How To Place Text Behind An Image in Photoshop Quick and simple way to place any text behind (part) of your photo

In this video Justin McDonough (from dunnadidit) demonstrates how you can easily add text behind any image in Photoshop.

Putting text behind part of an image can be a great way to make a cover photo for YouTube, a magazine cover or just a cool looking commercial. But is there a simple quick way of putting the text behind your image in a way that will look natural? well, the answer is yes (it will depend to an extent on the specific image) and this is exactly what McDonough shows in this video.

After opening your image in Photoshop and adding your text in a new layer what you need to do is select your subject that you want to be in front of your text (it is a good idea to turn off the text layer so it won’t get in the way).

There are many ways by which you can select and mask in Photoshop. For this demo McDonough simply uses the (relatively) new Photoshop “select subject” which typically does a sort of an O.K. job with people but if your image has a different subject you might need to do a little more manual work by selecting your subject with the “quick selection tool” (the select subject is found in the top bar of Photoshop when you are set to the “quick select tool”.

You might need to fix the “select subject” a bit as it is almost never perfect (use the alt key to subtract the selection) and after you are done go to the text layer and choose to add a mask while you press the alt key – this will bring your text behind your selection (and again you can now go and fix some stuff (just paint with a white brush on your layer mask – use a soft/hard brush as needed). That’s it!

This is not the first time that we are looking at blending images and text. Nathaniel Dodson published “5 Different Ways to Blend Text into Your Photos in Photoshop” a while back and Aaron Nace from Phlearn “How to Place an Image in Text in Photoshop“.

McDonough uses the “select subject” for this video although you can certainly use any other selection tool in Photoshop that works for you. After you

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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