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We are proud to announce our popular fine art border scripts reborn!

The MBP Fine Art Border Tools plugin for Adobe Photoshop!

Frame and resize your art in style with this toolset for the discerning photographer and artist. Provide visual balance by moving the piece up (or down) on the canvas for more refined visual balance, and add a Watermark with ultimate positioning freedom—one-click framing for Web or Print with 28 media sizes and ten customizable formats.

MBP Fine Art Border Tools has one module for Web resizing and framing, a second for Fine Art printing borders, and a third to manage watermarking. Mutually aware, you can add a watermark with one checkbox from either of the framing modules. Intelligent calculations ensure maximum efficiency, so you don’t have to change your settings when changing image or media sizes.

We also provide buttons to save and close your images. There’s a checkbox to automate this when processing is complete. We store your settings for a highly optimized workflow, so you are always just one click away from repeating your elegant fine-art frame on any image, regardless of size or proportions.

Click the MBP Fine Art Border Tools logo to jump to the Adobe Marketplace to pick up your FAB Tools!

※ Please ensure that you login and purchase the plugin with the same email address that is linked to your Adobe ID. Also, note that the plugin requires Adobe Photoshop version 22.0 or higher. It does not work with Photoshop Elements.

Need Help?

Before we go on to the details, should you have any questions or need any help using the MBP Fine Art Border Tools plugin, please drop us a line with the Support Contact Form.

If you have bought the plugin but having problems finding it, please check the bottom of this page…

A Little Background

Let’s take a closer look at the MBP Fine Art Border Tools, or FAB Tools as they appear in the Photoshop interface. Our original Fine Art Border scripts were text-based scripts that had to be manually edited to change the vertical offset, and there were only 12 media sizes included. They sold well, and I continued to use them myself for the eight years since I created them, but the times are changing.

Adobe has released a new coding platform to create highly integrated plugins, so although it’s still considerably wet behind the ears, having the ability to add fine art borders, changing the vertical offset on the fly, was something that I found very appealing. 

As with most things I do, as I dug deeper into the architecture, I soon realized that there was scope to widen the feature set and therefore the appeal of my new FAB Tools. The result is a version 1.0 release with three panels. One for framing and resizing for the Web, and the second for print, both with the same visually pleasing vertical offset, but with the ability to change it to any value, moving the image both up or down in the frame.

The third module is completely new, to enable the addition of a watermark or logo. Currently, this only accepts images, but I intend to add the ability to add a text-based watermark soon. There is a fourth Tools panel, but that’s to provide links to a few global features, like showing or hiding Tool Tips, or showing the custom formats before the mostly uneditable presets in the Print Frame module. There will be a few more panels in the coming months, but at the time of release, I’m very happy with the specific feature set that I’ve built, and I do hope you find it useful.

Tools Dark

Web Frame and Resize

OK, so allow me to walk you through the finer details of the new plugin. As you can see in the screenshot, the Web Frame module is relatively simple on the front end, with a few nice tweaks to help your workflow. The idea is to add a border, the width of which you specify with the Border (px) field.

If, for example, you know that you just want your images to be a specific length, just add that to the Long Edge field and turn on the Auto-Calculate Ratio checkbox. We will then calculate the short edge for you while including the border or frame of the size you specified. If you have a specific height and width that you would like to resize your image to, enter both of these values in the Long Edge and Short Edge fields. 

If you prefer to specify the Short Edge and have us calculate the rest from that, just enter the Short Edge. You’ll notice the Short Edge heading then becomes underlined, indicating that it has priority. To go back to Long Edge priority, simply enter the long edge value.

If you’d like to frame your images inside a square, simply enter the Long Edge value to resize to, and turn on the Create Square Border checkbox. We’ll then create square borders and position your images inside, perfectly resized according to your border thickness, regardless of their orientation.

The Top/Bottom Border Offset slider is where you move the image up or down in the frame. For centuries, fine artists have positioned their work slightly higher in a matte or frame to provide more pleasing visual balance. Moving your image up slightly also gives you room to sign or add a watermark to your work.

