How to Create a Transparent Border in Photoshop

By Michael Jones

Border making in Adobe Photoshop is a pretty basic effect that can be applied to any photo. Making the border transparent is just as easy. A fully transparent border is pointless because it won't be seen, but border opacity can be set anywhere from 1 to 100 percent. This will determine how transparent your border is. You should play around with colors and patterns too, but if you just want a simple, transparent border, you'll get one in a few easy steps.

Step 1

Open your image in Photoshop. You should always work on a copy of your image and not the original.

Step 2

Select the rectangular marquee tool from the top left of the toolbar. If it's not on the toolbar, you will have to click and hold an icon. A pop-out toolbar will extend and you will see the tool. You may have to drag the icon toward the image for the toolbar to extend.

Step 3

Click on the top left corner of your image and drag the rectangle all the way to the bottom right corner. It might take a couple attempts before you get your border to be the size you want. If you make a mistake, click on "Ctrl+Z" to undo any edits.

Step 4

Invert your selection to create the border outside of the picture by going to "Select" and choosing "Invert." You can also use the hot key shortcut which is Ctrl+Shift+I.

Step 5

Click "Edit" and select "Fill" to get options to fill the border with a color or pattern. You'll also get the option to set the opacity, which will determine how transparent your border is. Set the opacity to 100 percent for a fully transparent border, or 50 percent for a semi-transparent border.

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