April 23rd, 2008

Tutorial: Photos with Rounded Corners using Photoshop

Rounded Corners Photoshop Tutorial by Growing Happiness

Round/rounded, curved/smooth corner, there are many names for this effect and there are a few methods to create it. In this tutorial, I’m gonna teach you how to get your photos to have rounded corners using what I consider the easiest and most flexible method – using clipping masks.

There are 7 images in this tutorial (totaling 320kb), not including the header image above .

Before that

Open the image file you’d like to use (make sure you have a backup copy, just in case) and resize it to desired size using the Image>Image Size… from your menu bar. In this tutorial, I’m using an image that is 350px wide. I am using Photoshop CS2.

Step 1

Your image is by default a Background layer, which is locked. To unlock it, double click the layer. At the “New Layer” dialog box, you may choose to rename the layer, in this example, “Spring”, or leave it as “Layer 0″, and click OK.

Photos with Rounded Corner Tutorial Step 1

Step 2

Click-hold the Shape Tool on your tools palette and select Rounded Rectangle Tool. If the tools palette is not visible, go to the menubar and click Window > Tools.

At your Shape options bar, enter a Radius of 20px (you can experiment with different values later).

Photos with Rounded Corners Tutorial Step 2

Step 3

Click and drag a Rounded Rectangle Shape over your photo. Note that the actual cursor is a hairline cross, not a Giant Arrow. A Shape 1 layer is automatically created above your photo layer. Move the shape around until you are roughly satisfied with the positioning.

Photos with Rounded Corners Tutorial Step 3

Step 4

Drag the Shape 1 layer below your photo layer. An outline of the shape will be visible on your photo layer.

Photos with Rounded Corners Tutorial Step 4

Step 5

Select the photo layer (Important:Make sure you have the photo layer selected before moving to the next step!).

Click on the little arrow at the top right corner, then click on Create Clipping Mask.

Voila! Your photo layer is now masked to the shape layer below. At this point, you can select the Shape layer and move it around or transform its size, if you like.

Photos with Rounded Corners Tutorial Step 5

Step 6

Before saving this image, you might want to crop away the unecessary transparent pixels surrounding your photo. From your menu bar, go to Image>Trim…

Copy the options below. The file will be cropped exactly to the edge of your photo.

Photos with Rounded Corners Tutorial Step 6

Remember to save the file as GIF or PNG with Transparency option checked.  If you save it as a JPG, the white border will show when used on top of another image/web page color that is not white.

Have fun!

