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Not strictly a type mask, but very much related to it, is applying a pattern to your type. Let's say I want to fill these letterforms with some sort of pattern. In this case, I'd like to use this pattern, just some sort of distressed pattern. So here I have taken this picture and I have done various things to it, but first and foremost, I've applied a threshold command to it which makes all the pixels black or white. I'm now going to define this as a pattern. So I'm going to come to the Edit menu and choose Define Pattern, and I'll just leave it called that. Click OK.
Now back to my image and I'm going to come to the fx dropdown menu--I'm on my type layer--to Pattern Overlay. Now just take a look at the document sizes that we have over here. 1 megabyte is the flattened size and 2.5 megabytes as the layered size. When I add this pattern, that's not really going to change, so that's what it looks like when I add the pattern, and I don't really like the way that looks at all. What I want to do is I want to come to my Blending options, and my type was formally black, so I'm going to make the black that is applied to the type just drop away by reducing the Fill Opacity to zero.
Now I can come to my Pattern Overlay layer effect and I can change the Blend mode of it to Multiply, and it's going to give me that sort of effect where we are just seeing the black parts of the pattern, the white parts of the pattern are being neutralized because we have the Multiply Blend mode applied. Document sizes have not changed. So this is a very efficient way of applying textures, because I could reapply this texture to various different pieces of type, or indeed anything, because it's now in my pattern library. I'm not adding it as a separate layer, which would add extra white to the document size.
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