How to Make Neon Lines in Photoshop

Written by carol adams
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How to Make Neon Lines in Photoshop
Create neon lines in Photoshop. (neon tile background image by javarman from

Adobe Photoshop is a well known photo editing application. It has many uses, from repairing old, damaged photos to retouching photos of celebrities for publication. One of the more interesting uses of Photoshop is to jazz up photos by adding special effects. For example, one effect is to add bright neon lines to your photos. This effect adds a feeling of energy and action to an image. You might have thought you would need to be a professional graphics artist to do this, but anyone with a copy of Photoshop can quickly do it themselves.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Load an image you would like to add neon lines to onto your computer. It is best to do this by transferring the image from a digital source, but you can scan it in if you have no choice.

  2. 2

    Open Photoshop. Select "File" from the menu and choose "Open." In the dialogue that appears, locate the image you loaded and open it.

  3. 3

    Select the "Brush" tool from the toolbar and make the size and colour what you want for the first line.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Create New Layer" button under the "Layers Palette." Then select the "Pen" tool from the menu. In the tool options at the top, change the tool mode to "Path."

  5. 5

    Click on the canvas where you want your first line to start. Then click to add another point on the line and drag with the mouse to adjust the shape of the line to make it curvier. Continue this until you have the first line the way you want it.

  6. 6

    Go to the "Path" palette and right-click on the listed path. From the options, choose "Stroke Path." In the dialogue, choose "Brush" and click "Simulate Pressure." Click "OK."

  7. 7

    Click on the "FX" button at the bottom of the screen and choose "Outer Glow." In the dialogue that appears, change the colour to match the colour of the line. Set the spread to about 10 and click "OK."

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