Articles, Blog

How to Slice Text in Photoshop

November 10, 2019

Hey everyone, Steve Patterson here from In this video, I’ll show you how easy it
is to slice text in Photoshop, and how to keep your text editable so you can try out
different words within the same slices. To do that, we’ll take advantage of two
powerful Photoshop features known as smart objects and vector masks. I’ll be using Photoshop CC but you can also
follow along with CS6. If you like these videos, be sure to subscribe,
and let’s get started! The first step is to add some text. I’ve gone ahead and added my text, and if
we look in the Layers panel, we see how my document is set up. The main image is on the Background layer,
and the word “SLICE” is on a Type layer above it. I’ve added a stroke around the letters,
which is listed as an effect below the Type layer. The remaining text (“BUY ONE”, “GET
ONE FREE”, and so on) is in a layer group at the top. I’ve placed it in a group just to keep it
out of the way. For this effect, the only text we’re interested
in is the word “SLICE”. To keep things simple, I’ll turn the layer
group off for now by clicking its visibility icon. And now we see just the word “SLICE” in
front of the background image. I downloaded the image from Adobe Stock. To keep the text editable as you slice it,
convert your Type layer into a smart object. First, make sure that the Type layer you need
is selected. Then click on the menu icon in the upper right
of the Layers panel and choose Convert to Smart Object. A smart object icon appears in the lower right
of the preview thumbnail, telling us that our text is now safely inside a smart object. To draw the slices, we’ll use Photoshop’s
Rectangle Tool. Select the Rectangle Tool from the Toolbar. Then in the Options Bar, set the Tool Mode
to Path. Click inside the document and drag out a rectangular
path around the bottom half of your text. We’re going to use this path to create the
bottom slice. For best results, try to make the path wider
than the text itself, so that if you need to edit the text later, and the new text is
a bit longer than the original text, the new text will still fit within the slice. If you need to reposition the path as you’re
drawing it, press and hold the spacebar on your keyboard, drag the path into place, and
then release your spacebar to continue drawing the path. And now that we have our path, we’ll reshape
it into a diagonal slice. Select the Direct Selection Tool from the
Toolbar. By default, it’s hiding behind the Path
Selection Tool (or the black arrow tool), so you’ll need to click and hold on the
Path Selection Tool until a fly-out menu appears, and then choose the Direct Selection Tool
(or the white arrow tool) from the menu. First, click anywhere away from the path to
deselect it. Then click in the top left corner of the path
to select just that one anchor point, and drag the point downward to turn the top of
the path into a sloped, diagonal line. Photoshop will ask if you want to convert
your live shape into a regular path. Click Yes. Then click on the anchor point in the top
right corner of the path and drag that point upward. You can go back and forth with the two points,
clicking and dragging them up or down as needed, until the angle looks good. To create the slice, we need to turn the path
into a vector mask. In the Layers panel, make sure your smart
object is selected, and then press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard, or the Command
key on a Mac, and click the Add Layer Mask icon. A vector mask thumbnail appears next to the
smart object’s preview thumbnail. And in the document, we see that the top part
of the text has disappeared. Only the bottom part inside the vector mask
remains visible, creating our first slice. To create the top slice, make a copy of the
smart object by dragging it down onto the Add New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers
panel. A copy appears above the original. Then go up to the Options Bar, click on the
Path Operations icon, and choose Subtract Front Shape. Now notice that in my case, all of these options
are grayed out. If that happens, click inside the slice to
make the path outline active, and then go back to the Path Operations menu and this
time, we can choose Subtract Front Shape. This inverts the vector mask, making the top
slice visible, and we now have both slices. We don’t need to see the path outline anymore,
so to hide the path, just click anywhere outside of it. Now it may look like our text is still in
one piece. But you can turn the individual slices on
and off by clicking their visibility icons in the Layers panel. If I turn off the top smart object, we see
only the bottom slice of the text. And if I turn off the bottom smart object,
we see only the top slice. To move the slices apart, select the Move
Tool from the Toolbar. Then back in the Layers panel, click on the
slice you want to move. I’ll choose the top slice. And then drag it around inside the document. I’ll go back and choose the bottom slice,
and now I can drag the bottom slice around. Now that’s not quite what I wanted to do,
so I’ll press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on a Mac, a couple of times to undo those steps. Another way to move the slices is by using
the arrow keys on your keyboard. I’ll make sure the bottom slice is active. Now you’ll still need to have the Move Tool
selected, but rather than dragging with the Move Tool, I’ll press the right arrow key
on my keyboard to nudge the bottom slice to the right. And then I’ll press the down arrow key a
couple of times to move it down. I’ll turn my other text back on by clicking
the layer group’s visibility icon. And now we see the layout with my sliced text. So now that we’ve sliced the text, let’s
learn how to edit the text inside the slices. Even though we’ve created the slices using
two separate smart objects, each smart object holds the exact same Type layer. So if we change the text in one smart object,
the same change will appear in both. To edit the text, double-click on one of the
smart object thumbnails. Either one will work. The text opens in a separate document. Select the Type Tool from the Toolbar, and
then edit your text. I’ll double-click on the text to highlight
the entire word. And then I’ll change the word from “SLICE”
to “PIZZA”. To accept the change, I’ll click the checkmark
in the Options Bar. Notice, though, that I now have a problem. The new text is a bit longer than the original
text, so it doesn’t quite fit within the viewable area of the document. Part of the letter “A” on the right is
extending off the canvas. To fix that, all I need to do is go up to
the Image menu in the Menu Bar and choose Reveal All. And Photoshop resizes the canvas to fit the
entire text. To accept the change and return to the main
document, we need to save and close the smart object’s document. Go up to the File menu and choose Save. And then go back to the File menu and choose
Close. And back in the main document, we see our
effect updated with the new text. And there we have it! That’s how to slice text, and how to edit
your text inside the slices, with Photoshop! As always, I hope you enjoyed this video,
and if you did, don’t forget to Like it, Share it and Subscribe to my channel. Visit my website,,
for more tutorials. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next
time. I’m Steve Patterson from


