Type Mask Stenciling

with 3 Comments

Type Mask Stenciling
by Jen White

Learn practical techniques while working with one of Photoshop’s nearly forgotten tools—the Type Mask Tool.

This is an ENCORE Tutorial.
It was originally released by Nannette Dalton in 2012 and is now formatted for current software here on our blog.

Step One: Open the Banner

To follow along exactly with this tutorial, download the banner I’m using.

  • Create a new 12 x 12 inch document (File > New > Blank File) at 300 ppi with a white background. (PS: Choose File > New.)
  • Download the banner by clicking on the link above.
  • Open the banner-extra-FamilyTogether-LaurenGrier.png file (File > Open) from the download.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Click and drag the banner onto the new document.

Step Two: Type a Word

  • Get the Horizontal Type Mask tool. It’s nested with the other type tools.

Why use the Type Mask tool? This tool allows you to cut words out of something without adding a type layer to your Layers panel.

  • In the Tool Options, open the Font Picker and choose a block type. I’m using Lintsec, a free font found on the web.
  • Set the Size to 72 pt and Alignment to Center.
  • On the document, click and drag out a text box around the journaling portion of the banner. To reposition the text box while dragging, press and hold the Space bar.

Note: Using a text box will keep the word horizontally centered on the banner.

Note: The document should now be filled with a red mask.

  • Type a word. I’ll type HOME.

If your word is not fitting inside the text box (or it has disappeared):

  • Press Ctrl A (Mac: Cmd A) to select all of the word.
  • In the Tool Options, adjust the Size of the type until the word fits inside the text box.

  • On the document, click once inside the text box to deselect the word (remove the highlighting).
  • Holding down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key), click and drag the top handle of the bounding box down until the text box tightly frames the word.

Note: This will vertically center the word on the banner. If the word disappears, then you’ve gone too far.

  • Click the checkmark to commit.

Step Three: Cutout the Word

To remove the stencil:

  • Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key).
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.

To keep both portions of the stencil:

  • The Horizontal Type Mask tool should still be the active tool.
  • On the document, hold down the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key) and click and drag from inside the selection outline to “cut” the stencil out and move it to a new place.
  • Press Shift Ctrl J (Mac: Shift Cmd J) to place the selection on a new layer.

I hope this has helped you to understand how the Horizontal Type Mask tool works and what it can be used for.

Here is a scrapbook page created by Nannette Dalton using this technique.

Page Credits:
Page & Photos: Nannette Dalton
Kits: Family Together by Lauren Grier, Vagabond by One Little Bird
Fonts: Combustion, Stencil STD Bold



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3 Responses

  1. Lisa
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen – what a great tip – I totally forgot about the Type Mask Tool. I’m not sure I ever really knew what to do with it before! Great tip!

  2. Barbara
    | Reply

    Thanks so much Jen for the reminder of the fun things we can do on our machines.

  3. Jessie
    | Reply

    Thanks, Jen! I haven’t done that one in a while and needed the refresher I was doing it a much harder way. I had totally forgotten about the Horizontal Type Mask! 🙂

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