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Place text inside an object shape using Photoshop and InDesign

Setting type to look like an object is a great way to elevate artwork in a design and strengthen the overall message conveyed. The method is effective for editorial designs or even advertisement campaigns.

Follow along in this tutorial, and learn how to add text inside an object shape using the power combo of Photoshop and InDesign.

You can download the lesson material to follow along in this tutorial by clicking the link below.

Clipping Path Lesson Files
Download ZIP • 28.68MB

The first step will be removing the background and creating the path in Photoshop. Let's launch Photoshop, open the image called Light_Bulb Main.jpeg and get started.

Remove Background in Photoshop

  • Choose the Quick Selection Tool from the toolbar. This is the fourth tool from the top.

  • From the menu bar above, click the Select Subject button and let Adobe Sensei automatically detect the edges of the light bulb. (Use the Positive Brush to pick up any parts of the image that the Select Subject button may have missed).

  • Once the you have the selection you want, open the Layers panel and add a Layer Mask. This can be done by clicking the square icon with the inner circle. (See screenshot slide below).

Here's an image slide of the steps explained above:

Now that the background has been removed, it's time to add the Path to the image, which will allow us to use it in an InDesign project.

Create Path in Photoshop

  • While holding Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) click the Mask thumbnail (black thumbnail) in the layer mask. This will re-activate the selection.

  • Right-click the image and choose Make Work Path.

  • Set the Tolerance to 2 and click OK.

  • In the Paths panel, double-click the Work Path and rename it to Bulb Path so it is easier to distinguish when we use it in InDesign.

Here's an image slide of the steps explained above:

Finally, save the image as a PSD as by going to File > Save and then choosing Photoshop as the file format.

Now that the the path has been created in Photoshop, we can go ahead and close that and launch InDesign. In the lesson files, you will find an InDesign document called Text Wrap Clipping Path.Indd. Go ahead and open this and work from that document to follow along with the tutorial.

As a first step, place the Light_Bulb Main.PSD image in the layout. Remember, place the PSD file and not the original jpg image.

To place an image, drag from your desktop into the InDesign layout and while holding Shift, drag out the size of the frame you want. You can also create the image frame prior to importing the image, which can also be done by going to File > Place.

Once the Image is on the page, it's time to use the Path that was created in Photoshop. Here's how.

Adding Clipping Path in InDesign

  • Ensure that the image frame is selected and then go to Object > Clipping Path > Options..

  • In the Clipping Path options window, set the Type dropdown to Photoshop Path. (Tip: If you have an image with a clean background, you can remove the background using the Detect Edges feature. Click here to learn more)

  • Under the Path dropdown, choose Bulb Path.

  • Click OK.

Here's an image slide of the steps explained above:

Next, we'll create the text wrap effect, replacing the upper portion of the image with the text inside the shape.

Creating Text Wrap in InDesign

  • Right-click the image and select Convert Clipping Path to Frame. This converts the path to a frame, but the path remains visible.

  • Click the Content Grabber and use Command (Mac) + X or Ctrl (Windows) + X to cut the image.

  • With the frame selected, go to Object > Content > Text. This changes the frame from an image frame to a text frame. Keep in mind this will also work if you keep the content set to Image, however this is a personal preference as you can see the text wrap guides better when it is set to Text.

  • Open the Text Wrap window by going to Window > Text Wrap.

  • With the frame selected, set the text wrap to Wrap Around Object Shape.

  • Click the Invert box to reverse the direction of the wrap.

Note: Traditionally, you can add your text inside the the shape now, but it won't wrap well with this specific image of the light bulb. So, another option is creating a separate text frame and overlaying it over the path.

  • On the pasteboard, you will notice a text frame with some text to correspond with the poster design. It is on a layer called Text. You can drag the frame above the current path shape.

  • You still have the image content saved on the clipboard, so while working on the Poster Content Layer in the Layers panel, go ahead and go to Edit > Paste in Place or as a shortcut, use Shift + Option + Command + V on a Mac or Shift + Alt + Ctrl + V on Windows. This will paste the original image in the original position it was cut from earlier.

  • Adjust the frame so only the bottom portion of the bulb is visible.

Adjust the frame so only the bottom part of the bulb image appears.

You could stop here and the design will still work just fine. However, as a final step, let's complete the artwork by bringing the back the beam pieces in the light bulb.

In the lesson files, you will find a separate .PSD file, called Bulb Burst.psd. This PSD has the bulb and burst set on separate layers and we'll use InDesign's Object Layer Options to edit the images in the design.

Completing Artwork

  • Drag and drop the Bulb Burst.psd image into the current image frame, replacing the Light_Bulb Main.psd

  • Now copy this frame and paste in place by going to Edit > Paste in Place.

  • Extend the copied version so you bring back the beam pieces in the image. You will notice that the full bulb is now visible, and that is OK.

  • Right-click the copied version and go to Object Layer Options..

  • Turn off the Bulb layer and click OK.

That's it! you will notice that there are two versions of the same image in the Poster Content layer called Bulb Burst.PSD. If you'd like to take out any confusion, rename the first version Beam and the second version Bulb, as demonstrated in the video tutorial.

From here, you can tailor the artwork to your specifications – for example, resizing the beams to better match the size of the bulb. I go over this in the video as well.

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