Image Border


Today’s Question: How do you make a black frame or border in Photoshop? Can it be done in Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: If you want a relatively thin border around the photo, adding a Stroke effect will work well. You can easily add a Stroke to any image in Photoshop, and this feature is also available when sharing photos in Lightroom via the Slideshow, Print, or Web modules.

More Detail: A Stroke effect is a simple border around a photo, and with some limitations this effect provides a great way to add a colored border around an image.

In Photoshop you can add a Stroke as a Layer Style for an image. If you’re working with a Background image layer, you’ll first need to convert that layer to a “normal” layer. To do so, double-click on the thumbnail for the Background image layer on the Layers panel, and then click OK in the New Layer dialog that appears.

Next, click the “Add a Layer Style” button (the “fx” icon) at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose “Stroke” from the popup menu. In the Layer Style dialog, make sure the Position popup is set to “Inside” so you can actually see the effect. Note that this will cover up the outer portion of the image. You can then adjust the Size and Color settings (among other options) to adjust the appearance of the border effect.

Note that while it is possible to place the Stroke effect outside the image (so none of the image is blocked,) doing so will result in rounded corners for the border. In this case, you are better off expanding the size of the document with the Image > Canvas Size command to create space for a border effect outside the image area.

In Lightroom a similar set of options are available within the Slideshow, Print, and Web modules. You can turn on the Stroke Border checkbox on the right panel in the applicable module, and then set the color (by clicking the color swatch) and size (using the Width slider). This Stroke Border option is, unfortunately, not available when exporting images from Lightroom.