Dashed Rectangle


Today’s Question: Is there a way to make a dashed rectangle in Photoshop? I’m trying to create a coupon graphic for an end-of-year discount on the sale of my photographic prints.

Tim’s Quick Answer: It is actually very easy to create a rectangle comprised of a dashed line rather than a solid line. With the Rectangle tool you can specify a dashed line, and adjust the other attributes that can be applied when you click-and-drag to draw the actual rectangle.

More Detail: The Rectangle tool in Photoshop can be found down near the bottom of the toolbox, just above the Hand tool. After selecting the Rectangle tool you can adjust the settings for the rectangle you want to create using the controls on the Options bar.

In this case one of the key settings is the shape of the stroke, which is the outline for the rectangle you’ll create. There is a popup control to the right of the color and size settings for the stroke on the Options bar, and on that popup you’ll find a dashed option (as well as a dotted option and the default solid line setting).

If you want an “empty” rectangle that only has a dashed border, you can set the Fill color popup to the “non” option, which appears as a white box with a red slash through it. Then set the Stroke popup to the desired color for the dashed line. The thickness of the dashed line can be set with the popup to the right of the stroke color setting.

Make sure that the popup toward the far left of the Options bar is set to Shape (rather than Path or Pixels). Then click and drag within the image from one corner of the desired rectangle to the opposite corner. You can use the Transform commands as needed to alter the shape of your rectangle after creating it. And because you used the Shape option, you can always adjust the settings on the Options bar for the Shape layer you’ve created even after drawing the rectangle.