This post will explain how to outline text in Photoshop using only a few clicks of a mouse button. 

Being able to outline text and any shape for that matter will be something you can use time and time again for many different situations.

I will include the FREE PSD file for you to download at the bottom of this post.

Outlining text can make it stand out. It can also make your text look more stylish. Commonly we call the outline of text or an object the “stroke”. Every object, shape or text can have a stroke and fill. 

Let’s recreate the text below using strokes in Photoshop. The image below consists of only 2 strokes and a fill, super simple.

outline text photoshop

Let’s open Photoshop and create a new canvas. The size doesn’t really matter but the one I created was 1280 x 800.

How to outline text in Photoshop in 5 steps.

Step 1.

Let’s grab the type tool found on the left side toolbar in Photoshop. The shortcut for this is “T”. I selected my favourite font Monserrati Black. The font size I selected was 117pt If you don’t have this font you can use any thick styled front. Montserrat is available for download from Google Fonts Here.

Note: If you want to use Pixels rather than points for your type size you can change this by going to Edit > Preferences > General. Find Units and Rulers and within this section under Type, you can change from points to pixels.

Bear in mind that the stroke sizes used in this example will look different depending on the font size used.

Click anywhere on the canvas and type “OUTLINED”.

outlined text

Step 2.

Double click the layer named “OUTLINED.” 

This layer was automatically created and named based on the Type tool and the text created on the canvas.

Double-clicking the layer reveals the layer style box. This is where all the magic happens. Here we can create the stroke (outlines) to our text.

Step 3.

Lets firstly change the colour of our font to green using the “Color Overlay”. You can choose any colour here. The hex key colour used in this example is #25b983 so you can copy and paste this if required.

You can click the swatch colour found at the top of the overlay section and directly type or paste the hex key for this colour. Or select any colour you like using the colour picker. This will then change the font colour to green.

photoshop colour overlay green

Step 4.

Let’s create our first outline by keeping the layer style box open and this time selecting “stroke”.

Click the colour swatch and select white. Set the size to 20px and make sure its position is set to “outside”. Keep opacity at 100% and fill type set to colour.

Now if you look at the text you probably won’t notice any difference because the stroke is set to white and so is the background. You can either change the colour of the background or change the stroke colour to black so you can see the thickness of the stroke and experiment until you find the size you want.

layer style stroke

Step 5.

Let’s create our final stroke. With the layer style box still open let’s add another stroke. We do this by clicking the plus button next to “stroke”.

adding second stroke in layer style

With the second stroke selected let’s change its colour to the green we used earlier. #25b983.

Let’s also change its size to 35px. This will make it 15px larger than the first white stroke we created. Every stroke you add starts from the edge of the original text. Let’s keep the opacity and fill type settings as default.

final stroke colour

Now if we look at our text we are pretty much done! You can play around with colours and stroke sizes and create something different. It’s amazing the different styles you can create by just changing the colour and size of strokes.

gradient fill stroke

Have a play around and try using a gradient fill type on the strokes. You can create some really cool looking outline text. And of course, you can change the text to say anything you like.

Don’t forget to download your PSD and experiment yourself. You can also view my Photoshop tutorials page for more free tutorials.

Don’t forget to leave your questions and comments below.

Thanks for reading

Rick