I'm not sure if this is even possible in Photoshop, but thought I'd ask.

So below I have my image that will be exported with a transparent background. For this example though, I've made it black.

enter image description here

What I want to do is add a stroke to the word idea that acts as a mask for anything below it. The outcome would look like the below, but obviously the black areas should be transparent (for this example I just added a black stroke to show the

enter image description here

What I've been previously doing is selecting the word idea, expanding it by X pixels, rasterizing the layers below, and then deleting the shape of the expanded area. The problem is that this is destructive, and if i have to change anything, I need to redo it all over again.


2 Answers 2


Make the stroke into essentially a "green screen" whatever color makes sense and isn't in the rest of your image.

enter image description here

Convert the text to a smart object. Use the Blending mode to knockout that color.

enter image description here


Instead of applying the mask to a rasterized version of the layers, you can apply it on a Group folder in the Layers palette. This way any layer placed in that folder with be affected by the mask.

  • That's fine, however if I want to move the work idea, the stroked mask doesn't follow it
    – K20GH
    Nov 22, 2017 at 15:10
  • So you want to move just the mask and the text layer? You could move the mask on the text layer, link them and move them. Then put the mask back on the group folder. Or you could delete the mask, modify the text layer and create a new mask. Nov 22, 2017 at 15:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.