How to Put an Image Inside Text Using Affinity Photo

by Robin WhalleyJan 19, 2022Photo Editing Tutorials

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How to Put an Image Inside Text Using Affinity Photo

In this tutorial, I will show you how to put an image inside text using Affinity Photo. This is a quick and easy drag and drop technique with your mouse. Of course, if you want the effect to look great, there are a few more tweaks you can make as you see here.

The example will be using is to put a picture of coffee beans inside the word coffee. I’ll then explain how to make it look great by changing the size, font, and adding special effects like an outline and drop shadow.

Create a New Empty Document

The first thing to do is create a new empty document in Affinity Photo. We’ll be using this to add our text, before adding our image to the text.

Open Affinity Photo in the Photo Persona (the default Persona). Then in the “File” menu select the “New” option. This will open the “New Document” dialog which you can see below.

The dialog has several tabs running along the top. These categories hold different of document template that you may want to create, each with different settings. You may find one of these is the size of the document you want to create. If not, you can define your own using the controls on the right of the dialog.

Defining the New Document Settings

On the right side of the dialog, you can enter the page width page height of the document together with the unit of measurement. For example, you could enter 1920px if you wanted to create a document which has a side 1,920 pixels long. If you don’t want to enter the unit of measurement each time you enter a size, you can select the document units in the drop-down.

It’s also possible to select the “Colour format” and “Colour profile” for the document. The colour format defines if this is an RGB image or perhaps the CMYK image. It also allows you to choose the bit depth, for example either 8-bit or 16-bit.

The colour profile defines how wide a range of colours can be reproduced in the document. Typically, a document where you’re adding an image inside text is likely to be used for the Internet. If this is the case, you may want to use the sRGB colour space, which is the default for the web. If you’re not sure which colour space to use this tutorial I published may help.

After entering your settings, click the “Create” button at the bottom of the dialog. A new empty document is then displayed in the Affinity Photo Interface.

Adding Text to the Document

To add text to the document, will need to use one of the Affinity Photo text tools. These appear over on the left side of the interface in the Tools Palette when you’re using the Photo Persona unless you’ve moved it.

There are two text tools grouped together in the Tools Palette. These are the “Frame Text Tool” and the “Artistic Text Tool”. Because they are grouped together you will only see the icon for one of these appear in the Tools Palette. To see both, click the small grey triangle to the bottom right of the icon. This displays all the tools in the group so that you can select the Artistic Text Tool.

Having selected the Artistic Text Tool, move your mouse pointer over the document. You can then click and then drag with the mouse to position the text. As you drag with the mouse you will see a letter A appear. This is to help you size the text. Don’t worry if you don’t get it quite right because you can later resize it using the Affinity Photo Move Tool.

Enter the text to add the photo inside. In this example I’ve used the word coffee.

After entering your text, click the Move Tool near the top of the Affinity Photo Tools Palette (see screenshot above). Selecting the Move tool terminates the entering of text in the Artistic Text Tool. We’ll also be using the Move tool to size and reposition our text.

Repositioning the Text

After selecting the Move tool, you find that you can click on the text to drag it around the document. This allows you to move the text into position, but you can also use the Move tool to resize the text.

When you click the Text with the Move tool, you will see a blue box appears around the text. This is called a bounding box. At each corner of the bounding box there’s a small blue circle or dot. These are handles that you can use to resize the text by clicking and dragging with your mouse.

When you resize the text using the corner handles, you keep the text in proportion. You will also see that there are handles along each of edge of the bounding box. When you resize the text using one of these handles, you will stretch or compress the text.

Add the Photo to the Document

Before we can put the image inside our text, we first need to add the image to our document. We do this by first opening the image to use in Affinity Photo. Then in the “Edit” menu select “Copy”, or alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + C (Mac) or Ctrl + C (Windows PC).

Switch to the new document you created that contains your text. You can now paste the image you copied into the document by selecting “Edit” and “Paste” in the menu. The image is then be added as a new layer in the Layers Studio Panel which covers the text.

We are now ready to put the image inside the text.

Putting the Image Inside the Text

Whilst this is very simple to do, it’s also easy to make mistakes. Everything we need to do takes place inside the Layers Studio Panel.

