Creating Text Effects Using Type Masks

Sometimes the text effects you want to create are better done with a type selection, not the actual, editable type. The Horizontal and Vertical Type Mask tools let you enter text, which is automatically converted to a selection in the shape of type. Since it's a selection, you can do everything you can do to any other selectionyou can paint or fill the type or transform its geometry by skewing it or applying perspective. Unlike the previous type tools discussed, the type mask tools do not create a unique layer. The type selection appears on whichever layer you have active at the time you use this tool. The bottom line: a type selection is just like any other selection, but in the shape of text.

To create a selection with the type mask tools


Make sure that your active layer is the one where you want the text selection to appear (Figure 9.45).

Figure 9.45. To create a type mask, first select the layer you want it to appear on.


Select either the Horizontal or Vertical Type Mask tool (Figure 9.46).

Figure 9.46. You can choose either the Horizontal or Vertical Type Mask tool.


Set the type options (such as font, style, or size) on the options bar.


Enter text on the image by either clicking or clicking and dragging.

The text will appear reversed out of the colored mask overlay (Figure 9.47).

Figure 9.47. Your type appears reversed out of the colored mask.


Confirm your text selection by clicking the Commit any current edits check mark on the options bar.

Your text area is selected (Figure 9.48).

Figure 9.48. After you confirm the type, it appears as a selection with the typical selection border.

You can now apply additional changes to the selection.


  • Up until the moment you click the Commit icon, you can edit your type masks (change their font, size, line spacing, and alignment) just as you would any other line or paragraph of type.

  • You can move a text selection around in the image window as if it was any other selection. Once you click the Commit icon, select any of the marquee selection tools from the toolbox. Move the cursor over your text selection until it becomes the Move Selection icon. Then you can click and drag to reposition your text selection.

To fill a text selection with an image


Create a text selection following the steps in the preceding task.

Be sure to position the selection over the image that you want to show through the text.


Copy the selection to the clipboard (Figure 9.49).

Figure 9.49. To fill a selection with an image, first copy the selection to the clipboard.


From the File menu, choose New > Image from Clipboard (Figure 9.50).

Figure 9.50. When you select File > New > Image from Clipboard, a new file is created that contains your text selection.

Your text selection appears in its own file, with the image peeking through (Figure 9.51).

Figure 9.51. You can create all sorts of interesting text effects by filling type with images.

To apply a gradient to a text selection


Create a text selection following the steps in the task "To create a selection with the type mask tools" (Figure 9.52).

Figure 9.52. To fill text with a gradient, start by making a type selection.


Click the Gradient tool on the toolbar and choose any gradient style on the options bar (Figure 9.53).

Figure 9.53. Click the Gradient tool on the toolbar and then choose a gradient.


Drag across your text selection to establish the direction of the gradient (Figure 9.54).

Figure 9.54. Drag in the direction you want the gradient to appear inside your type.


Deselect the text selection.

Your text now appears with the gradient fill (Figure 9.55).

Figure 9.55. This example uses the Linear gradient.

Photoshop Elements 4 for Windows. Visual QuickStart Guide
Photoshop Elements 4 for Windows (Visual Quickstart Guide)
ISBN: 0321423356
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 178 © 2008-2017.
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