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How To Slice Text In Photoshop

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Slicing text in Photoshop is a skill that looks difficult to achieve but is actually effortless. Learning this technique gives you a new cool trick to add creativity to your project by cutting text in half and then moving the cut-off text away from the original. You can easily slice text in a few steps.

Once you master the technique of slicing text, you will have a whole new range of editing skills. You can cut text in half, copy half of the text to add a double-text effect, or even use the slicing technique on image elements. 

These steps teach you the basics of text slicing, along with some examples to get your creative juices flowing at the end to take this technique to the next level.

Step 1: Type Your Text On The Canvas

To start slicing, you first need to have some text to cut. Grab the Type Tool (T) and drag a text box on the canvas. 

Then, set the font, font type, size, and color in the Options bar. Make the text exactly how you want it at this stage because you won’t be able to edit it again. However, you will be editing the text non-destructively, so you can always start the slicing process again with the text.

You can type your text on a blank canvas, an image, or a document with multiple layers. Here is how my text looks before I slice it. I have chosen the free front Neothic at 180 pt with a pastel purple color.

Step 2: Duplicate And Rasterize The New Text Layer

Duplicate your text layer by dragging the layer to the Create a new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. You can also press Control + J (Win) or Command + J (Mac). 

This step is optional, but having a saved copy of the original text allows you to go back and start the process again if you make a mistake — without needing to re-type your text.

Then, turn off the layer visibility of the original text layer using the eye icon and ensure the new layer is activated.

Rasterize the text layer by right-clicking or control + clicking on the layer and selecting Rasterize Type in the menu. You will notice the layer thumbnail changes once you rasterize the layer.

Step 3: Create A Selection Using The Polygonal Lasso Tool

Once you rasterize the layer, you need to make a selection around the text in the shape you want to cut it. You can use any selection tool for this, but I recommend the Polygonal Lasso Tool since it allows you to draw a straight line through the text.

First, select the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) from the toolbar.

With the tool selected, click a point on the canvas where you want your selection to start. Then click on other areas to create a block around the text and return to the starting point to close the selection. This block should cover the text you want to separate from the rest to create the slice effect.

Step 4: Select Layer Via Cut From The Context Menu

The next step is cutting or copying the selection onto a new layer, separating the text. The separation allows you to move the two halves separately. There are three ways to do this action.

First, you can right-click or control + click on the selection and click on Layer Via Cut or Layer Via Copy.

Another option is to use the menu path by navigating to Layer > New > Layer Via Copy or Layer Via Cut. Lastly, you can use the shortcut Control + J (Win) or Command + J (Mac) to copy the selection to a new layer, or Shift + Control + J (Win) or Shift + Command + J (Mac) to cut the selection.

Choosing Layer Via Cut separates the text into two layers, which is how we create the slice effect. Layer Via Copy copies half the text to a new layer, which I will show you how to use creatively later.

For now, select Layer Via Cut using one of the options above. Once you choose this option, you will notice a slight cut in the text. The small gap indicates that the text is cut, and you will see a new layer appear in the Layers panel.

Step 5: Select The Move Tool And Shift The Cut Text

Select the new layer before grabbing the Move Tool (V) from the toolbar.

Now, either click on the top half of the text in the workspace and drag it around, or to be more accurate, use the arrow keys to move the text. Shift the text away from the original text layer to create the gap that makes the slice effect.

You can move the cut text as far upwards or to the left/right as you’d like to create a unique effect on your text. Once you are happy with the new position, you will have sliced text for your project.

Step 6: Get Creative

Now that you know the basics of slicing text, you can get creative with this technique and slice text in different ways. Here are a few examples for inspiration.

#1 Duplicate And Recolor Half The Text

In this instance, instead of cutting the text, I will copy a section of it to change the color using the Layer Via Copy method. Follow steps 1 to 3 to create a selection over the top half of the text.

Then right-click or control + click and select Layer Via Copy, or use the shortcut Control + J (Win) or Command + J (Mac) — note that you are simply duplicating the selection.

Now the top half of your text has been duplicated. Since you have Rasterized the text layer, you will need to get creative to change the color of the copied section of text. Here I used a Hue/Adjustment layer and made it into a clipping mask over the new layer.

Then I can nudge the copied text to create new effects for the layout.

#2 Slice Objects To Create A Layered Design

You can slice and copy more than just text. I have cut the text in the example below, as explained in the steps above. However, I went a step further and sliced part of the rose to cover the bottom edges of the text.

To do this, I hid the text layers to select the rose properly. I then used the Quick Selection Tool (W) to create a selection around the edge of the rose.

Next, I selected Layer Via Copy because I didn’t want to separate the selected areas of the rose from the original but instead have a copy of the section to cover the text.

Lastly, I moved the copied piece of the rose to the top of the Layers panel to ensure it covered the bottom section of the text.

#3 Slice And Delete Parts Of Text

You can also use this technique to cut off sections of text rather than shifting the section away from the original text. Starting with the text below, I can cut off the bottom of the T and the top of the S.

Once I create the selection and select Layer Via Cut on the “T”, I then simply delete the new layer by clicking Delete with the new layer selected (or you can hide the visibility of the new layer if you’d like to keep it), which cuts off the bottom. I then repeat this step on the “S”. Now, I have two letters with pieces cut off.

To add more to the design, I will add diagonal lines where the text has been cut.

Then, I add a regular text slice to the bottom word to better portray the slice effect.

Lastly, I can change the color of the bottom section that I sliced off the text.

You can do so much with the text slicing effect, and by combining the techniques above, I created a layout. Here I cut the text in several places, transformed sections of the text to rotate certain letters, added a drop shadow, and used the Layer Via Copy to bring the hand in front of the text. 

After all that editing — which is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it — here is my final result.

Photo of author
I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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