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Create a Paper Text in Photoshop
Tutorials Text Effects 65449 Views September 10th, 2012

Learn how to create an interesting paper text effect in Photoshop using custom shapes, and paper textures and patterns. You can easily reshape the paper text using the Photoshop vector tools like the Pen Tool, Convert Point Tool and so on. This is not a tutorial for beginners, you have to know how to work with vector shapes in Photoshop, to create and edit a custom shape. I hope you will enjoy reading this text tutorial and I really curious to see your paper text effects, so upload your result on our comments section.


In this tutorial we will create a paper text effect in Photoshop using torn paper shapes and paper textures. This paper text will look like a notebook with leather cover. The final result will be a vector shape so you can resize it to any size without losing the quality.

Let's start with a simple text, font Impact, the size is not important depends on how big is your canvas size. The color for the text is #d0d0d0

Call this first layer Text Paper 1 and duplicate it; call the second layer Text Paper 2. Open the layer style window of the Text Paper 1 and add a simple Drop Shadow. Be careful when you make the settings, especially the Angle.

Hide the Text Paper 1 for now and let's work with the Text Paper 2. Right click on the layer to convert the text in shape; or you can use the Photoshop menu as shown in the image. If you don't know how to do it read this quick tut on how to turn text in shape in Photoshop.

This step is really important! Pick the Path Selection Tool and select all the letters from the paper text, and press the Combine button.

Method 1 - for advanced Photoshop users

Now let's create the torn paper effect; for that you need to download these torn paper shapes. In a new layer add some torn paper shapes; use the Add to shape area to add all the shapes in a single layer. Make sure that the torn paper covers the paper text except the bottom area like shown in the image.

Select the paper text using the Path Selection Tool; press CTRL+C to copy the shape. Go to the torn paper shape created in the previous step, and press CTRL+V to paste the text shape.

Press the Intersect Shape Areas from the Path Selection Tool menu. The result is a torn paper text. Press the Combine button to combine the two shapes.

Method 2 - for beginner Photoshop users

If you are not familiar with vector shapes drawing you can simply rasterize the text layer and use the Lasso Tool to create the torn paper selection by hand. Use the selection and delete it from the rasterized text layer.

Part 1Part 2Part 3

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28 comment(s) for "Create a Paper Text in Photoshop"

3:51 AM Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Are you using CS5 for this ?

I am working with CS6 and having problems when I get to the "Press the Intersect Shape Areas from the Path Selection Tool menu. The result is a torn paper text. Press the Combine button to combine the two shapes."

Thanks in advance for your help and I absolutely love your website. reply
4:04 AM Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Hi Darrell,

I always glad when people appreciate my work :) so thank you!

I am using CS5 for this tutorial but I am not really sure why it is not working with CS6 .... please explain me what does not work...which button is inactive; what is the result that you obtain after this step
You can add a printscreen using the "Upload your fan art" button to see the problem
Or you can try another method, to use the Freeform Pen Tool and create the torn paper effect without using the torn paper custom shapes. Make sure you press the Subtract from Shape Area button before you begin.

see the image attached reply
4:20 AM Friday, September 14, 2012
Thank you ! - I got it to work with the pen tool. Awesome work - My favorite PS site by far. reply
4:21 AM Friday, September 14, 2012
I am glad to hear that :) thanks reply
11:53 PM Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Dude ?! I don't have Facebook and I don't want, sooooo
11:55 PM Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Hi Maria,

you can try using the Freeform Pen Tool and create the torn paper effect yourself; see the image attached at the comments section. It is really easy and you can obtain a better result! reply
12:32 AM Monday, October 01, 2012
I have the same trouble with PS6. I dont see the combined button on the panel when path selection tool is selected. Any pointers? reply
PSD Dude
12:45 AM Monday, October 01, 2012
Hi Arch,

