor effect) applied to them.  Since most everything we do here at designer hacks is digital, we thought it made a lot of sense to turn some of our screen captures into monitor displays.  Taking photos with a camera of a monitor takes up too much time and often the actual feel of a monitor gets lost in translation.

photoshop computer screen effect

Learn How to Create the Computer Screen Effect

In looking for a photoshop tutorial online that was beautiful and quick, we stumbled across Simulating a Computer Screen in Adobe Photoshop over at Layers Magazine.  The tutorial itself is free and absolutely fantastic.  We highly recommend that if you want to learn how to create this effect that you head over there and go through the motions.

Get the meat

If you want to skip the learning process and get right to making awesome images with this effect, we’re fine with that. We’re providing you with the psd template file we’ve been using to create all of our images with this computer screen effect.  Below are a quick few steps on how to use the template.

Get a screen capture

First you’re going to need to capture the current view of your screen.

On PC…
On your keyboard you will find a ‘print screen’ button.  Usually it’s towards the top right of your keyboard.  When you press it, it won’t seem like anything happened, but you actually just copied your current screen to your clipboard.
Alternatively you can use the snipping tool to capture a specific area.

print screen on pc keyboard

On Mac…
On your keyboard press Command+Shift+3 to capture your entire screen
Press Command+Shift+4 to define a specific area you wish to capture.
Either of these will prompt you for a name of the image file your computer will create. Remember where you save it!

capture screen on mac keyboard

Place Your Screen Capture

Open up the psd template file in photoshop and double click on the ‘Master’ Layer.

computer screen effect in photoshop

Double clicking on the master layer will open up another tab called Blue11.psb.  Paste your screen capture onto this tab. On PC use ctrl+v. On your Mac you’re going to need to import your saved image.

computer screen effect in photoshop

Move your image around so that what you want to see is between the blue guides.  If no guides are showing, use the tab and go to View>Show>Guides to enable them.  After everything is set, save the Blue11.psb tab and go back to the original ScreenTemplate.psd.  You’ll see that your screen capture now that your computer screen effect is complete!  Save your image and go get started on your next task!

computer screen effect in photoshop

Now that you’re creating images with this computer screen effect share them!

Leave your links below!



  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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