I edited a b/w image in photoshop with the effects gallery and saved it. I opened up illustrator and placed it behind some text I created. Now I'm trying to add a fill and stroke around it to match the text stroke, but I'm unable do it in the appearance panel.

What am I missing?

2 Answers 2


It's a bit of a pain to do this. You could always create empty rectangles the same size as your images and then apply the styles/strokes to those, but I'll guide you through adding strokes to the images below

  • Select the image you wish to add a stroke to and open the Appearance Panel

  • Click Add New Stroke, located at the bottom left of the panel (it looks like a hollow square)

enter image description here

You can edit the stroke properties, but nothing will appear. To get the stroke to show, you need to create a shape.

  • Select the stroke effect in the Appearance Panel and then go to FX > Convert to Shape > Rectangle

enter image description here

You can add an offset, if you want some white space. Otherwise, make sure Extra Width and Extra Height are both 0

enter image description here

Edit your stroke by clicking on it in the Appearance Panel

  • I tried it, but instead of putting the stroke around the image, it put the stroke around the selection box. One thing I did notice is that it says unembed at the top. Not sure how to fix that either.
    – louis s
    Jul 28, 2017 at 17:54
  • @louiss so you don't have a rectangular image? If your image is oddly shaped (a cutout image with transparent background, for example), you're probably better off just doing the stroke work in PS; it's much easier there.
    – Manly
    Jul 28, 2017 at 18:20
  • Thanks for the help and awesome example images.. When I got back home. I scrapped it and tried again from scratch. I Just opened the file in Illustrator and then: Object>Image Trace>Make. Chose 3 color. and then Object>Image Trace>Expand. It Worked.
    – louis s
    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:06

You need to make sure that the image/psd is embedded before you can perform actions on it.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Not true. Even an embedded image will still require extra steps to add a stroke
    – Manly
    Jul 28, 2017 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.