After you all helped me in my previous post with the handwritten text, helping me to erase the parchmnt and leave the text, I need help now with the next step. Please forgive me if this is simple stuff, I'm new to Photoshop and looked through different posts here but I didn't find what I'm looking for.

So basically, I want to put a scanned picture of parchment behind the text, so that it looks like it was written on this new piece of parchment. What's the best way to do this, without needing to select each and every letter of the text?

This is the black text on a white background: enter image description here

2 Answers 2


I'm guessing the text is black and its background is white. Add a level under the one with the scanned text, and place your background texture there. Then select the layer with your text and select Multiply in the layer blend mode (here, don't care about the layers shown it's just a pic I found online)
enter image description here
Then if you want you can also edit a bit the opacity % of the text level to show some of the background texture even on the text.

  • ok thnks! so i was trying to figure out how to import an image an image into my new layer (im new to this ;) . what i ended up doing, is to go into OPEN in photoshop, and open the file. then i selected the whole file CNTRL A, and then dragged it into my current image file with the text. it then automaticlaly created a new layer. i needed to resize the background file though to fit. does that sound right? thnks Jul 17, 2014 at 20:02
  • yeah you can resize it with 'cmd+T' / 'ctrl+T' and dragging one of the angles of the object to resize it. Kust remember to hold 'Shift' while dragging so it will maintain the ratio between width and height, and then you're good to go
    – tomtomtom
    Jul 18, 2014 at 8:45

Besides placing the text over a background and using multiply to have it superimpose correctly (as tomtomtom mentions), you might want to add a level of detail and have the writing a bit distorted, where the texture is. Say, there's a crease in the parchment, then it's unnatural if the writing doesn't follow that crease.

Here's how you add a Displacement map to do so.

  1. Apply your texture under your text and multiply the text layer, as per tomtomtom's answer Example: text multiplied over a texture
  2. Select all pixels in the texture layer (make sure the texture layer is selected in the layers palette)
  3. Copy (Option / Control+C)
  4. Open a new file (File > New... or Option / Control+N), and have it have dimensions equal to the pixels on your pasteboard (that's default, so OK should be, well, ok.)
  5. Paste (Option / Control+V)
  6. Revert the new file to grayscale: Image > Mode > Grayscale Example: the texture reduced to a grayscale displacement map
  7. Save the new file as a psd
  8. Go back to your original image, and select the layer with the writing. It might be an idea to convert this layer to a Smart Object, so the filter we're about to apply is a smart filter. This makes tweaking the results easier.
  9. Choose Filter > Distort > Displace... and click OK. The default settings are ok for now.
  10. Photoshop will ask you to select a psd file. Choose the grayscale file we made in step 7.
  11. Wait a bit, depeding on your resolution and CPU power. Example: the displacement map applied to the text

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