How do I use and customize a template using Adobe Photoshop?

Our templates are presented in a layered .psd (Photoshop) file for each side/layout.  Below are instructions on how to use your templates as is or modify them.



1.  Open up your chosen template and photograph(s) in Photoshop. 

2.  There is no need to crop any image for the template.  (However, we have found that it is helpful to pre-crop images to slightly larger than the opening when working with a large number of small openings.  It will save you a lot of time!)  Using the move tool, drag the photograph right onto the template and the position/drag the photograph layer so that it is directly above the photo opening layer.

3.  To insert the photo into the opening, press Control+G (Photoshop CS and earlier) or Control+Alt+G (Photoshop CS2 and newer) and the photo will "clip" hiding any part of the photo that goes beyond the photo opening shape.  If you have a Mac… press Command+G (Photoshop CS and earlier) or Command+Option+G (Photoshop CS2 and newer)

4.  Make sure the photograph layer is highlighted.  Free transform, Control+T (or Command+T for Mac), and hold down the shift key to keep your proportions even while you drag a corner to adjust the size of the photo.  Use the move tool to position it right where you want it under the opening.

5.  Repeat with any remaining photo opening layers.  If applicable, delete the "DELETE before printing!" layer.  Save as a fully-designed .psd (layered) file and then flatten and save again as a .jpg file.   



1.  To change the color of the background, use the color picker box next to the background color layer.

2.  First, double click on the color-picker box on the layer you want to change.  A little window with the color spectrum will pop up.

3.  The dropper tool will show up in place of your mouse arrow.  You can choose your color by clicking on any color on your screen with the dropper tool, selecting a shade from the color spectrum box with the dropper tool or enter the 6-digit color code.  Click OK to save your changes.



If a bold color or design isn’t the look you need, try playing with the opacity of layers in the layer palette to get a softer look.  It can take a baby announcement from bold and contemporary to soft and traditional.  It can make a text box blend in a little with the background, but show up just enough to highlight your text.



A stroke can be added to any opening layer/shape/design or altered (color, thickness).  Strokes are often used to create frames for photo openings or add dimension to the outer edge of desings.  To add/alter a stroke, highlight the layer of your choice, double click on the layer and choose “stroke”. Then, you can choose the color and the pixel width.  For this example, the outer frame has been widened and the color changed.




To change the color of a photo opening or any design layer, you can apply a color overlay.  First highlight the opening layer, frame layer or design layer you want to change and then double click on the layer.  The “Layer Style” window will open.

Select “Color Overlay” (and make sure it is highlighted in blue) then click on the color picker box for the color picker window to pop up.  In the color picker window, select the color of your choice.  “OK” the color picker window and “OK” the Layer Style window.

Lastly, we highly recommend that you keep a full set of original template files in their own folder as well as back them up to an additional hard drive or burn them to a cd/dvd.  Secondly, with the files you are designing, it will help you be able to go back and easily make any adjustments or modifications if you save the desinged file as a .psd file (with all the layers intact) before you flatten the template file and save it as a .jpg file for printing.  We hope you enjoy working with your templates!  If you have any questions not covered above, please feel free to contact us.

Scroll to top