• Creating a Rounded Rectangle Frame

    When a viewer emailed me to ask how to make a rounded rectangle frame, I thought it would be a great topic for the tip of the week. And then I thought it would make an even better series! This week is the first of a number of tips will show you how to work with shapes to create simple and interesting accents for your digital projects.

    To create a rounded rectangle frame, begin by opening a new document in Photoshop or Elements. Set the Foreground color to a color that contrasts with your background.

    Next, get the Rounded Rectangle tool. (Donít confuse this with the Rectangular Marquee tool!)

    In Photoshop, choose the Shape Layers icon which is the first icon in the row of the Options Bar.

    For the sample, I chose a Radius of 40 px.

    Click and draw out a rectangle on your document. Holding the Shift key as you drag will create a rounded square instead of a rectangle. Notice how the shape is created on its own layer in the Layers Panel.

    Making sure that the rectangle layer is selected, choose Layer > Simplify Layer (PSE) or Layer > Rasterize > Layer (PS).

    Next, Ctrl Click (Mac: Cmd Click) on the thumbnail of the rectangle layer to make a selection around it.

    Choose Select > Modify > Contract and type a number in the box. The larger the number, the thicker your frame will be. Click OK. Make sure that the shape layer is selected and then press Delete or Backspace on your keyboard.

    This erases the center of the frame. Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.

    You can use this technique to create a slide mount, too. Just create a rounded rectangle and simplify (rasterize it.) Next, get the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a selection with square corners inside the Rounded Rectangle. Press Delete or Backspace to delete the center of the slide mount.

    Check back next week for another fun shape you can make with just a few clicks.