Using the Type Mask Tool

Nested in with the Type tool are the Horizontal and the Vertical Type Mask tools.  Both Mask tools function in the same way, the exception being the orientation of the type.

Today let’s work with the Horizontal Type Mask tool and cut some text from a paper.  I will be working in Photoshop CC2015.  The Mask tools are included in Photoshop Elements, and work in the same way as in Photoshop.

1. Open the document from which you would like to cut your text. (Document must be rasterized in Photoshop, or simplified in Photoshop Elements.) I would like to cut a word title from this ledger paper.

2. Click on the Horizontal Mask Type Tool in the left toolbar to make it active.  In the top Menu Options, select: a) font, b) font size, c) left justify; d) font color.

3. Click on your document (in this example, the ledger paper), and type a word.  A red mask will be placed over the entire document.   You may move your selection, by clicking and dragging outside of the type. Once you are happy with your word and word placement, click on the check mark in the top Options Bar to commit your choice.

4. Once your choice is committed, the mask will disappear, and you will see “marching ants” around your word, letting you know that it is selected.

5. At this point you have several options:

  • If you just want the word cut out of the ledger paper and do not want to use the ledger paper: Hit Control+J and the selection will be placed on its own layer, ready for use.  Turn off the visibility of the ledger paper, or delete it.

  • If you want the word and the ledger paper with the word cut-out of it: When you see the marching ants, indicating the selection of your letters, click inside the section and move the word where you would like it to be on your document, then commit.

Doing it this way, both the word and the ledger are still on the same layer, which restricts your options for moving these objects independently from each other.

  • If you would like the word on its own layer and the ledger paper (which now has this great word cut-out in it) on its own layer, so you get the most flexibility, follow steps #1-4 above.
    • Once you see the marching ants around your selection, making sure you have the ledger journal layer active, hit Control + J to copy your word selection onto its own layer.
    • Hold down Control and click on the thumbnail of your copied text to select it.
    • Click on the ledger paper to make it the active layer.
    • Hit delete. This will delete the text from the ledger paper, leaving you with the text cut-out on one layer, and the ledger (with the cut out visible) on another layer.
    • Hit Control + D to deselect the text on the ledger paper.
  • If you want the word cut out on its own layer, and the ledger paper intact (no cutouts): After you hit Control + J as noted above, hit Control + D to deselect the text. This will leave your ledger paper in its original condition.

The Text Mask gives us a lot of creative choices!

And here are 2 layouts, the first using the word cut-out; the second using the ledger paper.

It’s always fun to have options!

 Papers and elements used in this tutorial are from Chart Your Course.  Whether you are mapping out your vacation, or mapping out your life, making the right choices for YOU is critical to your general happiness and well-being. Renee, a member of my Creative Team, has made the choice to travel to Africa in October!  I thank her for allowing me to share her Chart Your Course layout.  Her page will serve as the vacation album Cover Page from her trip.
You may also watch this tutorial on  the Karen Schulz Designs YouTube here:  Using the Type Mask Tool
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