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Chapter 23. Using Basic Tools in Elements > Using the Type Mask Tools

Using the Type Mask Tools

Photoshop's Type Mask tools are fun to use and can create some really cool effects. Unlike the horizontal and vertical Type tools, which create type that you can fill with color, the Type Mask tools create a selection in the shape of the type, which you can fill with an image or pattern. You can also use the Type Mask tools to punch type out of a picture (leaving a blank area in the shape of the type) or to mask the rest of the picture (leaving nothing but letters filled with the picture). Half the battle is finding a picture to work with. The other half is finding a nice fat typeface that leaves plenty of room for your picture to show through. Let's try filling some type.

To use the Type Mask tool, first select it. Set your font, size, and any other options you like. Faux Bold is often useful here, as big bold letters work best as cutouts. When you position the cursor and start to place the letters, something surprising happens. The screen goes into Mask mode and turns pink. As you enter the letters, they appear to be in a contrasting color, but when you finish typing and deselect the Type Mask tool, they turn into paths and the temporary mask goes away. Figure 23.42 shows how this looks onscreen. Don't forget that this is essentially another selection tool, rather than a Type tool, so you won't be working on a type layer. Your letters appear on whatever layer is selected.


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