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Is it possible to apply a layer effect like a stroke to a pattern in PS? Let's say I have a pattern created with a single black ellipse, but sometimes I want that black ellipse to have a red outline around it. Do I have to create another pattern or is it possible to use the stroke layer effect? In other words, is it possible to correct pattern fill layers with layer effects - sometimes it would be useful to adjust a particular pattern this way or another on certain layers, it seems overkill having to create separate patterns for every scenario like that.

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Yes, but only if the pattern has a transparent background.

In the example below, I defined a black filled ellipse, drawn onto a transparent layer, as a pattern. Then I filled an entire transparent layer with the pattern, then applied a "stroke" layer effect to the layer.

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