How to Add Outer Glow in CS4

Written by foye robinson
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How to Add Outer Glow in CS4
Use outer glow to make an area of your image stand out. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

An outer glow can be applied to a selected layer in Photoshop. It creates a glowing outline around an element to make it more prominent. You can apply a variety of features to an outer glow in Adobe Photoshop CS4. The opacity level lets you lighten or darken the outer glow, while the noise level lets you apply smudging. You can also customise the outer glow's colour, size, edge, shape and distance from the selected object.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open the image you want to edit in Photoshop CS4 by selecting "File" and "Open" from the menu and double-clicking the file you want to modify.

  2. 2

    Go to the Layers palette and select the layer containing the element where the outer glow will be applied.

  3. 3

    Select "Layers," "Layer Style" and "Outer Glow" from the menu, or click the "Fx" button at the bottom of the Layers palette and select "Outer Glow." The Layer Style dialogue box opens and "Outer Glow" is selected under "Styles."

  4. 4

    Check "Preview" on the right of the dialogue box to view changes as they are made.

  5. 5

    Drag the "Opacity" and "Noise" levels to the preferred setting and click the colour swatch beneath "Noise." The Color Picker dialogue box opens. Select a glow colour and click "OK."

  6. 6

    Go to the "Elements" section. Select "Softer" for a soft edge or "Precise" for a hard edge under "Technique." Change the value for "Spread" to specify the outer glow's boundary and customise the value for "Size."

  7. 7

    Go to the "Quality" section to customise the outer glow's shape. Click the "Contour" button and select the shape you want to apply. Check "Anti-aliased" to smoothen the contour. Click "OK" to close the dialogue box and add the changes.

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