How to Add a White Border Around a Picture in Photoshop Elements

Updated July 20, 2017

Including a white border around a digital image can add an artistic touch to your picture. It can also simulate a custom photo matt on an odd-shaped picture that you want to put in a standard-size frame. You can quickly add a white border to any digital picture by using the "Resize" tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

Open the picture using Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

Go to the "Image" menu.

Choose "Resize" then "Canvas Size." This will pull up a dialogue box that will contain the current width and height of the picture.

Click on the "Relative" box. Then enter the width you want the white box around the photo to be, such as 0.25 inch.

Change the "Canvas Extension Color" to "White." Hit "OK." Because you checked the "Relative" box, Photoshop will increase the size of the picture by a quarter-inch on all sides.


If you don't check the "Relative" box, you can increase the width of the canvas to one size and the height of the canvas to another size, creating an uneven white box around the picture. This is useful if you have a picture cropped to an odd size and want to put it in a standard-size frame. Try adding a very thin black border to your picture, then adding a white border second. This will give the illusion of a double matt around the picture. If you are working with a image that has several layers, make sure you have selected the "Background" layer before adding the white border. Otherwise, your border will only be added to the layer that is active and it may not show up on the final image. To merge all a photo's layers, select the "Layer" menu, then "Flatten Image."

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About the Author

Suzette Barnard has been writing for newspapers since 1990. Her work has appeared in publications like "The Columbia Missourian" and "The Edwardsville Intelligencer" in southern Illinois. Barnard holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia.