There are plenty of reasons why a designer might choose to round out the corners of an image rather than leave them at sharp 90-degree angles. Not only are rounded corners easy on the eyes, easy to process, and an easy way to make a logo or splash image more inviting, they are also super easy to make in Photoshop.
In this guide, we’ll go over two quick and easy ways to round out those corners in Photoshop.
Rounded Corners Tool
This is the easiest way to make rounded corners in Photoshop CC, because you’ll actually be starting out with them, rather than manipulating an existing image. Take note, this is actually a new feature in Photoshop CC, so you’ll need the latest version in order to do it. This method is best used if you’re create a picture from scratch, such as a logo, a splash image, or a button.
Step 1 – Create a new Photoshop file
Step 2 – Place a shape using the Rectangle Tool
In Photoshop CC, the Rectangle Tool should be grouped in the same section as the Pen Tool, the Horizontal Type Tool, and the Path Selection Tool in the sidebar. You can also select it by pressing its hotkey, U.
Once selected, you have two options. You can either drag the image out onto the canvas and edit its properties after, or set its size first, and then click anywhere on your canvas to place it. In this example, we’ll tinker with the image properties before we place our shape. Options for the Rectangle Tool should be accessible at the top.
Step 3 – Round those corners!
This next step is made super easy by Photoshop CC’s built-in corner rounding feature. After you’ve OK’d the rectangle placement, the Live Shape Properties box should appear, allowing you to see changes to the shape as you make them.
The option to adjust corners is the portion at the bottom. Just enter in a value, and watch those sharp edges go smooth! The smaller the value, the less rounded the corners will be. This example depicts what a rounded corner at 50px looks like. The closer the value gets to half the size of the length or width (150 in this example, because our square is 300×300), the more circular the shape becomes, so don’t get too carried away.
By default, the corner radius values are locked together, meaning they’ll scale together. To unlock them, just click the little chain icon in the middle.
Now you can set individual values and create a cool effect like the one above.
Layers and Opacity Fill
If you’re working in a version of Photoshop that doesn’t have the feature used above, here’s another quick and easy way to get rounded corners on your images, using layers.
Step 1 – Start out with an image
Step 2 – Create a new layer
Step 3 – Draw a rounded rectangle on the new layer
Step 4 – Set Fill Opacity to 0%
Step 5 – Make Selection in the Paths tab
Step 6 – Copy and paste your new image in a separate document