If you have the Path Selection Tool selected on the tool panel you have a Combine shapes button. If the combine shapes is not active it means that you didn't selected the shapes you want to combine. For that you have to click on the Vector Mask Thumbnail that is attached to the shape layer.
See the image attached for combining shapes in Photoshop. reply
11:42 PM Wednesday, December 12, 2012
PSD file of this tutorial did not.I am a Vietnam.And I want to borrow it to make a tut like this, and I need the PSD files so to practice. reply
11:44 PM Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Unfortunately the PSD file is not available for this tutorial! reply
12:22 AM Thursday, January 03, 2013
NO SE PUEDE hacer, porque las instrucciones no son detalladas ni claras, qu?? l??stima
I don't know how to practice this tutorial because the instructions are not very clear. reply
12:33 AM Thursday, January 03, 2013
This tutorial is for Photoshop intermediate level and you do have to know basic things about custom shapes(how to install and use), about vector shape drawing and about the Pen Tool techniques. I suggest you to read more about Photoshop Pen Tool and if you have any questions about the tutorial steps don't hesitate to ask. reply
2:35 AM Saturday, January 05, 2013
Can send me the psd tut does not reply
2:36 AM Saturday, January 05, 2013
This tutorial doesn't come with a PSD file included! reply
9:15 AM Tuesday, March 05, 2013
nice colorful paper text made by evil smayx ( reply
10:34 AM Monday, May 06, 2013

I love your tutorial. But i do have a problem with the below step

Press the Intersect Shape Areas from the Path Selection Tool menu. The result is a torn paper text. Press the Combine button to combine the two shapes.

When I do this step it comes as this.

ps i am using CS6 reply
10:52 AM Monday, May 06, 2013
Hi Ashi,

I think that you didn't combine all the text letters into one vector shape. Before you copy/paste the text into the torn paper layer you have to:

- select all the text letters with the Path Selection Tool
- press the Combine button reply
6:30 AM Tuesday, May 07, 2013
nice it reply
1:13 AM Thursday, May 23, 2013
Hi Paul,

First of all I am glad you like my blog, thank you!

Second, I will answer your questions and hope it helps:
- You have to make selections for each letter with different pattern and to create a new layer from that selection called Notebook Pattern Layer.
- Open the layer style window of the Notebook Pattern Layer and add Pattern Overlay with the settings highlighted in the preview image.

6:18 AM Monday, June 17, 2013
Thaank's a loot

I didn't find the '' combine button in photoshop CS6 Extended ?! reply
5:16 AM Saturday, August 24, 2013
i like this so much. but i don't know how to do it by cs6. :(

So i hope that u can make video tutorial about this.

thank you so much!!! reply
1:34 AM Monday, November 11, 2013
Hello ,thanks for the subject But i can not make the torn paper effect step ,so if you would like to tell me what to do exactly. reply
1:39 AM Monday, November 11, 2013
I have updated the step and added a second method that you can use to create torn paper text effect. reply
1:14 PM Monday, August 04, 2014

First of all, let me say great site!

I am using CS6, and I am able to complete all steps up until the one where is says, "For the final touches you can add a notebook pattern...." I have the different notebook patterns installed, but I am not sure how to: (1) add the pattern on top of the letters, and (2) make each letter a different pattern. Not sure what I am overlooking. Please help!

Paul reply
1:30 AM Tuesday, December 23, 2014
like it ! reply
8:21 AM Monday, June 22, 2015
hello bro, that's a great site to learn adobe and thanks for it. keep it up man. i have a bit problem in step 6 and hope if you could help me out. i couldn't apply add to shape area in photoshop cc. plz explain it in detail. i'm waiting for your reply so plz in hurry. reply
8:30 AM Monday, June 22, 2015
You can use "Method 2" from Step 9. You can make a selection out of the Torn Paper Shape, invert the selection (CTRL+I) and simply press delete.
You have to rasterize the text before erasing the selected area otherwise you will get this message:
"Could not complete your request because the pixels in a type layer cannot be edited without first rasterizing the layer." reply
11:00 AM Tuesday, September 27, 2016
You have two methods in which you can make this tutorial, one for beginners and one for advanced. You have to know how to work with vector shapes in Photoshop otherwise some button are grayed out, like the Combine button.

At the end of the tutorial I've added a link to the Torn Paper Photoshop Style PSD that you can download for free. reply

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