Text Within Text Photoshop Tutorial

Follow this Photoshop tutorial to easily create a text-within-text effect.

This is a fairly easy tutorial, but my recommendation is that you very carefully follow each instruction as it gets a little confusing in places and one missed step will throw out the end result.

Text Within Text

Step 1

Open a new file using the settings shown below:

New File Settings

Select the Gradient tool, set to Linear gradient, colour settings as shown below:

Gradient Fill Settings

Drag the cursor from the bottom to the top of the canvas to fill with the gradient.

Step 2

Select the Type tool, font of your choice – I used Androgyne – size around 200pt, foreground colour Black.

Type each word of your required text on a separate layer.

If one of your words is longer than the others, you may wish to reduce the font size for that word.

Rasterize each of the text layers by right clicking on the layer in the layers palette and clicking Rasterize Type.

Name each of your layers MainText1, MainText2, etc.

Main Text

Step 3

Select the Type tool, a light, thin font – I used Lao UI – size 14pt, foreground colour black

You now need to create a block of text and there are a few ways of achieving this:

  • You can type the entire text
  • You can type a couple of sentences and copy and paste repeatedly to create a block
  • You can copy text from somewhere else (I used excerpts from the book Pride and Prejudice)

However you achieve it, the text must be sufficient to cover the largest word of the main text as shown below:

Block Text

Rasterize the text layer as previously rename the layer BlockText

Drag the BlockText layer below the main text layers in the layers palette

Duplicate the BlockText layer

Step 4

Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail of the MainText1 layer to create a selection

Select>Modify>Contract – set to 4

With the MainText1 layer active, hit the delete key – DO NOT DESELECT


Select>Modify>Contract – set to 2

Make sure the BlockText copy layer is active and hit the delete key DO NOT DESELECT

Create a new layer below the BlockText copy layer


Set the foreground colour to #F2EDD6

Edit>Fill>Foreground Color

Ctrl+D to deselect

Step 5

Double click on the MainText1 layer to bring up the blending options and apply the following Drop Shadow settings:

Drop Shadow Settings

Select the 3 layers you have been working on – MainText1, BlockText copy and color fill layer – by holding down the shift key and clicking on each of them.

Right click on any of the highlighted layers and click Merge Layers.

Rename this layer Text1

Step 6

Duplicate the BlockText layer again

Drag the duplicate below the MainText2 layer

Now repeat Steps 4 and 5 for each of your MainText layers

Step 7

Create a new layer below Text1 layer

Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail of Text1 layer in the layers palette to create a selection

Set the foreground colour to white

Select>Modify>Expand – set to 2, click OK

Edit>Fill>Foreground Color

Repeat this step for each Text layer

Now you can merge all layers together, or flatten the image and crop as desired.

The finished effect:

Text Within Text


I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).

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