Text or Type Masking for Photoshop

What is “type masking” (aka text mask), and what can you use it for? This is the process of making text from a background image or texture using Photoshop’s built-in type mask tool. It’s simple to do, but can add interest to all sorts of text or lettering.

Sample texts showing the results of type masking. TextMaskTutorial

The best fonts for using with this tool are usually wide fonts with heavy text styles. The basics are pretty simple – open the image you want to make your text from, select the text tool in photoshop holding the “T” button down until you see the options for horizontal or vertical text, and a horizontal and vertical “T” that uses a dotted line instead of solid. These “T”s with the dotted lines are the text masking tool. Click one of those.

Now, type on the image. You’ll note as soon as you click on the background image, ┬áthere’s a red covering over your background image. This is the “mask”. The letters you type will be a moving dotted line – that’s the selection. Click on the layer in the layer palette that contains the text.

Now, simply select “edit” in your photoshop menu, then select copy. And paste your text into the image you want the text for. If you’re just trying it, simply paste it onto a new later in your background image. Turn off visibility of your background layer to see your text. You can now copy this text into any new image, like a header for your website or blog.

You can download the photoshop tutorial in pdf format with images for each step along the way. Visual learners often find it easier to see the instructions in picture form, so the pdf will make it really easy to follow.