Add A Border Around Your Photos With Photoshop Elements

Why would you want to add a Border around your photos? One reason is that a simple Border around your photos gives them nice crisp edges when displayed on a web page or on printed page.

It's quick and easy to do with Photoshop Elements.

And you can make it as thick or thin as you want and any color from simple black to any other color you want it to be.

You can see from the before-and-after photos how if you add a border, even a thin black border, it frames and enhances that whole space on the page.


Watch the video below to see exactly how to add a border and then try it on your own photos.





STEP ONE- Select "All".

Go up to the "Select" Menu and choose "All". Or use the keyboard shortcut: Command-A on a Mac or Control-A on a PC.


That will put a Selection around your entire document as indicated by the dashed lines (often called Marching Ants).




STEP TWO- Bring Up The "Stroke" Dialog Box.

Go up to the "Edit" Menu and choose "Stroke (Outline) Selection...".


The "Stroke" Dialog Box will appear. Notice that there are 3 sections to the dialog box, Stroke, Location, and Blending.




STEP THREE- Set The Stroke.

Let's start by looking at the "Stroke" Section.

This is where you choose how wide or thick you want the stroke to be as measured in pixels and what color you want it to be.

For this tutorial, we're going to use the default settings which is for a 1 pixel wide, black border. So we don't need to change anything.


But if you want a wider stroke, you can enter any whole number from 1 to 250 into the Width field.

If you want a color other than black, click once on the black rectangle next to the word "Color" and the "Select Stroke Color" dialog box (often called The Color Picker) will appear.

If you don't know how to choose a color you can Click Here to watch a tutorial that shows you how.




STEP FOUR- Set The "Location".

Now let's look at the "Location" section.


In this section we have 3 choices, Inside, Center, and Outside. These refer to where we want our stroke to be in relationship to our Selection. Again we're going to leave it at the default setting which is "Inside".

Inside means the whole width of the stroke will be towards the inside of our Selection line.

Center means that half of the stroke's width will be on one side of the Selection line and half will be on the opposite side.

In our example, since it only works in whole numbers, it will put the entire 1 pixel on the inside of the Selection.

If you have your width set for an odd number and choose center, it puts the larger amount on the inside of the Selection. So for example, if you choose 9 for your width, it will put 4 on the outside and 5 on the inside.

Outside means that the whole width of the stroke will be on the outside of the Selection line.

Since our Selection is around the outside edge of our photo, Inside is the only logical choice.

If we would choose Outside, we wouldn't see our stroke because our Selection line is already on the outside edge of the photo and we can't go any further out.

If we would choose Center, we would only see the half of the width that is on the inside of our Selection line. In fact if we would make our stroke 8 pixels wide and choose center, it would look the same as making the stroke 4 pixels wide and choosing "inside".

So, bottom line: choose "Inside" for the Location.




STEP FIVE- Apply Your Changes.

For this tutorial, we're going to ignore the last section of the Stroke dialog box which is "Blending". It's seldom used by most people and not relevant to this technique.

Now all you have to do is click "OK" to close the Stroke dialog box and your stroke will be applied to the photo.




STEP SIX- Deselect.

Now your Border will be around your photo. But it's hard to see what it really looks like because you still have an active selection.

The "marching ants" that indicate the Selection are right where your new Border is. Since we only have a 1 pixel border, it's completely covered by the "marching ants".


To get rid of the Selection distraction press Command-D on a Mac or Control-D on a PC to Deselect.

Now you should be able to clearly see your new border.




STEP SEVEN (Optional)- Change The Size And/Or Color.

If you want to try a different size or color Border, it's very easy to do. Go up to the "Edit" Menu and choose "Revert".


That will revert your photo back to how it was when you first opened it in Photoshop Elements.

Now just go through the steps again beginning with STEP ONE and enter a different size and/or color in STEP THREE.




That completes this tutorial on how to add a border with Photoshop Elements.


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