Autumn Foliage with Round Corners

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Great tutorial :D I love the picture you used for it!
Zech  at 11:17 am on April 23, 2008
Thanks, the header picture was taken at Lake Jindabyne on beautiful, cloudless day.
Ginger M  at 11:38 am on April 23, 2008
Thank you thank you thank you! My wife has always had to do this for me, now the tutorial will help me on my own!
Damien Riley  at 10:26 am on April 29, 2008
Glad to be of help. :)
Ginger M  at 9:09 am on April 30, 2008
thanks so much for this tutorial. it was very well written and easy to follow.
han  at 3:22 pm on July 23, 2008
okay, well i got stuck at step 5. the "create clipping mask" is not available for me to click on...
Alexa  at 11:06 pm on July 31, 2008
If "create clipping mask" is unavailable in step 5, please check that you have the right layer selected (the photo layer and not the vector shape layer).
Ginger M  at 12:07 am on August 1, 2008
hi there, the first couple of times i did this it worked fine, but now, every time i create the clipping mask, the whole photo disappears and i'm left with the shape on a transparent background, i'm flummoxed...
gladbeast  at 5:46 am on August 4, 2008
hey hey... i've sussed it, it was the fill, or lack of itwithout the fill in the shape, pshop assumes your just after the shape's outline...
gladbeast  at 5:54 am on August 4, 2008
thanks for that. Been scratching my head about how to do this since I got PS and this is a simple and straightforward explanation (how is curing hiccups a related link though?)
Steve M  at 4:22 am on September 26, 2008
Hi! When I´m getting rid of the transparent pixels, the ones in the corners wont go away. When I´m saving my pictures, there are still some ugly ass pixels where the old corners used to be... Do I have to add a white background to get it the way I want it to be? I want my pictures to look just like you´r "Rounded Corners" sample photo at the top of this page. How do I do that?
Richard Palasoff  at 2:20 pm on December 27, 2008
I don't quite understand your "ugly pixel" problem but you could try adding a plain white background layer below your rounded image.
Ginger M  at 11:28 am on December 29, 2008
Thank you so much for this tutorial it is awsome!! thank you =D!!
Shane  at 5:30 pm on March 29, 2009
[...] 2. Tutorial: Photos with Rounded Corners using Photoshop [...]
12+ Excellent Photoshop Rounded Corners Tutorials  at 9:02 am on April 3, 2009
Thanks so much for sharing your excellent Photoshop knowledge and skills so generously and effectively. A little rounding goes a long way!
T. Leach  at 6:11 pm on May 3, 2009
Thanks so much for this tutorial! It was exactly what I needed - no more, no less. Really appreciate it. Michael
Michael  at 11:05 am on June 14, 2009
Ain't sure whether you are a lady or gentleman, but SIR or MADAM! Thank you so much! this tutorial is simple and great. I however still have the remaining sharp edges on each rounded corner. how can I remove them and just only have the corner rounds with no shit extending? Thanks.
Noble One  at 9:20 am on July 15, 2009
thanks a lot , its simple and got it done the first trial:)
Triton  at 10:39 pm on July 16, 2009
Great tutorial - straight and to the point - gets the job done quick and easy!
Carol  at 11:53 am on February 16, 2010
Nice tutorial ! However when I try to add borders (stroke) to the resulting image, the borders at the rounded corners do no appear and they appear just fine on all the sides. How to make the borders appear on the rounded corners ?
Kashif  at 11:10 pm on February 25, 2010
I can't seem to get this to work for me. When I add the rounded rectangle to my image, I'm not getting a separate shape layer, its just adding the rectangle to the background layer. I'm not sure why this is happening.
Lisa  at 2:29 pm on April 13, 2010
@Lisa, make sure you have "Shape layers" selected instead of "Paths" at your Shape options bar.
Ginger M  at 2:08 am on April 16, 2010
Hi, thank you for this great tutorial. I tried it and almost everything worked out. But if I save the image as a Jpg I still have some white corners. I don´t know how to get rid of them. Thanks Rosa
Rosa  at 7:27 am on April 19, 2010
thank you SO much for this EASY tutorial! I could not figure it out for the life of me!
Randi  at 11:21 pm on June 14, 2010
Fantastic....! Thanks for the great tip. It worked like a charm. Keep up the great work!
Cody  at 9:32 am on October 6, 2010
awesome tutorial! thank you!
heather  at 9:49 pm on November 28, 2010
Hi. I loved the very easy and straight forward tutorial on the rounded corners. I was was able to follow all of it, but I have 1 small problem. When I follow the last step to trim away the transparent pixels, it does this but leaves the image showing the white corners, which I do not want. How do i correct this? Regards, Pascal
Pascal Diamond  at 4:02 am on December 8, 2010
@Pascal, @Rosa and others - if you happen to have a white background layer below your image and shape layer, remember to turn the visibility of the layer off. Also make sure to save the file as a GIF or PNG with transparency checked.
Ginger M  at 3:58 pm on December 12, 2010
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!This is the easiest and this one actually WORKED for me so thank you!!
Kimmy  at 10:20 pm on February 25, 2011
Thank you so much for sharing the rounded corner tip, I am planning to use this for all my recipe photos!
Nami @ Just One Cookbook  at 2:05 am on May 27, 2011
[...] Tutorial: Photos with Rounded Corners using Photoshop | Growing … Apr 23, 2008 … I want my pictures to look just like youВґr "Rounded Corners" sample photo at the top of this page. … [...]
pictures with rounded edges  at 1:57 pm on June 2, 2011
THANK YOU i have been googling this for DAYS,it was so complicated until i found this. THANK YOU, THANK YOU : )
betsy  at 3:06 pm on August 26, 2011
Dear One, Thanks for sharing with simple steps. It seems so easy by following the steps as mentioned. ~Ash
Dedicated -Ash  at 6:39 am on August 30, 2011
It's better to paste vector mask to layer, than using clipping mask, it will make things more organized and compact.
Some guy  at 5:26 am on September 2, 2011
I've been trying to find a way, when using the Rounded Rectangular Tool to automatically scale to the full size of the photo. To some how expand to 100% of the image. This would make it easy to create an Action for rounded corners for any size image. Thanks for the great tutorials !
Ron Richardson  at 12:03 pm on October 31, 2011
This is the best tutorial on the web right now that explains this process in quickly and effectively.
Natasha  at 11:04 am on January 2, 2012
Thank you for sharing the knowledge
Damith Wanninayake  at 12:30 pm on January 16, 2012
Thanks. That was the easiest tutorial I found for doing this. And thanks for the tip on trimming and saving it as a png to avoid saving the cropped edges.
Shaun  at 8:17 pm on February 3, 2012
I've been working at this for, no kidding, at least 10 hours today; still, when I save the image as as a PNG file, it still has square corners—I can't imagine what I'm missing. Thank you for your help. Jim.
Jim Heilman  at 8:47 pm on February 9, 2012
Brilliant! I just got stuck at "Create clipping mask". I have Photoshop 6 still - it works with Layers - Group Previous. Thanks very much! Keep up the good work! Kind regards Anthony
Anthony Katz  at 2:24 pm on February 23, 2012
Great tutorial :)
Shobi  at 10:10 pm on May 25, 2012
thank you for the tutorial but i'm having the same problem as Lisa April 2010, but i can't find where to select "shape layers". I don't have the round rectangle tool either! Can you give any other tips pretty please?! thank you p
priscilla  at 3:37 pm on September 24, 2012
me gain! yup!!! i have manage to do it! thank you p
priscilla  at 8:50 am on October 10, 2012
i love your tutorial. you really know how to do things nicely in a simple way! Thanks!
sha  at 7:59 pm on October 25, 2012
Thanks dude......! You save my time..
kundan  at 6:24 am on November 7, 2012

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