Using Text as a Mask in Photoshop

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Applying a text mask to an image in Photoshop is not as hard as you might think as can be found in this guide. In the guide I've used Adobe Photoshop CS2, but it should work in other versions too.

A question I've been asked by a few visitors recently is how to use text as a mask, thankfully it's not that complicated a task and so is very quick and easy to understand. The first thing to do is to get your image and make sure it is not locked, or is not a background layer. For this example I've just used a picture of some water from stock.xchng.

Step 1

Now the next step is to use the Text Mask tool (press T, or press and hold on the T icon in the toolbar).

Step 2

You'll notice that the image turns a pinkish shade of red, but don't worry, this is so you can see where your mask will lie. Now click on the image and type your text, and when you're done use the Marquee selection tool to move it if you don't get it in the right place. Using the move tool will not work as expected.

Step 3

When you've done, make sure you layer is selected, and then click the "Add Layer Mask" button at the bottom of the layers palette.

Step 4

And as you can see it's all done, and wasn't that hard!

your comments - Post a comment


Thanks so much - Simple and it works great.

Anonymous commented 12 years ago

i dont like it

Anonymous commented 11 years ago

Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous commented 11 years ago

Where's the "Marquee selection tool"?

Josh commented 10 years ago

Text Cutout
How can I get a text cutout in a layer.I need to be able to see the background through the text shape cutout and stii be able to change the text. Thank you

andrei commented 9 years ago
David G. Paul

I would say the easiest way is to add your text to a new layer, select the text, and then click on the layer you want to remove the shape from and press delete.

David G. Paul commented 9 years ago
Bruce McGoose

I was looking for a way to do this today, and the least destructive easy method I found, was to create a layer mask on the image to be masked.

create a text layer
right click that layer and make a work path..
then in paths, right click that path and make a selection..

go to the layer mask
(invert selection if needed)
and paint your black/white/whatever in the selection.

Bruce McGoose commented 9 years ago
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