Web Frame Dark

The Magic Formula

Web Frame Light

After a lot of research around 10 years ago, I came to the conclusion that a good balance for fine art prints was to calculate 10% of the height of the image and use that for all four borders while moving the image up by 3%. This gives 10% side borders, a 7% top border, and a 13% bottom border. In the Web Frame module, we convert these percentages to pixels, as you specify the border width in pixels, so moving the image up 3% in a 100-pixel border equates to 30 pixels. Just wiggle it around and hit the Apply button to see what you get though. The Revert button reverts all changes, so it’s easy to try different settings.

Depending on the ratio of your image, you may find that you get slightly larger borders on the top or sides when working to a specific media size. With the Web Frame module though, if you only use Long or Short Edge priority, FAB Tools will add the exact sized border on all four sides, offset to the amount specified. If you want completely equal borders, leave the offset slider at zero.

There are three more checkboxes to talk about before we move on. First, you can add a one-pixel outer border using the color selected as your secondary color in Photoshop. A mid-gray is a good choice. This just helps your images to stand out against a similar color background and will disappear against a darker background.

There is also a checkbox to automatically save and close the image after applying the border, and a final checkbox to add the watermark on completion, and we’ll look at Watermarking in more detail shortly.

As an example, here is a small gallery of images resized for web with Square borders, which are great for sites like Instagram that lists images in square format. It also removes the need to worry about tall images, which generally get cropped by Instagram on upload.

 

 

Here also is a gallery of images resized for Web but this time without the option to create a square border turned on. See how the script automatically adjusts to the various aspect ratios and orientations.

 

Print Frame and Resize

The next module is for framing for Fine Art Prints. This is closest to my 2013 Border Scripts release, but now highly customizable right here in the user interface.

There are 28 presets which, to protect the integrity of the media formats, cannot be modified, other than the border size and vertical offset. If you change the border size it will automatically be saved for future use, but a Revert button will appear, to remind you that you’ve modified the preset and to revert to the preset 10% border if necessary.

In addition to the 28 media presets, there are ten customizable formats, based on popular media size and a few square frames. You can take these and make whatever you want. You can enter the Long Edge, Short Edge, Border width, all in millimeters, as well as a custom name for your format and a short description. Each of these fields is saved as you move away from the field, but if you want to reset this and start again, just select a saved custom format and hit the Revert button.

The vertical offset you select is currently not saved as part of your custom format, but if you think it should be, let me know and I’ll change that in a future update.

Watermarking

A completely new addition is the ability to add graphical watermarks with precision to pretty much any location on your image. Start by selecting one of the nine anchor points, including the four corners, center sides, and the center of the image. From there, you can nudge the watermark up to 100% of the image away from the anchor point.

 

Print Frame Dark
Watermark Dark

If no image resize has been performed, you can only anchor the watermark in relation to the canvas, but once you have performed a resize, you can also select to anchor the watermark to the inside or the outside of the resized image within the frame. 

From version 1.0.7 you can now load multiple images and change or delete images easily from a pulldown. You can scale the image to a percentage of the width of your resized image, and change the opacity, which is useful if you are placing a watermark over the image area. Scale and Opacity values are stored separately for each image that you load to your list.

Once you’ve specified your settings, you are ready to apply your watermark. When you are happy with the placement, you can also turn on the checkbox in either of the resize modules to automatically apply the watermark after resizing. There’s no need to worry about the image orientation. We calculate the position based on your image size and orientation, so unless something goes wrong, the watermark should be placed perfectly each time.

If you are working on multiple images, for faster processing, there is also an option to Save and Close the image once processing is complete. There is currently no way to include the plugin actions to Photoshop Actions, but Adobe is said to be working on enabling that, and as soon as that happens, I’ll try to make the MBP Fine Art Border Tools compatible, to enable an even more streamlined workflow. No dates are available at this point though.

