I'm using Photoshop CS5

My question has two parts to it:


How can I make a circular selected area with a blank border (no fill) border (stroke: 30px)?

I'm going for a similar effect as produced by the Horizontal Type Mask Tool, just, instead of text, I would want to use the circular border as the mask.


After making a selection area I want to force that selection to do something with my photo like as if you are writing on in sand. (sand text)

To do that, I copy and paste that selection but when I used blending options on my photo layer it seems there is a nub in my photo instead of a notch.

How can I do this job done right? Sorry for my language ... Best regards, thanks for future answers

  • 1
    I'm having a lot of trouble understanding your exact question, I'm sorry.
    – Hanna
    Feb 23, 2011 at 5:25
  • If you have an example picture of what you mean by number 2, that would be much appreciated.
    – Hanna
    Feb 23, 2011 at 5:37
  • "there is nub in photo instead notch" -- I don't understand this part, I'm sorry.
    – Hanna
    Feb 23, 2011 at 6:10
  • I think he means to reproduce the effect of when you run your finger through the sand. He's probably doing some of this with the "bevel and emboss" blending options. @LostLord please link a photo of the "sand text writing".
    – leugim
    Feb 23, 2011 at 10:48
  • I am not your friend - you're using Photoshop! (To all Photoshop Junkies: I'm joking, get it?) Mar 3, 2011 at 4:23

1 Answer 1


Warning, image heavy

I kind of understand your first question so that's all I'll attempt to answer for now, and please clarify if this is wrong, but here's how I see it: You want to ONLY have the stroke on a circle, not the contents.

Two easy methods:

Method 1:

Circle marquee -> make your circle -> Select >> Modify >> Border -> Select amount -> Ok enter image description here

Method 2:

(I prefer this method, it's cleaner)

Make a circle --> open layer styles --> add a stroke --> ok Lower Fill to 0%, then you are only left with your stroke. enter image description here enter image description here

EDIT I think I understand Question 1 better now.

So, to isolate the stroke, and then use the strokes selection to mask, do the following:

Layer -> Layer Style -> Create Layer

This makes the layer style, into its own separate layer. enter image description here Now, select the orange circle (ctrl+click the layer's thumbnail)

Then, select the black layer... enter image description here

And now hit "delete" -- this will erase the black circle's innards. Now, simply select the remainder of the layer, and use that as your mask.

  • hi \ thanks 4 answers \ i edit my question for clarify \ i got my first question answer by method 1 - but where is Lower Fill to 0% in method 2? Feb 23, 2011 at 6:02
  • what about the sand text ?(my #2 question) Feb 23, 2011 at 6:02
  • If method 1 works fine for you, then method two doesn't matter. As, they are just different ways of doing the same thing. Fill is located where it's shown in the screenshot (It's outlined in red)
    – Hanna
    Feb 23, 2011 at 6:04
  • I am unsure by what you mean in question two as "sand text" -- again, I'll ask if you have an example to show.
    – Hanna
    Feb 23, 2011 at 6:04
  • Thanks for this answer. It stikes me as very odd that this common task takes so many steps in Photoshop while it is such a simple option (choosing a solid border and a different colour fill) in other tools like Adobe Fireworks and MS Paint.
    – dumbledad
    Oct 17, 2013 at 7:32

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