Create a Sliced, Cut and Torn Text Effect in Photoshop


Creating visually striking text effects in Adobe Photoshop can dramatically enhance the appeal of your designs. In this detailed guide, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a sliced, cut, and torn text effect. This technique adds dynamic action to otherwise plain text and can be further enhanced with the addition of a background image.

Start by selecting the Text Tool and typing your chosen word, such as “Cut”. Center the text both horizontally and vertically for a balanced look. Once your text is ready, you can delete the background layer as it’s no longer needed. This simplifies the workspace, allowing you to focus solely on the text effect.

To ensure that your text stays in place, lock the background layer by clicking the designated icon. This step is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your design throughout the editing process.

Create a Sliced, Cut and Torn Text Effect

Creating the Slice Effect

  1. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool: This tool allows you to draw a precise line through your text, marking where the cut will be made. Ensure the line passes through the middle for a symmetrical effect.
  2. Applying a Mask: After making your selection, apply a mask from the layers panel. This step hides the selected area, creating the illusion of a cut.

Refining the Cut Effect

  1. Duplicating Layers: Duplicate the layer with the cut effect and invert the selection. This creates two distinct sections of the text – upper and lower.
  2. Manipulating Layers: Use the Move Tool to adjust the position of these layers, enhancing the sliced appearance. For added realism, rotate the text slightly using the Ctrl + T command.

Adding the Tearing Effect with Paper Torn

  1. Sourcing Torn Paper Images: Websites like offer a variety of torn paper vectors. Download one that suits your design.
  2. Editing in Illustrator: Open the vector image in Illustrator, ungroup the elements, and select a suitable torn edge.
  3. Integrating into Photoshop: Copy and paste the selected torn edge into Photoshop, adjusting it to match the sliced portions of your text.
  4. Erasing Unwanted Parts: Select parts of the text that should appear below the torn paper effect and erase them using the Brush Tool.
  5. Adjusting Opacity: Ensure the erased areas blend seamlessly with the background for a realistic torn effect.

Adding Shadows for a Realistic Look

  1. Creating Depth with Shadows: Add shadows beneath the top layer of text to give an impression of depth. This can be achieved using the Brush Tool and adjusting the opacity.
  2. Alternative Techniques: Experiment with Blending Options and Gradient Overlays to create different shadow effects.

Don’t limit yourself to white text. Try different colors to see how they change the overall look of the effect.


This tutorial offers just one of the many ways to manipulate text in Photoshop. By applying these techniques, you can create text that appears realistically sliced, torn, and layered.