I'd just like to create a simple white border around this picture, without shrinking it. I tried creating a new layer and expanding it beyond the borders of the original layer.

enter image description here

At first, I was unable to resize as it was transparent and I was told "no pixels selected." So, I filled the layer with white, put it in front, and tried to Cmd + T / Transform it that way. It seemed I was making it bigger, but the white did not expand with the border, nor was I able to refill the whole thing with white.

enter image description here

Any idea where I'm going wrong, or what the easiest way to do this is?

Thank you in advance.

4 Answers 4


Using layer style, you can apply border.
Click on Layer style apply stroke
Play with stroke size and color.
enter image description here

  • Doesn't this shrink the image? Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 13:00
  • 1
    In the screenshot above you will notice a dropdown for 'Position', you can set the stroke inside, outside or center. If the stroke sits outside your image, simply use Image>Canvas Size to increase your image dimensions as needed.
    – John
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 13:42
  • To extend this: in circumstances where "the image" is multiple layers, one might make a new top layer, create a black shape which is the size of the frame opening (aka "the sight"), apply a stroke to this new layer and then set the layer's fill to 0%. The stroke will still be visible.
    – horatio
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:54
  • This is amazingly fast and straightforward. Thanks for the tip. I've been using photoshop for ages and I never knew borders could be this easy.
    – Neeku
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 22:36

The easiest way to do this in Photoshop is to go to Image -> Canvas size. This will allow you to add more length and width to the image without having to transform the image.

You can the add the relative amount (pixels, inches, points) which will create your border. It will automatically fill with transparency so you then would create a layer underneath your base layer and fill it with white.

Hope this helps

  • While MK_'s answer addresses applying a stroke and is a good way of doing it in most circumstances, this answer deals with the problem of increasing the canvas size so as to not steal pixels from the original image. So both answers cover the issue and both are useful to the OP, depending on context.
    – horatio
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:53

You can just give the picture a stroke:

  1. Select it with Ctrl then click the layer you want the border to be applied
  2. Press M
  3. Right click the selection, choose Stroke...
  4. Give the selection a stroke of the desired size
  • While this does add a border, MK_'s solution would be a better choice because it is non-destructive and can be modified later
    – JohnB
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 21:50

Go to the Edit menu, select Fill and fill the layer with black. Name the layer White Border. Click the fx button at the bottom of the Layers panel and select Stroke. Set the the Size to 9 pixels, the Position to Inside, and the Opacity to 60%.


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