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How To Add a Thick Outline to Type in Photoshop (any version)

How to Add a Stroke or Outline to Text and Objects in Photoshop


Outline Text in Photoshop

How to Outline Text in Photoshop | View Larger

© Sue Chastain

There are several ways to create outlined text in Photoshop, but most require you to render the text. Here's a technique for a thick outline that allows the type to remain editable. You can use this technique to add an outline to any object or selection, not just text. However, unless you are using a very old version of Photoshop, the "Stroke" layer effect is a better way to add outlines to objects in Photoshop 6 or later. In case you were wondering, "stroke" is just another way of saying outline in Photoshop jargon.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Select the type tool and create your text.
  2. Control-click on the type layer (Command-click on Mac). This creates a selection around the type.
  3. Set the foreground color to the desired outline color.
  4. Click the new layer button on the layers palette.
  5. Go to Edit > Stroke.
  6. Set the width to the desired amount.
  7. Set the Location to Outside.
  8. Click OK.


  1. If you edit the text, you'll need to trash the outline layer and recreate it.
  2. For a thinner outline, the layer effects method is preferred (see related information below).
  3. For a ragged outline, set the layer blend mode to dissolve and lower the opacity.
  4. For a gradient filled outline, Ctrl-click (Command-click on Mac) on the outline layer, and fill the selection with a gradient.

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