  • Reply Photoshop Essentials January 23, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Hi everyone, thanks for checking out this video where I show you how easy it is to create a sliced text effect with Photoshop. I also show you how to keep your text editable so you can change the text even after you've cut it into slices!
    Leave any questions, comments or suggestions below, and if you find this video helpful, please Like it, Share it, and Subscribe to my channel for more videos! As always, thanks so much for watching!

  • Reply john njoroge January 23, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    This is by far my favourite Photoshop channel. Good job Steve!

  • Reply Kings Creation jbp January 23, 2019 at 4:30 pm


  • Reply Frank Cich January 23, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    You're the best of the best, Steve. All your tutorials are so well explained. I never have any questions once I've viewed your presentations.

  • Reply Kaviendra Singh January 24, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Very Nice!

  • Reply Massive Editz January 24, 2019 at 12:59 pm


  • Reply Pervez Joarder January 24, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Thank You Dear for your video… Best of luck

  • Reply Ya Boi January 30, 2019 at 8:21 am

    “Expired yesterday”

  • Reply blessed everyday January 30, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Excellent tutorial! I new to ps and i was wondering if you have any tutorials on how to emboss shapes (like a circle) and add engraved text to them. 😊 Have a great day !

  • Reply dave Wettlaufer February 3, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    as always….excellent video

  • Reply Eric February 12, 2019 at 5:19 pm


  • Reply Mr. AVATAR February 14, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Hey Steve.
    I am big fan of your work.
    Please make a video on how do you edit your videos, your studio equipments, Mike and give us tips for avoiding mistakes.

  • Reply Fadi Fadi February 20, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Sir, I like u r video
    I am from India , Kerala
    Make a video of Adobe premiere Pro in detail

  • Reply Nelly Wasti May 17, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Good day
    I did like. You said click inside the slide but still i don't see subtract front shape active >> please help please

  • Reply Sơn Phan May 24, 2019 at 3:23 am

    Your guide is very good. thank you

  • Reply Buckshot June 4, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Best asmr everrrr

  • Reply Roberto Tenil June 12, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Thank you!

  • Reply Kay Lynn August 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Could you do a diamond filled with gold outline text tutorial….. Awesome videos BTW

  • Reply Alexandre .. September 4, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    dang! do a video of how you added the text for this image? lol

  • Reply DeShonda Wimbish October 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you for the video. When I attempt to draw my rectangular path it places a huge rectangle over my text that cannot be resized… almost like the dimension is locked… what can i do?

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