A Simple Process You’ll Use Often
One of the very first things I tried learning in Photoshop was how to put an image inside text. I had seen the effect before and just thought it looked amazing. Looking back, it’s a pretty basic thing to do, but for new Photoshop users, it’s not.
The trick in knowing how to put an image into text in Photoshop is using the Paste Into command. Here’s a basic tutorial showing you how to do it.
Step 1: Document Setup
First, set up your document. If you’re trying to create something specific, use those dimensions. Otherwise, you can follow along with me. Go File > New to create a new document. I’m making one that’s 1920 by 1080 pixels, with a resolution of 72 ppi since it’s for web.
Step 2: Creating Text
Once your document is open, we’re just going to jump right in. Write the text that you want to put an image into. Ideally, it would only be a word or a few words at the most. Avoid putting imagery inside large amounts of text since it can mess up legibility.
To write text, click the text tool icon on the toolbar, or hit the T on your keyboard. Then click on the page and start writing. Once you’ve written your word(s), you can adjust the font size, typeface, style, etc in the Character panel. go to Window > Character to bring it up if it isn’t already.
Try to use a thicker font or one that comes with a bold or black style. A typeface with thin lines won’t get much out of having an image inside of it. I’m using the font League Gothic, which you can get for free here.
Step 3: Preparing to Add an Image
Once you’re text is exactly how you like it, we can insert the image. First, open whatever image you want to put inside the text into Photoshop using File > Open. I’m using this image of mountains.
The image is now in a separate file, but we want to bring it into our main document. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest is just to select all, then copy the image. So, press Ctrl A (Command A on a mac) to select the image, then Ctrl C to copy it (Command C on a mac).
Then go back into your main document where you want to insert this image into text. To do this, go to the Layers panel. Go to Window > Layers if it isn’t already open. Locate your text layer, and right-click on the icon for that layer. Then click on Select Pixels. This will select the individual letters in your text.
Step 4: Pasting the Image
Next, with your text selected, go to Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into. This will copy the photo directly into your document, into a masked layer above your text. You still have your editable text layer below, although the text in your new mask layer isn’t editable anymore.
Now, with the move tool selected (V on your keyboard), and the image icon selected in your Layers panel (rather than the mask), you can move the image within the text shape.
You can now hide the original text image below the new layer to make it look at bit more crisp. To do this, just click on the eye icon on the left hand side of the Layers panel, next to each layer.
Step 5: Making Image Adjustments
Now that you have your image within your text, you can fine tune the image so the text is more legible. The mountain image I’m using is pretty lightly coloured and difficult to read on a white background. To make it show up better, I can adjust the image itself, or change the background colour to add more contrast.
I like the white background, so I’m just going to adjust the image. The image icon should still be selected in your Layers panel. Then go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. This will bring up a whole slew of adjustments to make to your image. Using the sliders, play around with whichever settings give your image the best results.
For my image, I mainly focused on the adjustments that would darken the image a bit, though I increased the clarity and texture a bit too. When you’ve completed making adjustments, hit OK.
Step 6: Linking
Now that the image within my text shows up a little better, I’m going to move it around one more time to get the image where I want it to be inside the text.
Once you’re happy with the placement of the image within the mask, you can click the blank space between the image thumbnail and the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to add a chain icon. This means the image and mask are linked together, and can now be moved as one. If you need to go back and adjust the image within the mask again, just click the chain icon again.
And that’s it! You now have an awesome image inside some text. This process can be used for basically putting any imagery inside any other shape. Practice it a lot and it will be extremely useful for all the Photoshopping you do.
You can add some more text above or below if you like, or leave it as is. I’ve added more text above and below, as well as a box, using the Rectangle Tool (U). Just to spice things up.
Putting An Image Into Text in Photoshop: In Summary
Hopefully this tutorial helped you learn how to put an image into text in Photoshop. You can make some very cool imagery by using the tools above, so enjoy!
Let me know in the comments if you want any more Photoshop tutorials like this, or more advanced ones.