I have two layers in my project. I have one that is the background composed of a picture. The foreground is a merged layer that contained text and two images. What I want to accomplish is to have the foreground be transparent, meaning what ever background i put behind the two layers I have now, I will be able to see through the outline of my foreground layer. The goal is to use the graphic in a video and have the video show through. I have an example of what I want below:

enter image description here

(This image is from a video that explains how to get the outcome I want from a text area, but not a layer.)

I'm trying to accomplish this is Photoshop. I've tried making a clipping mask, but that wasn't helping me out. I tried to use the magic wand tool to select my layer that I wanted to cut out, but I can't get anything to work. The video tutorials I've looked up all base their examples on text layers, and not normal layers, which is what I'm trying to do.

  • Knowing what software you are using would help. Have you tried anything?
    – Scott
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 19:31
  • Scott -- Sorry, I updated the post. Commented May 10, 2015 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


It's basically 2 layers...

  1. Your shape with text
  2. The photo

To create the shape layer you just create a layer of whatever you want then add a mask to the layer to remove pieces you do not want.

For example....

I've created a layer with a circle. Then set that layer to 50% opacity.

I then created a text layer.

I Ctrl/Command-clicked the text layer thumbnail in the Layers Panel to load it as a selection. Then highlighted the circle layer and clicked the New Mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. I then inverted the mask (Image > Adjustments > Invert) You can then turn off visibility for the text layer.

If you want the text to have some opacity setting to it, like in your example. With the mask thumbnail highlighted in the Layers Panel, Ctrl/Command-click the text layer again and then choose Edit > Fill from the menu and choose black with a percentage. The higher the percentage the more opaque the text will be. So, if you want just a subtle indication of transparency, use higher percentages such as 70% or 80%.

enter image description here

Now I can place any photo under that layer and it achieves the same appearance...

enter image description here
enter image description here

If you need just the transparency, simply save the masked, shape layer by itself as a PNG24 image. Or remove all other layers and save a .psd.


This effect can be achieved by using Layer Masks

1) Draw a circle

2) Then place your text inside the circle on another layer

3) Ctrl + Click on the text layer to get selection around it

4) Keep the selection and Just click on the Circle layer in the layers panel to select the layer

5) Inverse your selection and then click on the Mask Icon in the layers panel at the bottom

6) Change Opacity of your Circle layer to your liking

Here is the my Layers panel at the end

This is the end result i got my end result


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