Using Photoshop to Put an Image Inside Text

For this tutorial, we'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 CC 2019 was used for these screenshots, but you should be able to follow along with other versions.

Instructions in this article applies to Photoshop CC 2019.

How to Put an Image Inside Text

  1. Open an image file in Photoshop.

    Photoshop with a circuit board image loaded.
  2. In the Layers panel, typically located at the bottom right side, double-click the layer name to make it highlighted, then type in the name image.

    Screenshot of renaming a new layer in Photoshop.
  3. In the Layers panel, select the eye icon to make the image invisible.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Eye icon of a layer highlighted
  4. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel typically located on the left side, click once on the transparent background, and type a word in capital letters. In this tutorial, we're using Lifewire.

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

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Text tool highlighted
  5. The font should be bold, so we'll choose Window > Character, and with the Horizontal Type tool selected and the text highlighted change the font in the Character panel to Arial Black or another large and bold font.

    Screenshot of the font list in Photoshop.
  6. Enter 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.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Text Size section of the Character panel highlighted
  7. Next, we need to set the tracking. Tracking adjusts the space between letters in selected text or a block of text. In the Character panel, enter -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 Metrics for Kerning field, which is to the left of the Set Tracking text field.
    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Tracking options in the Character window highlighted
  8. With the text layer selected in the Layers panel, select 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.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Free Transform command highlighted
  9. Position the Pointer tool on a bounding box handle it changes to a double-sided arrow that we can drag to scale the text. 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. Move the bounding box to center the text in the background.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with an adjustment handle highlighted
  10. The layers have to be in the correct order before we can create a clipping mask. In the Layers panel, select the square next to the image layer to reveal the eye icon, then drag the image layer to position directly above the text layer. The text will disappear behind the image.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Layers highlighted
  11. With the image layer selected, select Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt + Ctrl + G). This will put the image inside the text.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Create Clipping Mask command highlighted
  12. With the image layer selected in the Layers panel, Select the Move tool from the Tools panel. Select the image and move it around until you like how it's positioned inside the text.

    A screenshot of Photoshop with the Move tool highlighted
  13. You can now choose File > Save and call it done, or continue on to add some finishing touches. You can make a colored background, add an outline to the text, or do a variety of other effects to make the image even more interesting.

    Screenshot of saving the image in Photoshop.
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