Printing Examples

The reason that I created my original Fine Art Border scripts back in 2013 was to prepare images for print with the Fine Art Border vertical offset already in place. If you print directly to the media size that you want as your final result, the border can generally be created by adjusting the border widths in your printing software, but getting the ratios the same each time you print can be challenging. I always used a spreadsheet with my calculated border sizes in it, and managed a large number of printing templates, and that can be avoided by running your image through this new plugin. If you are printing to the media size of your final print though, it’s best to uncheck the checkbox to add a 0.3mm stroke border around the outside edge of the image.

If however, you want to use the plugin to help you to save money carrying various media sizes, leave that border on, so that you can see where to trim after you’ve printed. The idea is that say, for example, you create prints for sale in A4, 8 x 10 inches, A3, and 11 x 17 inches, but you don’t want to stock all of these sizes as sheet media in various finishes.

Let’s imagine that you need an A4 and an 8 x 10 print and you have a 24-inch wide roll media printer. It takes just a few seconds to resize your images using my new plugin, then click on the Padlock of the background layer of one of the images in Photoshop to unlock it, then specify a canvas size small enough to print on your roll width. 24-inch rolls are 609.7 mm wide, so you can either specify say 600 mm and print without any scaling, or if you know like I do that your printer requires a 3mm border on each edge, you could simply resize your first image to 603.7mm, so that it will fit perfectly after deducting your printers minimum edge gap. Make the height something taller than the tallest print you need, say 220 mm in this example.

Because we unlocked the first image before resizing the canvas, the we can easily move the image in slightly, and then drop our 8 x 10-inch resized image onto the newly resized image, and position it to the side of the first image, as you see in this screenshot. If you print this at 220 mm high on 24-inch roll media, you’d have minimum waste and once trimmed, two perfectly sized prints.

Even if you don’t have a roll media printer, you can save on sheet media varieties in a similar way. Say you received an order for a print on A4 media, but you don’t have any A4 sheets available. You could resize and add the trimming stroke border, then print on something larger, like A3 media. Here is a screenshot of the Photoshop Print screen with a print resized to A4, about to be printed on A3 media. There’s a waste of media that we’d be trimming away, but it does save stocking lots of different sizes of sheet media. And of course, similarly, you could simply lay out two prints on the A3 page to minimize waste.

A4 on A3 Media

 

A4 on A3 MediaNote

Note too that some programs have the ability to add additional trimming guides, as as the Corner Crop Marks that I turned on in Photoshop in the above screenshot. Also note that to ensure you print at the correct size, you’d need to turn off any scaling to fit the media. The images are currently saved in the original resolution, or set to 300 ppi if the resolution isn’t set for any reason, but either way, it will be set so your resized images will be displayed at exactly the size you need if you print without any scaling turned on.

Get Fine Art Border Tools

Click the MBP Fine Art Border Tools logo to jump to the Adobe Marketplace to pick up your FAB Tools!

※ Please ensure that you login and purchase the plugin with the same email address that is linked to your Adobe ID. Also, note that the plugin requires Adobe Photoshop version 22.0 or higher. It does not work with Photoshop Elements.

Problems Finding Your New Plugin?

If you have bought the plugin but cannot find it, please open Photoshop then first check to see if there is an MBP Fine Art Border Tools menu under the Plugins menu. If it’s there select FAB Tools from the menu item.

If it is not there, check that your Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app is at version 5.3 or higher. If it is not, please update, then select Manage Plugins from the Plugin menu. The plugin should be listed as seen in the attached screenshot. You may need to select Install to actually install it, and then it should be visible as a floating window when you go back to Photoshop. If it is not visible, please check the Plugins menu again. You should also be able to see the plugin in your account here.

Photoshop Plugin Menu with FAB Tools
MBP FAB Tools Plugin

If you still cannot find the MBP Fine Art Border Tools plugin, please drop us a line with the Support Contact Form button to the right.

If you’d like to be kept up to date on plugin updates and new features, please subscribe to our Plugin Notifications newsletter.

※ Adobe, the Adobe logo, and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries.

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