How to Add a White Border to Photos using Affinity Photo

In this short tutorial I’m going to show you the steps to add a border to photos using Affinity Photo. These are simple white or transparent borders, but you can also add coloured borders in a similar way. I’ll include a link at the end to another tutorial explaining the additional steps.

By the way, you can also add a border to photos using Photoshop and using Lightroom as I explain in these tutorials.

Affinity Photo Trial Software

If you don’t have the latest version of Affinity Photo you can download a trial from the Affinity Photo website.

Adding a Simple Boarder to a Photo Step by Step

Step One – Open your Photo

The first step to add a border to your photo is to open it in Affinity Photo. You can do this from the Photo Persona using the Affinity Photo menu and selecting “File” and then “Open”. You then use the dialog to select the photo you want to add the border to.

Tip: If you open a RAW file rather than a TIFF or JPEG image, Affinity Photo will switch to the Develop Persona. This means you must develop the RAW file into an image before you can use it.

If you don’t understand the different Affinity Photo Personas, I’ve produced this tutorial with video to explain what you need to know.

Image open in Affinity Photo before adding a border

Step 2 – Resize the Photo Canvas

The next step is to resize the photo Canvas. You can do this by selecting “Document” and then “Resize Canvas…” from the Affinity Photo menu. This displays a small dialog where you can enter the new Canvas size.

Resizing the Document Canvas in Affinity Photo

When you open a photo in Affinity, the image sits on a Canvas. By default, the Canvas is the same size as the image so that it’s covered, and you can’t see it. The Resize Canvas option allows you to change the canvas size independently to the image. This is how we will add a border to the photo.

Step 3 – Enter the New Canvas Size to Add the Border

We now need to enter the new size for the Canvas. This allows you to see it around the edge of the photo, creating the border.

You can do this by entering the new Canvas dimensions in the Size fields (numbered 1 in the illustration).

The first field is the width of the Canvas and the second is the height. By default, these will show the dimensions of the image, unless you have already changed the Canvas size.

Notice that there is a small padlock icon between the two fields. When this is closed, any value you enter in one field also changes the value of the other. This maintains the aspect ratio of the canvas. You can open the padlock icon by clicking it. This is helpful if you want to add the same size border to all the edges of the image.

In this example I want to add 100 pixels to each edge of the image. This means I will need to click the padlock icon once to open it. I can then enter the new Canvas size as 2200 x 1533 pixels. Notice I’m adding 200 pixels which will become a border to 100 pixels on each side of the photo. If I only increased the Canvas size by 100 pixels the border would be 50 pixels wide.

If you would rather use a different unit of measurement than pixels, you can change it in the dropdown (numbered 2 in the screenshot).

It’s also important to set the Anchor point (numbered 3 in the screenshot). You can change it by clicking the points in the grid icon. Be sure to set it to the centre anchor point. This ensures the Canvas extends evenly around the edge of the image from the centre.

Here you can see the dialog with the settings for the new Canvas.

Affinity Photo resize Canvas dialog with the new settings

Click the Resize button to apply the changes.

Step 4 – Change the Border

You should now have a border around your photo that’s either white or transparent.

Affinity Photo showing the photo with a transparent border added

In the above screenshot the border is transparent. If you look carefully you will see a grey checker effect on the border which shows that it’s transparent.

You can control whether the border added to the photo is transparent or white using the Affinity Photo “Document” menu. Select this and you will see the “Transparent Background” option. Clicking this option toggles the transparency on and off.

Step 5 – Export Your Photo

The final step is to export your photo using “File” and then “Export…” in the Affinity Photo menu. This opens the Affinity Photo Export Dialog.

Affinity Photo Export dialog

Use the dialog to select the file format you want to export the photo to.

Tip: If you added a transparent border to the photo and want to preserve the transparency, use the PNG format.

The PNG file format preservers transparency information. If you selected a different file format like JPEG or TIFF, the transparent photo border becomes white.

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In this tutorial we’ve looked at a simple way to add a white or transparent border to a photo. But it’s also possible to add a black or coloured border to a photo with another simple step that I explain in this tutorial.

More Affinity Photo Tutorials

You’ll find more high quality, free tutorials on my Affinity Photo Tutorials page.

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