Photo Projects

Placing an Image in Text with Photoshop


A lot have been sharing about the Photoshop basics, but in this tutorial, we will learn how to create one of Photoshop’s most popular and classic effects – placing an image inside the text! As you can see, thanks to the power of clipping masks, placing any image inside your text with Photoshop is simple and easy.

In here, the image we’ll be using is PARIS


And at the end of this lesson we will come up with this image that will look like when placed inside text.


Step 1: Duplicate the Background Layer
We need to make a copy of this layer. Go up to the Layer menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen, choose New, and then Layer via Copy. *Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac)*


Photoshop creates a copy of the layer, names it “Layer 1”, and places it directly above the Background layer:


Step 2: Add a White Solid Color Fill Layer
Next, let us add one of Photoshop’s Solid Color Fill layers to use as the background for our effect. Click on the New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel:


Choose Solid Color from the top of the list that appears


Photoshop will open the Color Picker so we can choose the color we want to fill the layer with. We are going to use white for the background color by entering a value of 255 into the R, G and B boxes:


And because the Fill layer is sitting above both of the image layers, the document is now temporarily filled with white:

Step 3: Drag the Solid Color Fill Layer below Layer 1
We need to move the Solid Color Fill layer below Layer 1. Click on the Solid Color Fill layer (make sure you click on its little color swatch icon on the left, not the layer mask icon on the right), and with your mouse button still held down, drag the layer downward until you see a highlight bar appear between the Background layer and Layer 1:


Release your mouse button when the highlight bar appears to drop the Fill layer into place between the two image layers. Your image will reappear in the document window:

Step 4: Select Layer 1
Click on the top layer (Layer 1) in the Layers panel to select it.

Step 5: Select the Type Tool
We’re ready to add the text. Select Photoshop’s Type Tool from the Tools panel along the left of the screen. You can also select the Type Tool simply by pressing the letter T on your keyboard.

Step 6: Choose Your Font
With the Type Tool selected, go up to the Options Bar along the top of the screen and choose your font. Since the goal is to place an image within the text, generally fonts with thick letters work best. We are going to choose Black oak Std, but of course you can choose any font you like. Don’t worry about the font size for now. We will manually resize later.

Step 7: Set Your Type Color to White
This next step isn’t absolutely necessary, but to help us see the text as we are adding it, letus set the type color to white. If your type color is already set to white (or some other color you can easily see in front of your image), you can skip this step. To change the type color, click on the color swatch in the Options Bar.

Step 8: Add Your Text
With your Type Tool selected, your font chosen and your type color set to white, click inside your document and add your text. We will type the word “PARIS”

Step 9: Drag the Type Layer below Layer 1
If we look in the Layers panel, we see our newly added Type layer sitting above Layer 1, which is why the text is appearing in front of the image in the document:

We need to move it below Layer 1. Click on the Type layer and, with your mouse button still held down, drag it downward until you see a highlight bar appears between Layer 1 and the Solid Color Fill layer.
Release your mouse button when the highlight bar appears to drop the Type layer into place.

Step 10: Select Layer 1 Again
Click once again on Layer 1 to select it and make it active:

Step 11: Create a Clipping Mask
With Layer 1 selected, click on the small menu icon in the top right corner of the Layers panel.

If we look again in the Layers panel, we see that Layer 1 has been indented to the right, with a small arrow pointing down at the Type layer below it. This is how Photoshop lets us know that the Type layer is being used as a clipping mask for Layer 1.

Step 12: Select the Type Layer
Click on the Type layer to select and make it active.

Step 13: Resize and Reposition the Text
All that’s left to do now is to move and resize the type. We can do both of those things using Photoshop’s Free Transform command. With the Type layer selected, go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Free Transform. *Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+T (Win) / Command+T (Mac)*

When you are done, press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) to accept the transformation and exit out of Free Transform

Step 14: Add a Drop Shadow (Optional)
This final step is optional, but to complete the effect, I will add a drop shadow. If you want to follow along, with the Type layer still active, click on the Layer Styles icon (the “fx” icon) at the bottom of the Layers panel:

And that’s it!

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