How to Make Circle Photos in Photoshop

Updated February 21, 2017

While it may be hip to be square, adding other shapes like circles to your photos can really give them dimension. Most standard cameras take photos in rectangle-shaped sizes such as 4 inches by 6 inches, but with the aid of Photoshop, a graphics program available as part of the Adobe Creative Suite, you can transform any size and shape photo into a circle. With just a couple of quick clicks, you’ll have circle photos sure to garner a “round” of applause.

Open Photoshop, pull down the “File” menu and click “Open.” Browse to a photo to turn into a circle and double-click the file name, which opens the image in the Photoshop workspace.

Right-click the “Rectangle Marquee Tool,” which looks like a box made of dotted lines on the top of the Tools palette. Select “Elliptical Marquee Tool,” which looks like a circle made of dotted lines.

Position your cursor over the image and draw a circle around just the part of the picture to use for the circle. To make a circle out of the majority of the image, drag your cursor from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Note that because circles are round, the corners of your picture won’t be included.

Right-click the blinking dotted line circle outline and select “Layer via Copy.”

Right-click the “Background” layer on the “Layers” palette. If you do not see the “Layers” palette, pull down the “Window” menu and click “Show Layers.” Select “Delete Layer” and click “Yes” at the warning window. Your picture is now in the shape of a circle.

Pull down the “File” menu and click “Save As.” Type a new name for the file; don’t save it on top of the non-circle original as this will overwrite it. Pull down the “Format” menu and select “GIF,” the only format that allows transparent backgrounds to let you keep your circle shape. Click “Save.”

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.