Put an Image or Photo Into Text with Photoshop Elements

01
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Open Image and Convert Background to a Layer

Convert Background to a Layer
© Sue Chastain

You may have seen the text effect where a photo or other image is used to fill a block of text. This effect is easy to do with the layer grouping feature in Photoshop Elements. Old timers may know this technique as a clipping path. In this tutorial you'll work with the type tool, layers, adjustment layers, and layer styles.

I have used Photoshop Elements 6 for these instructions, but this technique should work in older versions as well. If you are using an older version, your palettes may be arranged a little differently than what is shown here.

Let's begin:

Open Photoshop Elements in Full Edit Mode.

Open the photo or image you'd like to use as the fill for your text. For simplicity, I am using one of the free patterns offered on this site.

For this effect, we need to convert the background to a layer, because we will be adding a new layer to be the background.

To convert the background to a layer, double click on the background layer in the layer's palette. (Window > Layers if your layers palette is not already open.) Name the layer "Fill Layer" then click OK.

Note: It is not necessary to name the layer, but as you start working more with layers it helps to keep them organized if you add descriptive names.

02
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Add New Color Adjustment Layer

Add New Color Adjustment Layer
© Sue Chastain

On the layers palette, click the button for a new adjustment layer, then choose solid color.

The color picker will appear for you to choose a color for the layer's fill. Choose any color you like. I am choosing a pastel green, similar to the green in my plaid image. You will be able to change this color later.

03
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Move and Hide Layers

Move and Hide Layers
© Sue Chastain

Drag the new color fill layer below the fill layer.

Click the eye icon on the Fill Layer to temporarily hide it.

04
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Set Up the Type Tool

Set Up the Type Tool
© Sue Chastain

Select the Type tool from the toolbox. Set up your type from the options bar by choosing a font, large type size, and alignment.

Choose a heavy, bold font for the best use of this effect.

The text color does not matter since the image will become the text fill.

05
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Add and Position the Text

Add and Position the Text
© Sue Chastain

Click within the image, type your text, and accept it by clicking the green checkmark. Switch to the move tool and resize or reposition the text as desired.

06
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Create Clipping Path from Layer

Create Clipping Path from Layer
© Sue Chastain

Now go to the layers palette and make the Fill layer visible again and click on the Fill layer to make it selected. Go to Layer > Group with Previous, or press Ctrl-G.

This causes the layer below to become a clipping path for the layer above, so now it appears that the plaid is filling the text.

Next you can add some effects to make the type stand out.

07
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Add Drop Shadow

Add Drop Shadow
© Sue Chastain

Click back onto the type layer in the layers palette. This is where we want to apply the effects because the plaid layer is just acting as a fill.

In the Effects palette (Window > Effects if you don't have it open) select the second button for layer styles, choose drop shadows, then double click the "Soft Edge" thumbnail to apply it.

08
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Open Style Settings

Open Style Settings
© Sue Chastain

Now double click the fx icon on the text layer to modify the style settings.

09
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Add Stroke Effect

Add Stroke Effect
© Sue Chastain

Add a stroke in a size and style that compliments your image. Adjust the drop shadow or other styles settings, if desired.

10
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Change Background

Change Background
© Sue Chastain

Lastly, you can change the background fill color by double clicking the "Color Fill" layer's layer thumbnail and choosing a new color.

Your text layer also remains editable so you can change the text, resize it, or move it and the effects will conform to your changes.

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