Photoshop CS6 - Transparent backgrounds but wanna hide image

I've been doing some basic stuff in Photoshop but hit something that I feel is doable but just don't know the steps.  While I continue to dig at it, thought I would ask a question to see if I can get there quicker.........

I am working on a PSD file that ultimately I want to be able to print on colored paper or use on a solid colored tshirt.  The "background" on all my layers is transparent so that it will use the solid color of the paper or tshirt.  

I have the following layers in my PSD file:

1.  My bottom layer is an image with the transparent background.

2.  Then I have 3 separate text layers w/ transparent background that overlay across the image so that I still see the image w/ the text right on top of it.  

But I think what I want is for the image to not be seen behind the text and for a border area around the text.  I want a "border block" around the text that hides the image but still transparent to make use of the solid color of the paper/tshirt when printed.

Hope that description makes sense.......
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Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
Select the area on the text layer where you want the image not to show, then switch to the image layer and delete that region of it.

If you are worried about wanting to move the text later, just keep a copy of the intact image layer but turn it off.

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Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
Above advise is correct but misses one step. First you (double)outline your text you want to float free from the image (you can also simply use a fontsize a little bigger)

Then you select the text and while selected go to the image delete and press delete.
Then go back to your text layer and adjust the font size to original.
Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
What Patrick says would make small border regions around the individual letters, which might look nicer than a box.   Outlining or changing font size will affect the spacing, so you need to be careful about that.

If you want a box around the entire text words, then just make a rectangle of the size you want.

In either case, it's just a simple matter of selecting the area where you want the image to disappear, switch layer and delete that portion of the image.
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David BruggeCommented:
It is always a "Best Practice" to create a mask instead of deleting a section of the image.

- You may as some point decide you want to move the type one way or the other,

- You may (as I do all of the time) discover a spelling mistake.

- You may decide that you need more, or perhaps less, tracking (Photoshop calls it kerning)

In any event, it is a good idea to keep the ability to undo things with your Photoshop file whenever possible.
markparrAuthor Commented:
I had originally thought some kind of mask was the going to be involved in the solution.  What steps would I take to accomplish this while maintaining T Shirt transparency for all layers but also making some of the image disappear.
David BruggeCommented:
A mask works much like erasing. Make your selection in the same way, except instead of erasing, make your image layer active and click the mask icon at the bottom of the layers pallet.

This will create a mask icon on your image layer. When you click on this mask icon, the colors in your color pallet become black and white (except if you have a shade of gray selected) Painting in the image area will now paint onto your mask. Painting with black will hide (or mask) areas, painting with white will show (or unmask) part of the image.

If you want detailed control over a mask, open the channels pallet and click the mask channel. You can then see the mask. You can turn the other channels off and work just on the mask if you like, or leave them on and see what is being masked. Then you can use the magic wand to select a section of the mask and go to Edit>stroke and add a white or a black stroke to make this section of the mask expand or contract by a set number of pixels.

In addition, the mask can be duplicated onto other layers in order to mask them as well.
Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
Masking is the hard way to do this.  Even if you want to change the text (size, spelling, position), just duplicate the saved image layer and redo the deletion action.  It should take you about 7 seconds.
When you print does you printer not just print all the colors in 1 pass?
Why do you need to mask?  

Can't you just add  a white "stroke" to the text layers that are above the picture.

Your image is flattened when you print it on a regular printer.
markparrAuthor Commented:
Not sure I can accurately describe what I was trying to accomplish but ultimately the result was to be printed on a poster or tshirt.  I had the image that I wanted as my base layer background and originally (I have since sort of changed my mind after seeing the result) wanted the different layers of text that sit on the image to have a "cutout" over the image but they all needed to use the color of the paper or tshirt as the final background color without seeing the image in those "cutouts".  I was able to give each text layer a transparent background but I saw text on image when I wanted to see just text on green paper or black tshirt in those spots -- spaces between letters or "border" around text line.
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
Was my explanation not ok?
markparrAuthor Commented:
I have three layers of text that I want to produce the cutouts.  I got the mask to work but for the first layer but is it possible to have multiple layer masks active for all 3 text layers / selection areas?
Patrick BogersDatacenter platform engineer LindowsCommented:
You could create 1 layer from 3 txt layers by simply copy/paste and then create one layer.
But why not copy all three layers, outline the text-select the area and delete that area on your image layer?
markparrAuthor Commented:
The delete area from the image layer works fine and produced the result that I was looking for.  Just curious now relative to the mask option as that seems to save the integrity of the image/background layer without having to save/hide a copy of it.  I could add more lines/layers of text and/or reposition text layers w/o having to restore and then delete new areas of image.

I could have one layer of text too but I want those spread out and within those empty sections between the text areas, the original intent was to see the background image.

Trying to represent it simply  below in text.  Pluses represent my background image.  I just don't want to see any pluses in my "cutouts" around the text lines or showing thru along w/ the text lines.

<cutout                no image>              not      <cutout++++++++no image>
     TEXT LAYER/LINE                           not      TEXT+LAYER/LINE
<cutout                no image>
<another                cutout no image>
<another                cutout no image>
David BruggeCommented:
Patricksr1972 has the right idea.

However to keep your file fully editable (always a good idea) try this.

First, make sure your image is not on your background layer so that you can punch a hole through it to see the background (sounds like you have already done this)

Next, set the background layer to the color of the tee shirt (this is just to visualize, you will turn this layer off before you make an image for the printer)

Now, go to your first text layer and add a stroke using the layer options. Set the stroke to your background (tee shirt) color and make sure you have set the stroke to "outside".
Play with the thickness to get your desired effect.

Now, you cannot send a file like this to the printer, because it is saying that you want to print a stroke around your text. But you have determined how much space you want around your letters.

Now, go to your first layer of type and holding down your Ctrl or Cmd key, click the text layer in the layer's pallet. This should give you an outline around your text.

Now select the image layer and press the mask icon to turn your selection into a mask.

Go back and turn off the stroke, and you should see a mask in the image showing you the background.

Next go to your second text layer and again Ctrl/Cmd click to make your selection.

Then click your image layer mask icon to make the mask active and fill your selection with white. This will now make your mask fit two text layers.

Repeat for the third text layer.

This should give you an editable mask on your image layer that shows the background.

When you get ready to send to printer, remember to delete or turn off the background layer.
Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
Why does "patricksr have the right idea" when it is exactly what I told him in the very first post?
David BruggeCommented:
Yes indeed yodercm, sorry for stepping on your toes. Your original suggestion to add strokes to the text is correct.

I would suggest adding that to selvol's suggestion of making the strokes white. This eliminates the need for any masks or deleting part of the image.

An explanation to markpar. I have overcomplicated things because I set up so very little artwork for screen printing these days. What selvol is wisely point out is that when you take your file to the printer, they will automatically eliminate any white ares when they make the screens. Thus anything that you make white will disappear.

Yodercm suggested using a text stroke from the very beginning, although he, like me, was using it as a template to create a selection. Using a combination of selvol and Yodercm's suggestions should have you set up in very short time.

No masks necessary.
markparrAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the suggestions.  I have tried both and they produced the result that I was attempting.
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