How to Outline Text in Photoshop CS5

Last updated: December 12, 2016

Putting text on an image in Photoshop is very common, and can be accomplished with the Text tool in your toolbox. You can then use the assorted options on the Character window to adjust elements of that text, such as the font, color and size. But if you are placing text on top of an image, it can often be difficult to read simply due to contrast issues between the text color and the colors in the background image.

One way to improve the visibility of your text is to draw an outline around that text. This can really help to make your text more legible, and improve the readability for your audience. Our example below will use white text with a black border, which is the easiest-to-read combination of text color and border color in many situations.


How to Draw a Border Around Text in Photoshop CS5

The steps in this article are specifically meant to outline text, but can be used for almost any other layer selection that you might be working with in the program. It is a great way to draw outlines around shapes, such as the arrows that are used in the screenshots below.

Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop CS5.


Step 2: Select an existing text layer, or create a new text layer.
select the text layer
Step 3: Click Layer at the top of the screen.
click the layer tab
Step 4: Click the Layer Style option, then click the Stroke option.
click layer style, then stroke
Step 5: Click the Color box to choose a color, then adjust the size of the outline using the Size slider at the top of the window. Once you have achieved the desired look, click the OK button at the top-right corner of the window.
set the parameters for the stroke effect



Your finished product should look something like the image below.

text with outline in photoshop



Summary – How to outline text in Photoshop

  1. Select the text layer to outline.
  2. Click the Layers option at the top of the window.
  3. Click Layer Style, then click Stroke.
  4. Click the Color box and choose a color for the outline.
  5. Adjust the Size slider to make the text outline bigger or smaller.
  6. Click the OK button to apply the outline to your text.


Do you need to make really large text on your Photoshop image, but can’t seem to get higher than 72 pt? Learn how to manually set the point size for Photoshop text to create much larger characters. newsletter
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