2 Minute Tricks # 22 – Circular Images

January 8th, 2006

show 22 iconA look at a listener question about making circular images in Photoshop. This show includes tips on: selections and the select menu along with tips about layers and transparency.

Note: If you are downloading directly from the web page click here to download.

Thanks to the Hijiyama Project for our closing theme.

Step-by-step Guide

Step 1
Step 1: Open an image in photoshop you would like to make round, and click the sticky note button on the layers pallet to create a new blank layer.

Step 2
Step 2: Double click on the background layer in the layers pallet and rename it. Then hit OK. This will unlock your background layer if it was locked and will allow us to have a layer lower than our background layer.

Step 3
Step 3: Drag the layer you created in step one to the bottom of the list in the layers pallet.

Step 4
Step 4: Click and hold on the rectangular marquee tool in the tools pallet. A popup menu will appear after you click and hold on the tool, select the elliptical marquee tool from that popup menu.

Step 5
Step 5: Now simply click and drag with this elliptical marquee tool on your image. This will create a circular or elliptical selection in your image. You want to select the part of your image that you want to keep with this tool. To create a perfect circular selection just hold down the shift key as you click and drag with the tool.

Step 6: If you are having trouble getting your selection exactly right, you can make an approximate selection with the tool, then go to the select menu, then pick the “transform selection” option. This will create a little box around your selection with little handles on each corner and side. Clicking and dragging these handles will allow you to adjust your selection very precisely. When you have your selection just like you want it, simply hit the return or enter key on your keyboard.

Step 7
Step 7: Now go to the select menu and pick the select inverse option. This will invert the selection from what you had selected to selecting everything but what you had selected. Then make sure you have your image layer selected in the layers pallet the hit the delete key on your keyboard. This will delete everything in your image layer except the oval you selected earlier.

Step 8
Step 8: Now we can automatically crop our document size down to remove the excess border by going to the image menu and selecting the trim option. A dialog box will pop open. Pick the transparent pixels option in the top portion of the dialog and the make sure all 4 direction check boxes on the bottom are clicked on. Then just hit the ok button.

Step 9: Finally, save a copy of your image in a format that supports transparency, like gif, psd, or png.

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15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris Cooper  |  January 10th, 2006 at 3:33 am

    I have your podcasts fron 14 onwards, but where can I get the first 13?


  • 2. Kent  |  January 15th, 2006 at 6:03 pm

    Hey Chris, You can find links to our older shows under the archives tab at the top of our page. -Kent

  • 3. Bob  |  March 8th, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    Excellent! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!!

  • 4. Kate  |  April 29th, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Kent

    Can you tell me how I could add a line to the outer edge of my circular photo or image?



  • 5. Chris  |  December 14th, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    Great tutorial, Helped me with making an icon. But i still have a problem, i croped it but still can’t get the corners off the image so its a perfect circle, am i missing something?

  • 6. Lori  |  February 15th, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Hi there.. I am needing to learn how to super impose text over a picture.. I dont know if this is someething you already covered, but if you did, can you tell me where to find it.. photoshop newbie thanks lori

  • 7. Muhammad Khalid  |  February 26th, 2007 at 2:41 am

    I got it very good for myself. moreover, i want to make cartoon from picture. How i can do it in Photoshop. please guide me.

    Thanks a lot,

  • 8. bhavesh  |  June 6th, 2007 at 11:28 am

    NO chris i faced the same problem with the corner of the images , i dont know how to resolve it . I am looking at it right now

  • 9. Prajith  |  November 22nd, 2007 at 1:52 am

    Great, good simple tuts

  • 10. Ian  |  March 1st, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Great tutorial, just what i needed for a oroject.Thank you

  • 11. Ian  |  March 1st, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Sorry oroject should have read project.

  • 12. david  |  March 3rd, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    ah thise helped me figure out how to clean up edges

  • 13. Photoshop Tutor  |  January 3rd, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Excellent hint. Great job!

  • 14. santhu  |  January 17th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    hi thanks a lot it helped a lot i got exactly what i am searching for thanks a lot good work

  • 15. Xcorps TV  |  March 14th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    You ROCK hombre! Thanks for the Photoshop ‘Round Crop’ tip! Best advise on the web!

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