How do I make text completely transparent?

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2018-04-16 17:08:58

I am making labels for a product and want a black background but with completely transparent text so that the product colour shows through the text. How do I make my text completely transparent with a black background around it?
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2018-04-16 21:41:24

Hi Melissa,

I'm not sure which Pixelmator product you are using so I will try to give you a short step by step tutorial on how to do this in Pixelmator Pro at the same time this method will work more or less the same in Pixelmator Classic.

1) Create the following layers from top to bottom: 1 - the layer with the product colours, 2 - the black background, 3 - Your text.


2) Select the text/type layer in the layers overview. Then chose Load Selection from the Edit menu. This will make a selection of the text.

3) Select the black background layer and ctrl+click on it. From the menu that appears you should choose Add Mask.

4) As you can see this doesn't give you the result you want. We have to invert the mask. If the mask isn't selected already, just click on it to select it. Then hit the cmd+I keys to invert the image.

5) Hide the text/type layer (top most layer) by clicking on the eye icon on the right of the layer name.

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2018-04-17 09:07:50

Some good advice by Sebastiaan there, but there's another way pretty quick way to do this in Pixelmator Pro. Here are the steps:

1. Fille your background layer with the color black using the Color fill effect (Insert > Effects > Color).
2. Add some text to your image (Insert > Text) and customize it using the Type tool (Tools > Type).
3. With the text layer selected, insert the Image fill effect (Insert > Effects > Image). Then, drag the image with which you'd like to fill the text into the effect options in the Tool Options pane.
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2018-04-18 20:39:21

Thanks Sebastian. I can see why in theory this would work, but I followed step by step and the black background disappears when I add the mask. Any suggestions?

Andrius - thank you for the suggestion. I don't want to fill the text with anything, I want it to remain transparent when printed on clear labels.Image
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2018-04-18 21:54:17

Hi Melissa. I see you use Pixelmator Classic. However the steps I mentioned stay the same. There was one thing I was forgetting and that is after step 3, you should deselect the selection. You can use CMD+D for that. If you then invert the mask as described in point 4 you should be good to go.
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2019-07-30 04:21:16

Melissa - - did you ever figure this out? I am having the same issue.

I wish the Pixelmator Team would make Pixelmator Pro into an Illustrator-esque app. So much needs to be added. Simple stuff like text on a curve and other effects that are so basic to Illustrator.
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2019-07-30 21:29:32

Hi dschaef84.

In the early 2000's, I spent about £1000 on Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and the full version of Acrobat (because creating PDFs was something you had to spend money to do back then). I'm not convinced that the version of Adobe Illustrator I bought could fit text to a curve. And that was after 15 years of development. I don't think that a comparison to Adobe is the best way forward here.

Anyhow you're not here for my rant... you want transparent text. Here's a (fairly) quick method for transparent text that should work in Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro. There are other ways but this one should work for both.
1. Add everything in your image apart from the text you want to make transparent into one group. Let's call this the Image group.
2. Add the text above the Image group. If there are several text objects then group them. Let's call this the Text group.
3. Load the Text group into a selection by Cmd-clicking on the image of the Text group in the layers panel (or click on the Text group and use Edit > Load Selection) . This should give you the 'marching ants' (Pixelmator) or 'dead ants' (Pixelmator Pro) selection around your text.
4. Invert the selection (Edit > Invert Selection or Cmd-Shift-I)
5. Right-click on the Image group in the layer panel and select the Add Mask. This will mask out the text from the Image group.
6. Tidy up by de-selecting (Cmd-D if you need to) and hiding the Text group.

That should do it. Hope this helps.

- Stef.
(Long term Pixelmator and Pixelmator Pro user. Used Adobe stuff back in the day, but not for aaaages...)