CSS cutout text with image background 🤯


Learn how to make a text cut out effect with a background image, its very easy! See the code example in the Codepen!

20 Oct, 2020 · 3 min read

This effect is so cool and just around fun to see. Today we will learn how to do a cut-out text effect in CSS! The effect will show an image through the cut-off text shape.

It works by having a div that holds an image as a background. On the div element, we put another text element, using blend-mode, which will make the image show through the text.

Example code for text cut-out

You can see a CSS code example of a knockout text in this Codepen:

See the Pen CSS cut out effect that will blow your mind 🤯 by Chris Bongers (@rebelchris) on CodePen.

HTML Structure

The HTML for this project could not be more straightforward. It’s only a div with a text element inside.

<div class="background">

That’s it!

CSS Cut out text effect

Let’s start by making our background div centered.

body {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
  align-items: center;
  height: 100vh;

We are using CSS Flexbox to center anything inside the body tag. It’s versatile to do this if you are only styling one element.

Now we need to add our background image.

.background {
  background: url('')
  background-size: cover;

Okay, so the background receives an image, and we set the size to cover in the CSS. So now we should see something like the below:

CSS text clip

It’s a start, but it’s the opposite of our desired effect. So let’s go ahead and style the text element with the blend-mode.

h1 {
  font-size: 15vw;
  font-weight: bold;
  font-family: Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;
  color: #000;
  background: #fff;
  mix-blend-mode: lighten;

First, we set big font size. I’m using the viewport size to make the font responsive.

Then we set the color of the letters to black and the background white. This gives it a full contrast. You can also change the color to get an excellent alpha effect!

The last step is enabling the mix-blend mode with CSS. Since we are using a full contrast (black/white), it will remove the black text and show the image behind the text element:

CSS text cut out

So this is how you create a CSS knockout effect with a background image and a few letters of text!

Browser Support for knockout text

Mix-blend-mode does not have full support in all browsers. Internet Explorer, for one, will not render it 🤕.

CSS mix-blend-mode browser support

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