Draw a Circle without a Fill
in Photoshop Elements

What does it mean to draw a circle without a fill?

Well obviously it's the opposite of drawing a circle with a fill.

But you don't usually use the term draw a circle with or without a fill. You would usually just say "draw a circle".

And you can pretty easily draw a circle in Photoshop Elements by using the Ellipse Shape tool.

What this tutorial is really about is how to draw a circle around something.

The example I'm going to use is how to draw a circle around a specific person that we want to identify in a group shot. We're going to draw a circle around the baby in the lower-left of this photo:

If we were to use the Ellipse tool this is what we would get:

YIKES!! We want the circle AROUND the baby not OVER it.
In this tutorial we'll discover the trick to get this instead.

Click on the video below to see exactly how it's done.

Under the video is an illustrated step-by-step guide showing how to draw a circle without a fill in Photoshop Elements.

The Step-By-Step Guide

STEP ONE- Add A New Layer.

Start by adding a new Layer to put the circle on.

To do that go to the Layers panel and click on the Create a New Layer icon.

That adds a new blank Layer above the Background Layer that we can put our circle on.

STEP TWO- Draw A Circular Selection.

Use the Elliptical Marquee tool to make a Selection around your subject by clicking-and-dragging diagonally as you hold down the Shift key.

Holding down the Shift key will constrain your Selection to a perfect circle.

Marching Ants around baby's head indicate the circular Selection.

STEP THREE- Add A Stroke Around Your Selection.

Now all we have left to do is to add a stroke to our Selection.

Go up to the Edit menu and choose Stroke (Outline) Selection... by clicking on it.

The Stroke dialog box will appear.

In the top section of the dialog box choose the Width and Color for your stroke.

From the middle section of the dialog box choose the location of your stroke relative to your Selection line.

In most situations the location wont matter much on a round Selection. However if you have a square Selection you want to choose "inside" as the location to get nice square corners.

For our lesson we wont make any changes to the bottom section (labeled Blending) of the dialog box.

Next click OK to close the dialog box and accept the changes.

And that's all there is to it, just three easy steps!

Here's a look at the final result:

And that brings us to the end of this tutorial on how to draw a circle without a fill in Photoshop Elements.

Until next time, this is Rick saying . . . Take care!

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