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How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator

There are three methods to create a border around an image in Illustrator. The first can be done with the “Appearance” panel, the second with the “Properties” panel, and the third with the “Rectangle Tool.” I mostly recommend the second method because it is the easiest and most accurate.

Where do you begin if you want to draw a border around an image?

Even though Illustrator isn’t the software that serves as a picture editor, there are still a few things that you can do, and elements you can add to your images. You just need to know a few tricks.

In this tutorial, I will show you three different methods that will show you how to create a border around an image. It’s a really simple process!

 

Creating a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the “Appearance” panel

To create a border around an image in Adobe Illustrator, first open or place an image. Open the “Appearance” panel and click on the “Add New Stroke” button on the left bottom. Select the “Stroke” layer, click on the “Fx” button and go to “Convert to Shape”>”Rectangle”. Set the size and click “Ok”.

 

Step 1:

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 1 A 

Open or place an image. 

As a start, you will need to open or place the image that you wish to edit. 

 

To open, go to “File”> “Open” and select the image you want to use.

 

To place the image on the file you’re already working on, simply go to “File”>”Place” and select the image.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 1 B

 

Step 2:

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 2

Open the “Appearance” panel.

For this method, we first must open the “Appearance” panel. To do this, go to the top menu and select “Window”>”Appearance,” or press “Shift+F6” on your keyboard.

 

 

Step 3:

 

Add a stroke to the image. 

Use the “Selection Tool” (V) first to select the image.

Now go to the bottom of the “Appearance” panel and click on the “Add New Stroke” button in the left corner.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 3 A

 

On the “Appearance” panel, you can now see the incorporation of a “Stroke” effect layer, however, the image itself hasn’t been updated.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 3 B

 

Step 4:

Convert the stroke into a shape.

Now, on the panel, select the new stroke layer and press the “Fx” button at the bottom of it. 

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 4 A

Then, on the drop-down menu, select “Convert to Shape” > “Rectangle.”

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 4 B

A menu-box will appear. Remember to first check the “Preview” box to see the live changes. The stroke is now visible!

Set the “Size” option to “Relative” so that the border’s rectangle changes proportionally to the image. If you select “Absolute,” the image will not adapt to any size changes you make.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 4 C

The “Extra Width” and “Extra Height” fields work to set the distance that the rectangle and its stroke will have from the image. If you want the border to be exactly the size of the picture, set them to zero.

 

Once you’re done with the settings, click “Ok” to apply.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 4 D

 

Step 5:

Adjust final details.

Now it’s the time to customize and bring some personality, which you can start by simply changing the color of the stroke!

On the same “Appearance” panel, you’ll see a little color square right next to the “Stroke” name. By clicking there you are free to choose a new color from the swatches. 

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 5 A

Next to it, there’s also a field where you can alter the size. There is usually a 1-pt value set by default, but you can adjust the value to whatever you need. You may also use the arrows to increase or reduce the value manually by clicking up or down.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 5 B

Last but not least, you can also apply any of the usual features found on the main “Stroke” panel by simply clicking on the “Stroke” name. This will display a whole new box with settings where you can customize a few other things.

For example, you can apply different styles to your stroke, edit the type of corners, and some other options, so, if you are already familiarized with the panel, you will know what to do.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Appearance Panel Step 5 C

 

Creating a Border Around an Image Using the “Properties” panel

To create a border around an image in Illustrator, first open or place an image, then open the “Properties” panel, and click the “Mask” button to create a clipping mask around the image. To add a more personalized result, you can set a stroke value and a color on the same panel options.

 

Step 1:

Open or place an image. 

As a start, you will need to open or place the image that you wish to edit. 

To open, go to “File”> “Open” and select the image you want to use.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 1 A 

To place the image on the file you’re already working on, simply go to “File”>”Place” and select the image.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 1 B

 

Step 2:

Open the “Properties” panel.

