How to Customize Text Into a Photograph Using Photoshop

Below is the result of this tutorial. I show other examples of what could be done at the end:

Here I have a photograph of a cat that I’ll use in this tutorial:

The first thing I’ll do is go to the text tool in the tools palette:

When I click on the “text tool”, I’ll be able to see all of my options on the tool bar at the top of the screen. For the text font I’ll choose “Impact” and for the text size I’ll choose “400pt” and I’ll leave the rest at the default settings. This is what it looks like:

Now I’ll type in the word “CAT”. When I’m finished, I’ll click the check at the top of the screen to make the application active:

The text tool will create its own layer:

Now I’ll take the “move tool” and position the word where I want it on the photograph:

This is what it looks like at this point:

Now I’ll change the name of the background layer to unlock it. This way I’ll be able to reposition the layers. I’ll name it “Original Background”:

Next I’ll drag the top layer named “CAT” under the “Original Background”:

Now that I’ve done this, the word “CAT” is gone. That’s ok. To get the word back, all I have to do is hold the ALT key on my keyboard at the same time I’ll hover my mouse over the line between the two layers, and click. I’ll be able to see the cursor turn into a circle with a black ball in it. That’s when I’ll click:

Here the background disappeared, leaving only the text:

At this point, I’m going to give the word a drop shadow and a little bevel and emboss. At the bottom of the layer palette, I’ll click on the “Add a Layer Style” icon:

Here I’ll click on Drop Shadow:

These are my setting for the Drop Shadow:

And here are my settings for Bevel and Emboss. This part is a matter of taste. See what suites your photo. When I’m happy with my results I’ll click OK:

Now I’ll click on the “Original Layer” and hit CTRL+J on my keyboard to make a copy. Then I’ll drag the “copy” layer to the bottom of the layers stack. This is what it should look like at this point:

And this is what the photo looks like at this point:

Now I can do whatever I want to the background. I can blur it, swirl it, and paint in a color or just paint in white.

While the copy layer is active, I’ll go to Filter/Blur/Radial Blur:

Here the Radial Blur dialog box comes up. I’ll set the Amount to 77, Blur Method to “Zoom” and Quality I’ll leave at “Good”. Then I’ll click OK:

Here’s the final effect:

Here are some more examples of what you can do with this:

18 thoughts on “How to Customize Text Into a Photograph Using Photoshop”

  1. Wow! I was so excited when I saw the picture I couldn’t wait to actually do it myself. I’ll be looking for appropriate images I’ve taken. So excited!!!
    Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  2. Lorri:

    I enjoyed every minute going through your tutorial,you certainly have the gift of teaching.

    Please tell me where I can find more tutorials from your hand. If you want to know more about my other favourite hobby then look me up at Google. By the way I am 84.
    Kindest regards Eddy Taytelbaum.

  3. Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

    Hi, Eddy, I see you’re a famous magician. My daughter’s boyfriend is really into magic. He’ll get a kick out of this. What magic tricks would you recommend for a beginner?

    You can find my other tutorials by clicking the links on the right-hand side of the page, under “Recent Posts”.



  4. its a very nice effect. please help me how to create golden, sliver,bronze style.

  5. Hi, Kedir,

    If you want to change the color of the drop shadow, when you’re in the layer style dialog box, click on the black rectangle box to the right of the blend mode options. Then the “select shadow color” box will come up. Pick whatever color you want to make the drop shadow (like bronze or silver). Then click OK.


  6. Thanks again Lorri Your directions with graphics are always so clear and easy to follow You should write a book of special projects for schools

  7. This is a really nice tutorial for an awesome text/photo effect. Thank you so much for sharing your Photoshop knowledge 🙂

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