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Epson Computer Tip: Stroke Outline
By Barbara Kotsos

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Would you like to create a small matte to go behind your photo or any other digital element? It is really easy to do!

Step 1: Ctrl + Left Click on the layer thumbnail of the item you wish to outline in the Layers Palette to create a selection around the item. You will see “marching ants” around your object when it has been selected.


Step 2: Select Edit | Stroke Outline Selection from your main menu. This will bring up the Stroke menu box.


Choose any color you want the outline to be by double-clicking on the color box to bring up the Color Picker box and the Eyedropper Tool to select any color from your photo or layout. Make sure that the Location is set to Outside so the outline will be on the outside of the marching ants. You’ll also want to set the width of your stroke (here we’ve used 20 px).

Step 3: Click on OK and your photo will be outlined! After the outline is created, select Ctrl+D to deselect the item so the “marching ants” disappear.

Adding an outline is a good way to highlight photos and elements – but adding a SHADOW will really make it “pop” and stand out on the page!

Step 4: Ctrl + Left Click on the same layer thumbnail of the object you are working with, and you will see “marching ants” around the OUTSIDE of the newly outlined object.

Go to the Styles and Effects palette, and in the first drop-down menu, select “Layer Styles”. In the second drop-down menu, select “Drop Shadows”.

Now, select which drop shadow style you want to apply to your object.

Remember, if you don’t like what an effect does to your project, you can always “Undo” by either:
a) clicking the “Undo” arrow
b) go to the Edit menu, and select “Undo Apply Style”
c) clicking back a step in your “Undo History” window

In our example, we chose the “High” drop shadow.
Look how the drop shadow really makes the object “pop”
out of the layout!

This technique can be used with any other layer in your layout as well, including monogram letters, such as this, to make them “pop” and stand out more.

Here we used this technique to frame the photos as well as the letters in the word, “Play”.

It was also used to frame the photos in the layout below.


Sponsor: Epson America, Inc.

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