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Newbie Notes: Adding a Stroke on a Separate Layer

July 31, 2009

Newbie Notes mcpAdding a stroke, or outline, to an image or a shape is very useful in many circumstances.

If you add this stroke on its own layer, it increases the possibilities for creative use. For example, you can treat the stroke layer in a different manner –  recolouring, adding a separate style or action, embossing, these can look very effective when applied to just the stroke and not the whole image or shape.

Another use for this technique is to outline an element printed on a larger sheet for cutting purposes.

For example, say you want to print a 5×7 in (folded size) card on A4 or Letter paper.

When you drag your 10×7 card onto your larger paper, the surrounding white space disappears into the larger area. When printed, you have no cutting guidelines.

So set your file up as directed below. With the stroke on its own layer, you can save this file as a layered print template for 5x7in cards and just drag each new card to be printed onto a new layer. If a card has colour all over, you won’t need the stroke to show the cutting line – in which case just turn off the “eye” to hide the stroke layer.


Drag your card onto your print-size paper.

Here I have turned off the background layer.


With your card layer active, press Ctrl and click on the layer name (in this case, Layer1) at the same time.

This will bring on the marching ants around your card.


At the base of your Layer Palette, select the icon for

“Create a new layer”, shown above.


Now go to your “Edit” menu and select “Stroke” from the drop-down list.

With the new, top layer active, choose 2 pixels for the size and “outside” for the position of the stroke.

(Make sure black is your foreground colour, not white.)


Press Ctrl and D on your keyboard to deselect the marching ants.

Result – a visible cutting line for your card as shown in the close-up above.

The card used in this tutorial is available as a free gift from Cards by Carol.

ccrl Packaging Label w StringJuno xx

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