Creating a Simple Border and Copyright Stamp

This is a tutorial on how to make a simple border, and then place your own copyright stamp within that border using ‘Actions’ and ‘Batch’ in Photoshop CS2. As far as I remember, the actions palette and Batch process are the exact same in PSCS and PS7 as they are in CS2.

This is the Actions Palette in Photoshop. To give you some familiarity with it, the buttons down at the bottom (from left to right) are the ‘Stop’, ‘Record’, ‘Play’, ‘Create New Set’, ‘Create New Action’, and the ‘Delete’ buttons.

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To create our first action, click on the ‘Create New Action’ button.

This will bring up the ‘New Action’ menu. Name the action whatever you like, I named mine ‘Border.’ Go ahead and leave everything else alone and hit ‘Record.’

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Once you click ‘Record’ you will see a change in the ‘Actions’ palette. Your new action will show up with the name you gave it in bold print and it will be highlighted with the ‘Record’ button already clicked.

For a very simple, yet elegant border, we are going to use the ‘Canvas Size’ menu. Click ‘Canvas Size’

This will bring up the ‘Canvas Size’ menu. For my example, I use a two-part border. The first part is a 2 pixel white line all the way around the photo. The way I like to make the border, I use the ‘Relative’ option selected. This will just give you a value of how many pixels you want to add to subtract from the overall size. Since the ‘Width:’ and ‘Height:’ entry boxes are asking for a total size of the canvas, you need to enter double the amount you want. That is confusing, I know. So, for example: we want a 2 pixel line all the way around, so, I enter 4 in each box to yield 2 pixels added to the left side of the canvas, and 2 pixels added to the right (same for top and bottom). I like the thinner line to be white for my borders, so I click the little square box next to ‘Canvas extension color:’ and then select white.

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Go ahead and bring up the ‘Canvas Size’ menu again. For my borders I use values of 120 pixels added, which will yield 60 pixels on each side of the photo, I use the color black for this part of the border.

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Go to the ‘Actions’ palette and click on the ‘Stop’ button.

If you have used the values I gave, then you should have something that looks like this. Realize that a black 60 pixel border all the way around, will look different on a photo that is 3000×2000 pixels versus a photo that is 600×400 (resolution should also affect the look). You may need to adjust accordingly.

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Now we are going to create the copyright stamp, which will fit into the border we just made.

Go ahead and click the ‘Create New Action’ button again. I named my action ‘Copyright Stamp.’ Name it however you see fit.

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You will see the ‘Record’ button select. Click the ‘Type Tool’ so that we can create a new text layer.

Now we will select whichever kind of text, size, color, and other attributes you would like to use for your copyright stamp. Remember that the size of your text (whether it be 6 pixels or 70 pixels) will look different depending on the dimensions of your photo and the resolution.

Note: If you are to be placing the stamp at the right of your photo, use right justification, if to be placed on the left side, use left justification.

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Move your cursor to where ever you wish to place the text. Don’t worry about being too precise with the placement because we will move it to its final position in a later step.

Now, I don’t know anywhere near everything in Photoshop, so to place symbols and things like that, I just open Word and type out whatever I want, then place it in PS. So, in Word go ahead and open the ‘Symbol’ palette.

In the ‘Symbol’ palette that shows up, select the copyright symbol and then click ‘Insert.’

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Type out whatever you like to show your copyright, highlight it, and then copy it.

Now in Photoshop, paste your text into the text layer, which should still be active. Once your text shows up, move your cursor away from the text, and it should change to an arrow with a little quad-arrow symbol. With the text still blinking, move it around and place it exactly where you want it.

Once you have it placed, select the ‘Move Tool.’ This will complete the text layer, and the blinking cursor next to the text will disappear.

With the clicking of the ‘Move Tool’ you will see a ‘Make text layer’ highlighted and in bold show up underneath the action we created earlier.

We have now completed the two actions for a border and a copyright stamp. To run each of these on one photo, click on whichever action you like, and press the ‘Play’ button. In the next steps I will show you how to use Photoshop’s batch process to place a similar border and copyright stamp on several photos automatically.


We want to open up the ‘Batch’ menu. Follow the picture below:

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In the ‘Batch’ menu, select the Action you want to use (in my workflow, I would select ‘Border’ first, then do another batch process and run the copyright stamp action. Go ahead and click ‘Ok’ and watch Photoshop work its magic on your photos.

Open up the ‘Batch’ menu again, and this time, select your copyright stamp action. Once again, select ‘Ok’ and sit back and watch.

Once you are done, you should end up with something like this:

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These actions are simple enough to where they do not take much time to complete versus some of the other actions I have in PS.

You can run this same ‘Border’ action on a photo that is in portrait layout versus landscape, and it will yield a border that looks the exact same.

Although, running the copyright stamp action on a photo in portrait layout may yield different results. I have gone through my actions before and sometime the stamp will land in the correct place, and sometime it will not. Theoretically it should be placed in the correct spot, but be aware of this slight problem I have had every once in a while.