This quick little tutorial will teach you how to use clipping masks to add images behind text to create beautiful word art, using Photoshop Elements 11! A great way to make blog headers, Facebook ads and fun cards or other gifts for family and friends!
Step 1: Create a new image document using the command Ctrl/Cmnd + N or File > New > Blank File. I usually set up a simple 4 x 6 canvas at 300 pixel per inch (not per centimeter – be careful to select the correct setting).
Step 2: Select the text tool. Choose a font that has relatively thick lines so that you will be able to see the image behind the text in the end. Apply your text to the document, sizing and spacing as necessary. The color of the text doesn’t matter but black is usually easiest to work with in this case. And remember, if you want different images behind each word, make sure you make a separate layer for each word.
Step 3: Making sure you have the desired text layer active, use Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + N to create a new layer. The most important thing to remember when creating this layer to ensure that the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” box is checked. Once the layer is created, you will see a new layer with a transparent checkered background that is slightly indented with an arrow pointing to the layer below.
Step 4: Now that you have your clipping mask layer created, use File > Place to add an image to the layer. You will see that the image is bounded by the text and you can move it within the space of the text to change what is revealed through the text shape. Make sure that you don’t move the image too far or you will have blank spots in your text fill!
Step 5: To add definition to your image text, you can add a simple effect called a “stroke”, a fine line that borders the text. To begin, make sure the appropriate text layer is highlighted and then click on the “FX” tab at the bottom of the panel. At the top of the FX menu, choose the “Styles” tab and then use the drop down menu to select “Strokes”. Choose any of the available stroke options and apply by right-clicking over it and choosing “Apply to Document.”
Step 6: Refine your stroke by double-clicking on theFX icon that is now on the text layer. In this dialogue you can change both the size and the color of the stroke. You can stick with a simple black stroke or once you are in the color dialogue, you can hover the mouse over the image making the eye dropper tool appear,which will allow you to choose a complementary color from the image!
Step 7: I chose to finish my word art with a colored border, which I created by simply choosing Image > Resize > Canvas Size and extending the canvas by 5% on each edge. I chose my canvas extension color by selecting a sample color from the image. And that’s all! You now can create fabulous word art using your images for a neat twist!