How to Make a Dashed Circle in Photoshop


In Adobe Photoshop, outlines are commonly made using the "Layer Style" options and adding a "Stroke." Designers can use this technique to make a solid, hollow circle in their images. Unfortunately, there is no option within the "Stroke" menu to create a dashed circle. Instead, designers must create their own style that can be inserted into images. Photoshop permits users to define their own patterns, so a designer can relatively quickly define her own custom dashed line that can be applied to circles to make a dashed circle.

Define Dashed Pattern

  • Create a new image in Photoshop by clicking on the "File" menu and choosing "New." Enter the parameters of your dash. For instance, if you want to create a dashed line that is one pixel wide and features dashes that are five pixels long with five pixel breaks between each dash, enter "1" as the height of the image and "10" as the width.

  • Select the "Pencil" tool and make a single dash to your specifications. For instance, if making the dashed line described in the step above, fill five pixels with your preferred color and leave the remaining five pixels transparent.

  • Open the "Edit" menu and select "Define Pattern." Enter a name for your pattern that you will remember (such as "dashed line") and click the "OK" button. This pattern can now be used at any time to create dashed lines, circles or any other shape.

Create Dashed Circle

  • Create a new image in Photoshop by clicking on the "File" menu and choosing "New." The dimensions of the image should be large enough to accommodate the size of the circle you want to create.

  • Select the "Elliptical Marquee Tool" and click and drag in your image to make a circular selection. If you want your ellipse to be perfectly circular, press and hold the Shift key while dragging your selection.

  • Open the "Select" menu and choose "Modify" and then "Border." In the pop-up window, enter the thickness that you would like your circle to be. For instance, if you want your circle to be one pixel thick, enter "1" in the box. Click "OK."

  • Open the "Edit" menu and choose "Fill." In the drop down menu next to "Use," select the option "Pattern." A drop-down menu will appear below with the text "Custom Pattern." Find the dashed line pattern you created and click on it. Click the "OK" button to fill your circular selection with the dashed line pattern.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a variety of dashed lines for different applications. You can make a dotted line by alternating one black pixel with one transparent pixel, or a longer dashed line by alternating eight black pixels with two transparent pixels.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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