Click on the new image layer in the Layers Studio Panel to select it. Then whilst continuing to hold with your mouse button, drag it below the text layer, but don’t release the mouse button. As you drag down you should see a blue line appear below the text layer.

When the horizontal blue line appears below the text layer, continue to hold down the mouse button. Then drag with your mouse to the right until you see the horizontal blue line become indented. At that point you will also see the image appear inside the text.

Notice in this screenshot how the blue line has move slightly to the right. This is the point when you can release the mouse button.

The image should know show as being inside the text. If the image doesn’t appear inside the text, you probably positioned it incorrectly. Use the “Undo” command in the “Edit” menu and try again.

Refining the Text

At this point it’s likely the effect won’t look very good, as in the following example.

The problem is that the font is too narrow to see the image inside text. Whilst you can read the word coffee, you can’t see the image properly so you can’t tell these are coffee beans. We can fix the problem by making the font bold. Alternatively, you can select a different font like which is thicker like Impact. If you don’t have a suitable font, head over to Google Fonts to find and download one.

To change the font, click the text layer in the Layers Studio Panel to select it. You will then see the Affinity Photo Context Sensitive Toolbar change to display the text and font controls. Click the Font dropdown on the left of the toolbar to choose a new font.

This is an improvement but it’s still difficult to see the coffee beans clearly inside the text as the image is too large.

Changing the Image Size

We can improve the image in text effect further by making the image smaller using the Move tool.

With the Move tool, click on the image layer in the Layers Studio Panel. You will then see a blue bounding box appear around the image. Depending on the size of your image and document, you may need to zoom in or out to see the entire box clearly. You can do this using the slider in the Navigator Studio Panel.

In this screenshot you can see the Navigator Studio Panel bottom right. As you can customise the position of the Studio Panels in Affinity Photo, it’s possible your Navigator panel will appear in a different position.

The screenshot also shows the blue bounding box around the image layer. As with the bounding box that appeared around the text earlier, we have drag handles in the corners and along the edges.

Click and drag the handles to resize the image. You want to resize and reposition the image so that you can see clearly within the text.

This is a big improvement, but we can make the effect even more professional by adding Layer Effects to the text.

Adding Layer Effects to the Text

One way to make the text clearer is to add an outline to it. You can do this by opening the Layer Effects dialog.

Click on the text layer in the Layers Studio Panel to select it. Then at the bottom of the Studio Panel click the “fx” icon to open the Layer Effects dialog.

In the Layer Effects dialog, click the Outline option on the left of the dialog. This displays the controls for the Outline effect in the dialog. You can also turn the Outline effect off and on using the small tick mark to the left of the Outline heading.

With the Radius slider, select a radius of between 1 and 2 pixels. This will add a faint outline around the text making it easier to see.

It’s also possible to position the outline around the edge of the text using the alignment dropdown. Here you can select to add the outline “Inside”, “Outside” or in the “Centre” of the text edge. You need to check this as some settings can make letters run into each other. This happened when using the Impact font, as the two F’s in the word coffee merged unless I select the Inside alignment.

Adding a Drop Shadow to the Text

The drop shadow effect makes the text appear as if it’s hovering slightly above the document. In Affinity Photo this is called an Outer Shadow and you’ll find it in the Layer Effects dialog.

After clicking the Outer Shadow option, you see the controls appear on the right of the Layer Effects dialog. You can now use the Radius, Offset, and Intensity sliders to produce the shadow effect. The Radius slider set the size of the shadow. The Offset slider set is how far from the text the shadow appears, and the Intensity slider controls how strong the effect is.

Here’s the finished document showing the image inside the text.

Summary of Putting an Image Inside Text

The process of placing an image inside text in Affinity Photo is relatively simple. You can apply the image into the text by dragging and dropping in the Layers Studio Panel, but you do need to position the image layer carefully as described in this tutorial.

The overall success of the finished effect depends on being able to see the image clearly within the text. This means choosing a wide font and sizing the image appropriately. Adding special effects like an Outline to the text and possibly a drop shadow can help to finish the image.

If you found this useful you might like my book “Affinity Photo How To”.

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