To open the “Properties” panel, go to the top-menu and select “Window”>”Properties”.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 2

 

Step 3:

Create a mask on the image.

Select the image with the “Selection Tool” (V) and then click the “Mask” button in the “Quick Actions” area at the bottom of the “Properties” panel.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 3

 

Step 4:

Set a “Stroke” size.

Set a “Stroke” value in the “Appearance” area of the panel.

You can manually increase or decrease the stroke size by typing a number into the field or by using the arrows up and down. As soon as you enter a value in the field, you will notice how the stroke appears on your image.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 4

 

Step 5:

Set a “Stroke” color.

As with the previous method, you can change the color of the “Stroke” by pressing on the small square next to the “Stroke” name. 

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 5 A

If you feel like it, you can also adjust its “Opacity”.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Properties Panel Step 5 B

 

 

Creating a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the “Rectangle Tool”

To create a border around an image in Illustrator, first open or place an image. Create a rectangle the same size as your image and make sure it’s perfectly aligned with it, then convert the fill into a stroke, and adjust the settings through the “Stroke” panel to customize. You can group after.

 

Step 1:

Open or place an image. 

As a start, you will need to open or place the image that you wish to edit. 

To open, go to “File”> “Open” and select the image you want to use.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 1 A

To place the image on the file you’re already working on, simply go to “File”>”Place” and select the image.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 1 B

 

 

Step 2:

Open the “Stroke” panel.

For this method, we’ll be using some properties from the “Stroke” panel, so if you don’t have it open yet, go to “Window”> “Stroke” or use the “Ctrl + F10” keyboard shortcut.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 2

Step 3:

Create a rectangle over the image.

Once your image is open, use the “Rectangle Tool” (M) to draw a rectangle over it.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 3 A

Keep in mind that the rectangle and the image must be the same size and that the rectangle must be placed above the image so that it is not covered by it.

I recommend that you adjust the alignment and size of the rectangle to ensure that they match exactly, but don’t worry, you can do this in a few seconds by using some of the tools available.

To adjust the size, simply open the “Transform” panel by pressing the “Shift+F8” keyboard shortcut. (“Option” if you use a Mac).

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 3 B

After you’ve adjusted the size, you can use the “Align” panel to nicely align both objects. Simply select both items at the same time and press the “Horizontal Align Center” and “Vertical Align Center” buttons.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 3 C

 

Step 4:

Create a stroke.

Now that we are all set with the rectangle, we will use it as a border, so, basically, we’ll need to remove the fill and keep the stroke.

To do this, first, jump to the “Color” panel by pressing the “Control+F6” keyboard shortcut. Now, to keep it going with the shortcuts and make a smooth process, press the “Shift+X” keyboard shortcut. This will invert the “Fill” and “Stroke” colors.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 4

 

Step 5:

Edit the stroke details

There are many things you can do on the stroke panel in Illustrator. Some of the things you can do are to change the stroke color, stroke width, stroke alignment, and dash settings.

The stroke color can be changed by clicking on the color swatch and selecting a new color from the color picker.

The stroke width can be changed by entering a new value in the stroke-width text box or by clicking on the arrow buttons to the left and right of the text box. 

The stroke alignment can be changed by clicking on the stroke alignment button and selecting a new alignment option from the menu.

By default, the stroke will be set to “Align Stroke to Center“, which means that it will appear half over the image and half outside of it.

 If you switch this to “Align Stroke to Inside“, the stroke will be aligned to the inside edge of the rectangle. Meanwhile, “Align Stroke to Outside” will align the stroke to the rectangle’s outside border without covering the image.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 5

 

Step 6:

Make a group

Finally, you have the stroke and the image as separate items. If you want to group them, use the “Selection Tool” (V) to select both items and then press the “Ctrl+G” keyboard shortcut. You can also right-click and select “Group.”

This will create a group from both objects, allowing you to move them together without the risk of displacing any of them.

How to Create a Border Around an Image in Illustrator Using the Rectangle Tool Step 6