I'm creating a poster with an image as background, text in the middle, and faux border that I did with just the pen tool, no fill, stroke at 10 px, black and style is watercolor brush. I want both the faux border and text's fill be the background image and the rest plain white. However, all I'm ending up with is a cut out of the border and the text and the rest of the background still there. This is what I keep ending up with This is what I keep ending up with

I would actually like the transparent part -- the text and border -- (shows as white) to be filled/clipped as the background image and the rest to just be plain white/transparent. I'm able to clip just the text, but not the faux border. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • Hi Rfourm, I've added the Adobe Illustrator tag, I assume that's the application you are using. To be clear. You want the text and the border filled with the background? A reverse of what you are currently getting?
    – Scott
    Jan 23, 2018 at 19:01
  • I'm able to do it to the text, but not to the faux border. When I do do it to the text, the border disappears.
    – Rfourm
    Jan 23, 2018 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


I would use an Opacity Mask for this, not a clipping mask.

  • Select the text and the border and choose Edit > Cut
  • Select the watercolor image and on the Transparency Panel (Window > Transparency) and click the Mask Mask button
  • Click the mask thumbnail that appears (on the right) in the Panel, and then choose Edit > Paste In Front so the pasted copy is positioned exactly in the place it was copied from.
  • Then merely adjust the Clip and Invert options in the panel to get where you want to go.
  • When you are done with the mask, click on the image thumbnail (on the left) in the Transparency panel to return to traditional editing mode (as opposed to mask editing mode)

enter image description here

To change the text or border later, select the image then you first need to click on the mask thumbnail in the Transparency Panel (to enter mask editing mode) before you can edit the mask contents.

This all uses live type and a live brushed, border. So there's no need to expand or outline anything and it's all as vector as it starts.


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