How to make a see-through to image text effect in Photoshop

This is a really simple trick to creating an ordinary photograph with some text into an engaging image. I also have a GIMP version!

See-Through Text Effect in Photoshop

1. Starting

  • Open your chosen image in Photoshop
  • Now, add a New LayerFill with a colour that matches:
  • I used a Dark Blue: 1a2932

Starting-Photograph and Colour (Click to view larger)

2. Adding Text

  • Grab the Text Tool – make a text box,  same size as image
  • Type your ‘text’ in capitals
  • Settings: Font: Gill Sans Ultra Bold, Size: 720px, Justify: Right, Spacing: 600, -100, (Dependent on image size, mine is: 4592×3506 pixels)
  • Space out your text best as possible, as shown:
  • Click the image to check settings:

Adding Text (Click to view larger)

3. Selecting

  • Now on Text layer, go Right Click –> Rasterize Layer
  • Then, go Select –> Color Range…
  • Click on text, with 0 Fuzziness:

Selecting Text (Click to view larger)

3.b. Add Vector Mask (UPDATE)

  • Select your Text Layer while holding Ctrl/Cmd:
  • Then select your Image Layer (make sure it is unlocked – double click), and Add Vector Mask:
  • Uncheck the Text Layer and make sure you have the same layer arrangement as below:
Add Vector Mask

Add Vector Mask

3.c. Create Clipping Mask (Update-thanks to Kevin)

  • Have your layers arranged in the order below: Photo, Test, Background Colour
  • Then simply, select your Image Layer (make sure it is unlocked – double click), and ‘Right Click’ > Create Clipping Mask:
  • Thanks Kevin for the detailed advice!
Create Clipping Mask on Photo

Create Clipping Mask on Photo

4. Deleting Text

  • Now, delete Text
  • Then on Colour layer: Press delete again (same selection)
  • You should now have a see-through text outline and the photograph below!

Deleting Text (Click to view larger)

That’s it!

Download the PSD!

If you get stuck anywhere just comment below!