How do I place a photo or a collage inside a word or a letter?

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Text frames can be converted to mattes, which can then be used to display an image within it.
You can even create a multi-image collage to place into the text-matte.
text matte

Placing an image inside text

Add a text frame to your canvas, and type a single letter or a word in the frame. (Note: a single word or a few letters will display your image better.)

Customize the font, but do not apply any other text attributes to the frame. However, having a bold text is best to see the image in.

Under the Text editor’s Effects tab, click Convert to Matte.

The text will convert into an empty image frame.

Drop an image into the text frame to complete. You can duplicate the text frame (select + Ctrl-D) and change the images as many times as you like. You cannot, however, edit the text.

Placing a collage inside text

To create a collage inside of text, you will need to make the collage first, then apply it as a single image file within the text-matte.

First, create a new project.
Add a text frame to your canvas, and type the letter you would like to use to hold the images on your finished product.
Try to fill as much of the page with the letter (or resize the canvas, if possible, to tightly crop around the letter.

Pick a thick font to allow for maximum area for your images to display.

Right mouse select this frame – choose Position > Locks> Lock Position. This will make the text frame stationary, so you cannot accidentally select it.

Go to the Tools menu, and access the Layers… menu. Make the Text layer See Through and Protected.

This will cause your letter to become semi-transparent, which will allow you to draw Image frames behind the text.

Add Image frames to cover the letter shape. You might want to add a dark color to the canvas background as well, to mask any blank area.

Autopopulate the collage with images. Adjust positioning of the images, and swap them from frame to frame, as required.

Remove frame borders, shadows, and adjust as you like.

When the collage is to your liking, return to the Tools Menu and turn off the Text layer. You can continue to tweak the collage – but don’t move the frames at this point.

Render this collage.

Save this version of the project, in case you need to make corrections later.

Start a new project, or open the project on which you want to place the collage-letter.
Create a text frame with the same letter, in the same font, on your canvas. The size of the frame does not matter.

On the Text Editor, click on the Effects tab.
Click the Convert to Matte button.

The letter will convert to a matte – it can now hold an image.

Drop your rendered collage into matte, and adjust it to fill the letter.

You can resize and reposition the text frame, and then adjust the image contents as required.

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