How to Stroke a Selection in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Stroke a Selection in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Stroking in Photoshop CS6 enables you to create outlines of selections, layers, or paths. Stroking a selection creates a border around the selection. It’s up to you to decide whether to put the border inside, outside, or centered on the selection. (Photoshop doesn’t care.)

To stroke a selection, follow these steps:

  1. In the Tools or Colors panel, choose a foreground color and make a selection of your choice.

  2. Choose Edit→Stroke.

  3. In the Stroke dialog box, adjust the settings and the options.


    • Width: You can select 1 to 250 pixels. You can also type a value by using another measurement, such as inches, but Photoshop converts it to pixel values before applying.

    • Color: Click in the Color box to select the hue you want from the Color Picker.

    • Location: Select where Photoshop should apply the stroke in relation to your selection border. The Inside option always gives you sharp corners on a rectangle. The Center and Outside options can result in blunt, mitered corners.

    • Mode: This determines how the stroke color merges with other colors on the same layer.

    • Opacity: The default value is 100%. If you want the stroke to be semitransparent, type another value.

    • Preserve Transparency: Select this option to apply the stroke only to nontransparent pixels.

  4. Click OK to apply the stroke.

It’s recommended leaving the Blending Mode and Opacity setting options in the Stroke dialog box alone. Instead of adjusting these settings, create a new layer for your stroke and then choose different Blending Mode and Opacity settings in the Layers panel. This approach maximizes your ability to make edits.