Variations on ...

Putting an Image into Type

Previously in the Cookie Cutter method, you made the type an active selection, then moved to another layer; inverted the selection to select the background leaving the type in tact; then deleted all of the background image leaving the remaining background in the shape of the type. But there are many other things you can do once that type is an active selection.

Fill it with White

Rather than hitting DELETE...
* Click the "New Layer" button on the Layers Palette
* Press "D" (to set default colors,) then "X" (to make white the foreground color)
* Option/Delete (Alt/Delete)

Now you've filled the background of a new, empty layer with the foreground color... perhaps white. You'll see everything is white except the type, leaving the shape of the type as a hole through which you can see the background. The advantage of this is that the image filling the type is left untouched.

Previously you learned the "Paste Into" method." Well, with that active selection INVERTED, rather than filling with white, you could have pasted another background (previously copied) into the active selection! Or created a new layer to Paste Into leaving the original image untouched.

Active Selection to Adjustment Layer

Here's another twist. Let's say you don't want to completely remove the background, but rather make further processes on it. That's easily handled with a new adjustment layer.

Let's walk through it:

  • 1) Cmd/Click (Ctrl/Click) the type layer = makes an active selection
  • 2) Choose: Select > Inverse = inverts the selection
  • 3) Click the IMAGE layer in the Layers Palette to make it the active layer

Now, Choose: Layers > New Adjustment Layer and pick the flavor you wish.

In this example we selected the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer so we could gray out the background of the image leaving color only within our type selection. Remember, you inverted the selection, so this new adjustment layer is going to act on the background, not the letters.

new adjustment layer With the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer dialog active we simply slide the Saturation slider to the left to de-saturate the image until it looks good.

Notice also we have moved the Lightness slider to the right to further lighten the grayscale portions of the image within the still active selection. We could have just as easily changed hue, or even clicked the "Colorize" button to give the background a duotone effect. As we said before, the options are almost limitless.

Keep that window open for a moment and observe that the Layers Palette has now grown yet another layer. And, as you learned on the previous page, the two thumbnails are locked together as indicated by the little chain link icon. As before you can click that chain link and unlock the Hue/Saturation mask from the image. Clicking either thumbnail lets you edit the active one leaving the other alone. Click the link again, and they're re-locked and any changes affect both.

As with all adjustment layers, you can double-click the mask thumbnail to recall the Hue/Saturation dialog and change the image again and again.

Many ways to achieve the results you want...

So, in this tutorial, you've learned to put an image into type -- four different ways, plus you've learned eight other essential skills in Photoshop. Most of these steps work just as well in Photoshop Elements as well as earlier versions of Photoshop back as far as version 5.5. So, you really don't have to agonize over buying Photoshop CS if you're not ready!

The essential lesson here is a selection can be acted upon in many, many ways -- like filling type with an image. But there are other built-in tricks too, like the "Clipping Group" command -- which achieves the same end results, but just takes some of the steps out of the process.

Remember, if you need help, or you'd like a specific tutorial just post your questions or emergencies at the Photoshop 911 Emergency Room. If you've got a question, chances are many others have the same question.

That's it for today -- happy Photoshopping...

thanks for reading

Fred Showker

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