How to Slice Text in Photoshop

By Timothy Brauning on March 28, 2022

You might not think your Photoshop skillset is particularly impressive, but there are a few tricks that will make you look like a total pro. And one of these is learning how to slice text in Photoshop.

The technique takes a little practice, but once you master it, it's one of those things you'll do all the time (especially if you work in branding). 

It's also useful for creating stunning backgrounds for posters and other designs.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to slice text in Photoshop with a couple of quick and easy techniques. 

We'll also show you how to turn your sliced text into an eye-catching background for your next project.

This nifty trick will allow you to break up text and rearrange it in different ways. 

Let's say you have a piece of text in your design that you want to give a unique look. 

Slicing it up and separating the letters can be a great way to solve this problem — and it can also be a lot of fun.

So let's dive into this technique by looking at why and when you'd slice text, plus some tips on how to create effective results.

Sliced text always has a cool effect, whether you use it for a background, poster, or social media image.

how to slice text in photoshop

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Table of Contents

How to Slice Text in Photoshop: Step-by-Step Guide

Let's look at how to slice text in Photoshop with some easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Upload or create a background

If you want to learn how to slice text in Photoshop, first, you have to upload or create a background of your choosing. 

You can use a photo, an image with a solid color gradient, or even create your own background using the "paint bucket" tool.

how to separate text in photoshop

Once you have your background, it's time to create the text! Use whatever font, size, and color you like best. 

Just double-click on the text layer and start writing.

how to cut text in photoshop

Over this background, let's write the word Slice. 

I suggest you use a color that contrasts the background for a more "wow" effect.

how to slice in photoshop

Step 2: Convert to a smart object

By default, Photoshop layers are not editable. 

Without rasterizing it first, you can't apply any transformation to a layer, like rotating or skewing it.

That's why you have to convert text layers into smart objects. Smart objects let you modify the shape and content of a layer from the Layers panel. 

This is useful for working with vector files in Photoshop, but it also comes in handy when you are learning how to slice text in Photoshop!

To do that, right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and choose Convert to Smart Object from the menu that appears.

sliced text

Step 3: Draw a Path

Make sure the Rectangle Tool (U) is selected on the left vertical toolbar.

how to slice on photoshop

Click Path in the drop-down menu, then click and drag the cursor to draw out a rectangle from left to right across the image.

This way, you will draw a path over half of the image. 

photoshop slices

Step 4: Reshape the path as per your liking

Now that you've selected the path, you can reshape it.

slice in photoshop

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to click over the upper-left anchor point and drag it where you want (I gave it a diagonal look.)

how to cut out letters in photoshop

Step 5: Apply a vector mask

Once you've drawn out a path over half the image, you'll need to select  Rectangle Tool

Then, click on the Mask icon in the top toolbar to turn that path into a vector mask.

cutout letters photoshop

This will help us disappear the first half of the text.

slices in photoshop

Step 6: Duplicate the Masked Layer

If you want to learn how to slice text in Photoshop, duplicate the layer. 

We can do this by right-clicking on the layer, selecting Duplicate Layer, and then pressing OK

Alternatively, you can press the keyboard shortcut CMD/CTRL+J.

When you do this, you'll notice that there is now a copy of your layer in the Layers panel on the right-hand side of your screen.

photoshop slice

Step 7: Invert the mask

Now, you are just a step away from learning how to slice text in Photoshop. 

All you have to do is invert a mask (which is easy) with the Subtract Front Shape option. 

Just select a layer and then, with the Rectangle Tool active, click on the options bar on top of the screen, go to Path Operations, and select Subtract Front Shape.

Rectangle Tool -> Options -> Path Operations -> Subtract Front Shape

The Subtract Front Shape option allows you to select a piece of text and then subtract the foreground of that text from the background. 

This will leave only the part of the text that is not in front of the background.

Just move the other half of the word using the Move tool, and you'll get a really cool slice effect.

slicing in photoshop

how to cut an image in half in photoshop

Step 8: Save the image

That's it! You now know how to slice text in Photoshop and have the Slice Text effect. 

All there's left to do is to save your amazing work.

Now click File->Save As and save your image in the format you want.

Slicing Through the Info

Now that you know how to slice text in Photoshop, put your new skills to use and create some amazing graphics for your website or blog. Experiment with different fonts, colors, and layouts until you find something that works well for you.

There are several ways to do this, so we've outlined the most essential steps (plus added some helpful screenshots) to help you get started. 

I hope they come in handy!

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