I have a design where I am adding text on top of butterflies. I have been using this technique to create a custom text box shape. Although given the complex shaping of the butterflies this is taking some time and as they are all different shapes I cannot simply duplicate the text boxes.

My question is: Is there a way to use the underlying Smart Object as a sort of "cookie cutter" to intersect the over laying path and create the shape in one "or two" clicks?

cookie cutter in photoshop

  • If the butterfly was created in Illustrator, you could pretty easily create your custom-shaped text box in there and then copy/paste said path into Photoshop. If interested in hearing more, I could reply with more details.
    – mhulse
    Apr 19, 2016 at 23:49
  • @mhulse It is an illustrator file Apr 20, 2016 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


Ok, so I figured this one out myself. Here is the solution.

  1. Ctrl (Cmd) + Click the "Smart Object Thumbnail" in the Layers tab.

    This will give you a "Marching Ants" selection of the Object

marching ants - photoshop

  1. Next click the "New Work Path" button from the "Paths" panel.

Paths Panel >> new work path

  1. Now you can simply use the "Text" tool to create a Text Box

text tool

The text box will be in the same shape as the "Work Path" (Smart Object)

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