How to Add a White Outline in Canva for a Modern, Sleek Look

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Miroslav Novohradsky
Founder of NechEmpire

I'm Miroslav, a passionate graphic designer, Etsy seller and AI enthusiast. At NechEmpire, I'm here to share my knowledge and skills. I want to turn...Read more

A crisp, clean white outline around images and shapes is an extremely popular design trend right now on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest.

The minimalist border adds a modern and visually striking element to any graphic.

While this effect has traditionally required using advanced editing software like Photoshop, the online design tool Canva has made it simple for anyone to create a stylish white outline with just a few clicks.

Add a White Outline in Canva

In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through exactly how to easily add a white outline around any object using Canva’s handy features.

With these simple steps, you can give your graphics an eye-catching makeover perfect for social posts.

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Step 1: Remove the Background

The first step to outlining an object is removing any existing background completely. This isolates the main foreground element so the white border will stand out around the edges.

If you have access to Canva Pro, the simplest way is to use the Background Remover tool.

Just upload your image, click on it, head to the Effects tab, and choose Background Remover. It will instantly delete the background, leaving only your main subject.

White outline in Canva

For free Canva users, you can remove backgrounds before uploading using free online tools like Then import the cutout image with a transparent background into Canva.

Step 2: Add the Glow Effect

Once your image background is removed, select the cutout element and go to the Effects tab.

Under Shadows, click on “Glow” to add a bright halo around the object’s edges.

White outline in Canva

At this point, it likely looks more like glowing neon lighting. But don’t worry, the next step is customizing this effect to turn it into a clean white outline.

Step 3: Adjust the Glow Settings

After applying the Glow effect, adjust the the settings under it.

Here you can tweak the glow settings to create a sharp, white border.

Try these parameters:

  • Size: 8-24px (depending on image dimensions)
  • Transparency: 100%
  • Blur: 0px
  • Color: White
how to add white outline in Canva

This enlarges the glow, removes inner color, sharpens edges, and turns the halo completely white. Place your outlined object on any color background and it will stand out beautifully!

Step 4: Outlining Text and Shapes

Along with photos and cutouts, you can also outline text elements and shapes in your Canva designs.

For text, add a Glow effect like you did for images. Then stretch the text box wider so the glow is only visible around the letters, creating an outlined typography look.

For shapes, resize the shape to be slightly smaller. Then copy and paste the shape, send the copy backward, and apply a white Glow effect to it. This generates an outlined appearance.

Experiment with different glow sizes and colors for more creative varieties. Use multiple outlines, try neons, or combine both inner and outer borders.

More Ideas for Using Outlines

Adding a white outline is an easy way to make all kinds of graphics pop.

Here are more examples of how this versatile design element can enhance your images:

  • Give logos or icons a bold, highlighted look.
  • Make headings stand out with outlined typography.
  • Outline circular profile pictures to frame your personal brand.
  • Add definition and depth to nav buttons or badges.
  • Emphasize elements in informational graphics and charts.
  • Use partial outlines to highlight part of an object.
  • Layer multiple outlines for a retro, pop art appearance.

This simple technique fits perfectly with the minimalist aesthetic that’s so popular in social media and web design today.


The high contrast of vivid colors and white lines creates eye-catching graphics that attract attention.

And since it’s so easy to do in Canva, anyone can take advantage of this graphic design trend. With the right backgrounds, effects, and layouts, outlined images command people’s focus on social feeds and websites.

So give your graphics an elevated, modern vibe with Canva’s Glow effect, and start creating outlined images that grab interest!

This guide equips you with everything you need to know to style sleek white borders tailored to your brand.

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Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, NechEmpire may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

Personal picutre
Miroslav NovohradskyFounder of NechEmpire

I'm Miroslav, a passionate graphic designer, Etsy seller and AI enthusiast. At NechEmpire, I'm here to share my knowledge and skills. I want to turn your design passion into a successful online business.

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