Create A Round Image In Photoshop [Tutorial]

Create A Round Image In Photoshop [Tutorial]

You know those cute little bio boxes people have on their websites with a round photo of themselves followed by a short bio? I think they look awesome. Keep reading because I’m going to teach you how to create a round image in Photoshop.

round image of old building

Creating A Round Image

1. Begin by opening the image you want to crop in Photoshop.

brown bull drop in demin jacket

Don’t you think this adorable dog needs a round headshot?

2. Create a new layer:

Creating a new layer in Photoshop

3. You don’t need to name the layer. Press “OK.”

New layer in Photoshop

4. Now go to the Elliptical marquee tool:

Elliptical marquee tool in Photoshop

5. Draw a circle around your subject. Hold the “Shift” key to keep the aspect ratio. After you’ve done that, you can drag the circle higher or lower with your cursor.

brown bull dog with elliptical marquee around his head

Our subject looks pretty amazing, right?

6. Click on your original layer – not the new layer – and go to menu, “Select,” and “Inverse:”

Select and inverse in Photoshop


You can see how the perimeter of the photo is now outlined:

Inverse selection in Photoshop

7. Go to”Edit” and then “Cut.”

Edit and cut in Photoshop

This is what your photo should look like:

See how the background is transparent?

8. Go to the Marquee tool and select the Rectangular option:

Rectangular marquee tool in Photoshop

Crop the photo just outside the circle. This step is really helpful if you have a photo with a lot of space around the image.

rectangular marquee tool in photoshop

The edges of the photo will be highlighted. Now crop the image.

9. Save your photo as a PNG image. This is important because it allows the outer portions of the image to be transparent.

PNG option in Photoshop

Voila! Your square photo is now round. Don’t you love it?!

Watch this video to learn more:

Where To Use A Round Image

I love using round photos as profile pictures on any site I’m a member of: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all use round images. Webtalk does too, as do forums like Quora and Reddit. Round images look really great on brochures, business cards, invitations, and collages.

They’re also nice because they crop out distracting elements in the background, placing the focus on the subject. What if you don’t have Photoshop? There’s a workaround for that and it’s called Canva. If you haven’t used it before, you’re missing out. Use it once and you’ll be hooked.

get started on Etsy banner

How To Use Canva?

Canva is a free online design tool for both professionals and amateurs. I use it weekly to make graphics for my posts, but there are a variety of applications you can use it for. There are so many layouts to choose from. I particularly love the drag-and-drop feature. Design graphics for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Use Canva to create invitations, business cards, postcards, presentations, documents, certificates, and resumes. And that’s just a small sampling of what’s available.

Just the other day I made a presentation using Canva. It was fun, easy, and very user-friendly. Select your layout and start designing. Upload your own images or browse the free ones that are available. Change the color of your background, play around with shapes, lines, charts, grids, and icons. I’m warning you though – you might go nuts with all the different options. I’m kidding! I love how each graphic is saved automatically. Thank you Canva!

How To Crop A Round Photo

Begin by creating a free account at Choose a layout to customize. I’m going to select one for an Instagram post.

Canva designs

Now go to “Elements” on the left-hand side of the editor.

Canva dashboard 'elements'

Click on “Frames.” You’ll see a bunch of different options come up.

Frames in Canva

Scroll down until you find a plain circle. They have a ton of different shapes you can use.

circle frames in Canva

I chose this one. Drag it to the white square to the right:

Round circle in Canva editor

Go to uploads and upload an image from your desktop. You can also use Canva’s free images. Type in want you’re looking for in the search bar.

For example, if I want a photo of a dog, I type “dog” into the search bar.  Some of the images are for Pro users with a paid account. You’ll see “Pro” on the images that aren’t free, and the free ones are labeled as such.

Dogs images in Canva

I’m going to upload my own image. You’ll recognize our furry friend:

brown bull dog in round frame

Photos where the subject is centered work best, but you can crop off-centered images as well. Make the frame bigger or smaller by pulling on the round circles on the corners. You can also rotate it by using the circular arrow on the bottom of the photo. This would be applicable if you’re making a collage for instance.

I’m making the picture as large as possible so the resolution will be higher. You can always adjust the size in Instagram, or wherever you’re using your photo, if you need to. You’ll notice I changed the color of the frame around the dog. Go to the maroon square in the left-hand corner, (it’s now blue) and select a color you’d like your frame to be. I chose blue. What do you think?

bull dog in blue frame in Canva

I think our dog looks better in blue. Play around with the colors until you find one you love.

Download the image to your desktop or downloads folder. I’m downloading my image as a JPG. PNG is great for graphics without an image.

Canva download JPG.

There you have it. Two ways to crop an image to a round format. Have fun using these round photos wherever you need a profile pic or just for fun on cards, posters, logos, or labels. I love using them on my websites.

Key Points

See how simple it is to create a round image in Photoshop and Canva?  I think round photos look super cool, and you can use them for a variety of applications. Check out some great Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets here. 

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Are you a photoshopper? Have you used Canva? Let me know in the comments:)


10 thoughts on “Create A Round Image In Photoshop [Tutorial]”

  1. I can’t believe I found this site today.  I spent hours yesterday trying to create a circle photo for a work brochure.  I use Canva but to be honest had never really looked around it much.  I didn’t do it correctly but after running through your instructions, it is done!  In this world where everything is online and there are so many tools to choose from these instructions are priceless.  Thank you so much for doing them up.


  2. Thank you for that, as I always wondered how people got those nice round photographs on their bio. 

    Unfortunately I don’t have photoshop, but as I read on I discovered that you had explained how to do the same thing in Canva which I do use from time to time.  I am going to go over there right now and see how this is going to work for me. 

    • I realize that not everyone has Photoshop, but everyone can use Canva. It’s easy to use and it’s free. What could be better? Have fun creating round images. 

  3. This was great, I really learned something new.  I did not know how to create rounded images.  The pic of the dog looks great lol, gotta love it.  Round pictures do look awesome.  I have not yet used Canva but I will definitly have to try it.  Thank you for teaching me how to make round pictures in photoshop and Canva.

  4. Great training! It’s easy to read and straight to the point. It’s been a long time since I used photoshop for editing and I’m wondering if I can find my way around it. Thanks for showing an alternative to it. I will try some more to get used to it. Apart from Canva, is there any other online platform that can help me do what you’ve illustrated? I want to increase my options. 🙂

  5. I currently used Canva to make many images and graphics for my business and quite honestly I prefer it over photoshop due to how simple the program is. Don’t get me wrong I have used photoshop for most of my life and there is truly no other program that I feel could compare when you look at all the different features that come with it, but for more simple easy task I find it much easier to just use Canva.


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