Using Photoshop to Put an Image Inside Text

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Using Photoshop to Put an Image Inside Text

Image Inside Text
Put an Image Inside Text with Photoshop. Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

For this tutorial I'll be using Photoshop to put an image inside text. It requires a clipping mask, which is easy to make once you know how. Photoshop CS4 was used for these screen shots, but you should be able to follow along with other versions.

To begin, right click on the below link to save a practice file to your computer, then open the image in Photoshop.

Practice File: STgolf-practicefile.png
Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

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Name the Layer

Name the Layer
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

In the Layers panel, I will double-click the layer name to make it highlighted, then type in the name, "image."

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Add Text

Add Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

In the Layers Panel, I will click on the eye icon to make the image invisible. I'll then select the Text tool from the Tools panel, click once on the transparent background, and type the word "GOLF" in capital letters.

For now, it doesn't matter what font I use or its size, since I will change these things in the steps ahead. And, it doesn't matter what color the font is when creating a clipping mask.

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Change the Font

Change the Font
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

The font should be bold, so I'll choose Window > Character, and with the Text tool selected and the text highlighted I'll change the font in the Character panel to Arial Black. You can choose this font or one that's similar.

I'll type "100 pt" in the font size text field. Don't worry if your text runs off the sides of the background, since the next step will fix this.

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Set the Tracking

Set the Tracking
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Tracking adjusts the space between letters in selected text or a block of text. In the Character panel, I will type -150 into the set tracking text field. Though, you can type in different numbers, until the space between the letters is to your liking.

If you want to adjust the space between two letters only, you can use kerning. To adjust kerning, place an insertion point between the two letters and set a value in the set kerning text field, which is to the left of the set tracking text field.

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Free Transform

Free Transform
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

With the text layer selected in the layers panel, I will choose Edit > Free Transform. The keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl + T on a PC, and Command + T on a Mac. A bounding box will surround the text.

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Scale the Text

Scale the Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

When I position the Pointer tool on a bounding box handle it changes to a double-sided arrow that I can drag to scale the text. I'll drag the bottom right corner handle downward and outward, until the text nearly fills the transparent background.

If desired, you can constrain the scale by holding down the Shift key as you drag. And, you can click and drag inside the bounding box to move it where you like. I will move the bounding box to center the text on the background.

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Move Image Layer

Move Image Layer
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

The layers have to be in the correct order before I can create a clipping mask. In the Layers panel, I will click on the square next to the image layer to reveal the eye icon, then drag the image layer to position it directly above the text layer. The text will disappear behind the image.

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Clipping Mask

Clipping Mask
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

With the image layer selected, I will choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask. This will put the image inside the text.

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Move Image

Move Image
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

With the image layer selected in the Layers panel, I will select the Move tool from the Tools panel. I'll click on the image and move it around until I like how it's positioned inside the text.

You can now choose File > Save and call it done, or continue on to add some finishing touches.

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Outline the Text

Outline the Text
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

I want to outline the text. I'll open the Layer Style window by choosing Layer > Layer Style > Stroke.

Know that there are other ways to open the Layer Style window. You can double click the text layer, or with the text layer selected click the layer style icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel and choose Stroke.

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Adjust Settings

Adjust Settings
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

In the Layer Style window, I will check "Stroke" and make the size 3, choose "Outside" for the position and "Normal" for the Blend Mode, then move the Opacity slider to the far right to make it 100 percent. Next, I'll click on the color box. A window will appear that allows me to select a stroke color.

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Select a Stroke Color

Select a Stroke Color
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

I will click on the color slider, or move the color slider triangle up or down until I like what I see in the Color field. I'll move the circular marker within the Color field and click to select a stroke color. I'll click OK, and click OK again.

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Create a New Layer

Create a New Layer
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

I would leave the background transparent if the text was needed for various applications - such as a brochure, magazine advertisement, and web page - since each could have dissimilar backgrounds that might not match my background color. For this tutorial, however, I will fill the background with a color so that you can better see the outlined text.

In the Layers panel, I will click on the Create New Layer icon. I'll click and drag the new layer down under the other layers, double-click the layer name to highlight it, then type in the name, "background."

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Select a Background Color

Select a Background Color
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

With the background layer selected, I will click on the foreground color selection box within the Tools panel, since Photoshop uses the foreground color to paint, fill, and stoke selections.

From the Color Picker, I will click on the color slider, or move the color slider triangle up or down until I like what I see in the Color field. I'll move the circular marker within the Color field and click to select a color, then click OK.

Another way to indicate a color using the Color Picker is to type in a HSB, RGB, Lab, or CMYK number, or by specifying a hexadecimal value.

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Color the Background

Color the Background
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

With the background layer still selected, and the Paint Bucket tool selected from the Tools panel, I will click on the transparent background to fill it with color.

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Save the Finished Image

The Finished Image
Text and screen shots © Sandra Trainor. Photo © Bruce King, used with permission.

Here's the end result; an image inside outlined text on a background color. Choose File > Save, and it's done!