How Do I Add an Outline to Text in Photoshop?

By David Weedmark

Adding an outline around letters is a sure-fire way to make your words noticeable, while also making the text more visually interesting than a plain flat font. To add an outline to any standard font in Adobe Photoshop CC, apply a Stroke Layer Style to the text. This works great for headlines, invitations or anything else you want people to notice. You can make the border any color or thickness you want. To have the outline stand alone, use a white font, or a color that matches the background, before applying the Stroke Layer Style.

Step 1

Add some text to your Photoshop project using the Horizontal Type Tool or Vertical Type Tool available in the Toolbox. Drag the cursor over the canvas to create a text box and then enter your text. Drag the cursor over the text to highlight it if you want to change the formatting using the Options bar. Click the "Text Color" icon in the Options bar and select a color that will go well with your planned outline color.

Step 2

Click the "Fx" button at the bottom of the Layers panel and select "Stroke" from the pop-up menu. This opens the Layer Style window with the Stroke layer style already selected.

Step 3

Click the "Color" icon in the Layer Style window to open the Color Picker window.

Step 4

Select any color you want for the text outline and click "OK." If there's a color already in your project that you want to match, you can select that color by clicking it. As soon as you move the cursor over the canvas, it becomes an Eye Dropper Tool.

Step 5

Drag the "Size" slider, or type a number in the "Size" text field, to change the outline thickness. You can also use the additional options in the Layer Style window to change the Blend Mode, Opacity and Fill Type. Note that these options affect only the text outline. If you change the Fill Type to a pattern, for example, only the border changes.

Step 6

Select any additional Layer Styles for the text while the Layer Style window is open. For example, you can add an Inner Glow to the area inside the border or a Drop Shadow outside of the text. Click "OK" when you have the appearance you want.