Add a keyline

When entering digital images into competitions it is common for the images to be projected onto a black or nearly black background. Very often our images may have dark or even black areas at the edge making it difficult for the viewer or more importantly the judge to distinguish where the image ends and the background starts. 


To overcome this the best way is to add a "keyline" around your image to make it stand out as shown below. 



Although you can make your keyline any colour and any width you like it is usually preferred to do them in black, white or grey and 1 or 2 px (pixels) wide depending on your image. Adding the keyline is the last step after editing, flattening and sizing your image.  To add the keyline either double click the layer in the layer palette to bring up the layer properties dialogue box or go to the main menu and select layer > Layer styles > stroke


Click on the stroke layer in the left panel and make sure the checkbox has a tick in it. In the stroke structure  panel to the right.

  • Set the size with the slider and make sure the position is set to inside.
  • Set blend mode to normal 
  • Fill type - colour
  • Click colour panel to select colour. 
  • Click OK and you're done. 

Don't forget to save your image!

When adding a keyline it is destructive i.e. it overwrites pixels on your image. As always it is best to create a new layer to add your keyline and save the images as a copy, preserving your original. Once you have mastered the skill of adding a keyline you can have a play with the settings in the stroke structure dialogue box to come up with some creative keylines/borders even adding more than one keystroke to the same image. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email