How to Put Text over a Picture with Clipping Masks

How to Put Text over a Picture with Clipping Masks

Make a text mask with photo editor

Because there’s always a new text and image combination, and because life’s too short for boring photos, we did this. You’ve probably heard it described several ways:

Make an image come through text.
Clipping mask with text.
Image as font.
Crop an image with words.
Make an image in the shape of letters.
Put see-through text over your image.
Place an image inside of text.

In the interest of brevity and world domination, we’re calling it a

text mask

Here’s how it works:

1. Pick the image you want to fill your text

. Note the image dimensions, or at least general size. You’ll want it to be roughly as large as your finished product, otherwise you may lose quality by stretching it.

2. Open a canvas in Design

. If you want your finished project to be the exact size of your fill image or you have specific dimensions in mind, make a Custom canvas.

PicMonkey Text Mask

3. Make your canvas white

and consider step three aced.

Use PicMonkey Clipping Masks

4. Add text

, shapes, or anything else you want to be filled with your image. Everything you add needs to be black. We’re going for lots of chunky text (the Ultra typeface) to create as many openings for the image as possible.

5. Flatten your image

by clicking the Combine button in the top toolbar. This is the most important step. If you want more of your image to show, you can use the Draw tool in the Effects tab to fill in the enclosed spaces of your letters (a.k.a. counters). Just make sure you’re drawing black!

Combine for Text Mask Clipping

6. Open your image

. Go to the Overlays tab (butterfly icon), and click Your Own. Your image will be tiny, but all you need to do is drag the resize handles to bring it to the size of your text.

Expand Overlay Photo editor text

7. Set the Blend mode to Lighten

. You’ll find this option in your image’s Overlay palette.

Use PicMonkey for Text Masks Blending

BONUS TIP: If you want a black canvas, you can totally do that. Just make sure your text and shapes are white, and that you set the Blend mode to Darken. Try it with pictures of the stars!

BONUSER TIP: Use a grid to help align your schtuff. Any large grid will do, but we often use this one. Open the grid as your own overlay, and drag the image’s resize handles to make it as big as your canvas.

Right click the overlay to pull up the context menu, then click Send to back. This’ll keep it out of your way.

Send to back of text

 Pin it for later!

PicMonkey Text Mask

Pretty amazing, right? Go full amazing by upgrading to Royale.


This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make good pictures and take over the world.