Borders and Frames – What’s the difference?
ImagePrint 9 has two ways of adding a decorative edge to prints: Borders (using the Borders Browser) and Frames. Though they sound similar, they’re actually quite different in the effects they can achieve. Still, it can be a bit confusing as to which tool does what and when to use it. So here’s a quick rundown on how these two “edgy” features work:
Frames – quick and easy
Frames are simple: A solid rectangle surrounding an image. Adding one is as simple as right-clicking an image, choosing “Add Background” and clicking FRAME in the window that appears. Next you specify the distance from the edge of the image, thickness and color, click OK and BAM: You have a nice frame around your image. If you want to get a bit more complex you can also specify a matte area between the image’s edge and the interior frame edge. This matte area can be filled with a solid color or left transparent, opening the door to lots of design options. (For instance, try placing a framed image with a transparent matte over another image–the underlying image will show through the matted area giving you a unique, personalized frame).
Borders – edges and more
Borders are a bit more complex. Instead of being limited to rectangular shapes generated by ImagePrint, borders are actually images themselves. You can create these border images yourself or purchase pre-made packages from companies that specialize in artistic borders.
Just a couple of things to keep in mind about these border files: They need to be in PhotoShop PSD format, 8 bit. And…each border file needs to match the aspect ratio (in other words, the shape) of the images you plan to apply it to or some part of the image will be cropped to fit. Also, size matters–when you apply an border file to an image, the image will be resized to match the size of the border file. Choose to apply an 8×10 border to a 4×5 image and you’ll end up with an 8×10 bordered image (you can resize it afterward though using ImagePrint’s normal scaling tools).
Once you have them, border files need to be placed in the Borders folder within your ImagePrint folder. Then you can select them from the Border Browser (available under ImagePrint’s View menu).
Double-click a border from the Border Browser to apply it to an image. The original image will show through the transparent areas of the border file while the non-transparent parts of the border will overlay it. This allows for effects such as sloppy or ragged borders (simply create a PSD file with the edge you want to achieve and all other areas transparent). Borders can also be used for effects that aren’t really “borders” at all–like placing your logo in the bottom corner of photographs or creating cards with transparent areas for people’s faces, or… well, the possibilities are almost endless.
So… Frames or Borders–which to use?
It depends on your needs. Want a simple, colored rectangle around your image, maybe with a matte interior? Frames are the way to go. Need an artistic, ragged edge or vignette effect, or an easy way to apply a static graphic effect or logo to images? You should be looking at Borders.
Need more information? Frames are discussed in much more detail in the ImagePrint 9 User’s Guide (chapter 13). Borders are discussed in chapter 11.