How can I create an action that increases the canvas size by a specified number of pixels?

I want to batch process a number of files of unknown size to add a consistent white border around each one, without affecting the scaling/cropping of the original picture. In other words, if the original picture is 200px x 350px I would like to automatically increase the canvas to 300px x 450px, leaving the image centered inside a 50px border.

I know how to adjust the canvas size by the total number of pixels, or based on a percentage, but neither of those seem to give me the results I need.

If it matters, a previous step in the process will be to scale the image by percentage (i.e. scale to 75%, then add a 20px border).


1 Answer 1


Check the relative box in the Canvas size dialog box:

enter image description here

  • 1
    After years of (admittedly light) Photoshop use, I can't believe that I never realized what that check-box meant! Nov 20, 2014 at 15:35
  • ...and now you know. wisdom, years, you know the drill :)
    – Vincent
    Nov 20, 2014 at 15:41
  • Like ten years of Photoshop but never noticed that checkbox ;_;
    – 5argon
    Apr 16, 2015 at 15:06

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