Graphics - Borders


When drawing a shape it normally consists of two components - an outline and a fill area. In the case of wanting to apply a border to an existing image, you will actually be drawing an empty box and using its edge to frame the image. So after picking the rectangular option for the Shape tool, make sure that it is set to outline mode (or stroked) with no fill setting. If you are using Paint Shop Pro 7, you will need to click on the tiny arrow on the colour swatch for Fill, on the right side menu, and select the 'null' option (it's the farthest on the right). Check that the colour of your border is the colour you want, too. In addition, the width of the line will also have to be adjusted to suit the image.

Selecting anti-alias will make a soft edge where the border interacts with the image. Next, draw the box around your image. By now you will have noticed two things: it can be fiddly getting the box exactly where you want it and, if you use a thick-lined border without increasing the size of your canvas, then the border will cover edges of your image. There is a solution . . .


If you simply want to add a border to an existing image, then increasing the size of the canvas is a quick and easy way to do it. In this example I want to add a medium-sized border to this picture to recreate its authentic 60s' feel. I am using a slightly grey colour, as white will appear too stark for the age of the picture. Whatever colour you select as your background will become the colour of the border. In the example below, the original image was 1850x1400 pixels wide. A border of about 3-5 per cent on each edge is generally enough, so I increased the canvas to 2000x1520 pixels. If your image must be an exact size, you can always resize after adding the border. To change the canvas dimensions, choose Image-Canvas size from the menu (this is for both Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop) and enter the new values. Make sure that the options to centre the image vertically and horizontally are selected, or your border will be skewed to one side. Click OK and a new border should appear.


Last month, this column discussed the Select tool. This, too, can be used in a range of ways to add a border.

First, use the select tool and drag out an area where you want a border. By using the Select-Invert option from the menu, you will have now selected the area between the marquee and the edge. You can change this area using a wide range of tools. If you hit the key, this area will become the colour of your background. You could also fill in the colour by using the bucket tool, spray can or paint brush. There are many more sophisticated methods for adding textures - a bit of experimentation can go a long way (filters can also produce some interesting results). There is no need to stick with the rectangular frame - you can use other options such as the ellipse select tool and combine it with feathering. The end result can be like those cheesy frames that are frequently sold on temporary stands at shopping centres.


This is yet another way to create a border, but it can be cumbersome - particularly with very large files. After determining your image's dimensions, calculate how wide your want the border and add the numbers together. Select and copy the entire picture you want to frame, then create a new image with the larger dimensions. Paste the image and then move it into the position you want.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scott Mendham

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?