photoshop creative

How to use Photoshop to add images to text

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
February 8, 2012

This free Photoshop tutorial shows how to add images inside text using clipping masks

Photoshop’s clipping masks are a great way of placing objects inside other objects and can be used for all sorts of wild and wonderful things.

Our example here may not be particularly wild, but it is a wonderful way of creating eye-catching titles.

The theory is simple; you begin with some type on a document. You open up a photo, copy and paste this into the type document and then use a clipping mask to make the photo appear inside the type. The most obvious use for this technique is in titles (it works especially well in digital scrapbooks) or you could create an entire image made from text and image.


Step 1 – Make your type

Create a new document and select the Type tool from the Toolbar. Go up to the Font area and click to see the available fonts and pick one that is a bit chunky (you want to see the photo, after all!). Click on your document and type your word.

text in type 1

Step 2 – Photo time

Open the photo you want to use, Select All and then Copy. Click back on your type document and Paste. It will appear above your type. Go to Layers>Create Clipping Mask and see it cling to your text. You can reposition using the Move tool.

Step 3 – Outline

To add more emphasis, double-click on the type layer to open the Layer Styles palette. Click the Stroke option at the bottom and then pick a colour and size. You can also return to the Background layer and use the Edit>Fill option to change the colour if you wish. We decided black would be more dramatic.



  • Really nice tutorial, man. I really enjoyed following the tutorial. I just was to add that you may consider doing that in a video and then uploading it to I’m sure that people will LOVE it!

  • Daryl

    A nice simple tutorial that gets professional results

  • Don

    Thanks for Posting this. it Work’s GREAT same Instructions work for Elements. except for step 3 where you have to go to Strokes.

  • teecee

    Useful, simple and understood by me so its a like.:) THANKS

  • querebin

    Woah, didn’t know it was that simple! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial!

  • Karim

    Wow ! I’m a rookie to Photoshop, but I love the program ! This tutorial was so quick and simple !! Great job !!! THANKS