Think Outside the Lines

with 22 Comments


Double the usefulness of a journaling card by removing the lines. It’s as simple as a little click of the Magic Wand tool.


How do you like your journal cards? Lined or unlined?

Personally, I go both ways. In my super-perfect world all kits that have journaling cards offer them in both a lined and an unlined version. I just like to have a choice, and thanks to Photoshop, I do. 


Step One: Open a Lined Element

This tutorial will only work if the lines on your element are independent and if they are on a semi-plain background. See the example of what I’m referring to below.

This element is from Effortless by Angie Briggs. You can download this element or try this technique on a lined element from your own stash.

  • Open a lined element (File > Open).

Step Two: Select the Journaling Lines

  • Press Ctrl + (Mac: Cmd +) to zoom way in to the top journal line.
  • Get the Magic Wand tool.
  • In the Tool Options, click on the Add to Selection icon and set the Tolerance to 32. Check Anti-aliasing and Contiguous. Uncheck Sample All Layers.
  • Press the Caps Lock key to turn your cursor into a precise crosshairs.
  • On the document, click once on the first journal line to select it.



  • Continue clicking once on each of the remaining journal lines.

NOTE: To reposition the zoom, hold down the Space bar and click and drag on the document.

At this point, all the journaling lines should be selected. Nothing else on the element should be selected. See the screenshot below.



Step Three: Overlay the Lines

  • Press Ctrl 0 (Mac: Cmd 0) to fit the element to your viewing window.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Modify > Expand.
  • In the dialog box, Expand By 2 px and click OK.



  • The Magic Wand tool should still be the active tool.
  • Press the Up Arrow key exactly 10 times.

The selection outline should have moved slightly above the journal lines.



  • Press Ctrl C (Mac: Cmd C) to copy the selected pixels.
  • Press the Down Arrow key exactly 10 times.

The selection outline should now be back overtop of the lines.

  • Press Ctrl V (Mac: Cmd V) to paste the copied pixels over the lines.

The journal lines should have completely disappeared… like magic!



Step Four: Save With a Unique Name

  • Save the line-less element (File > Save As) with a unique name as a PNG file.
  • Close the original file without saving.

NOTE: Remember, even if you alter an element, you still need to give the designer credit.

Now the element can be used with a text box for journaling or even a fun title or quote.



And, here’s how I used the line-less element on a greeting card.


Free Journaling Card: Effortless by Angie Briggs
Thank You Greeting Card: Jen White
Kit: Effortless by Angie Briggs
Fonts: Amatic SC, Bruselo Script

This tutorial was written for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.


Do Share!

I’d love to see what you create with this tutorial. Post your results in our Qwik Tutorial Gallery.


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22 Responses

  1. Casey
    | Reply

    Thanks, Jen!

  2. Casey
    | Reply

    This is brilliant! I’m looking forward to trying it. Will this method work with “dotted” (interlined) lines? Will it be necessary to adjust the tolerance or expansion? Thank you!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Great question, Casey. Yes. It will work with dotted lines also. No need to adjust anything, you’ll just have to spend more time adding each dot to the selection. Hope that helps. Have fun!

  3. Sharon
    | Reply

    Like Terri, I use the clone tool to get rid of lines, but this is sooooooooooooooooo much better. Thanks.

  4. Nancy M Olson
    | Reply

    Wow, this is great. Thank you. I love the Bruselo Script font you used. Where can you get it?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Thanks, Nancy! Most of my fonts come from Creative Market. But, do a quick Google search and see if you can find it for free. 😀

  5. Carol
    | Reply

    Very useful tut. Thank you. Your card is gorgeous. Maybe you ought to have a class on card making. 🙂

  6. noreen stack
    | Reply

    If the lines are independant does that mean on their own layer? If so why not erase them or just turn off the layer?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Noreen. Good question.
      The lines being “independent” means that they do not touch any other lines (like the blue border on the card). Designers do not give you layered cards. Everything is flat. Hope that helps. 😀

  7. Jessie
    | Reply

    Thanks, Jen. Like Terri, I would have to clone in the transparent spaces left by the lines….this is MUCH better!

    Jessie 🙂

  8. Barbara Hughes
    | Reply

    Adobe illustrator has a tool under FILL that will make the foreground match the background. I use this for a quick “fill” to make the lines disappear.

  9. Retiredlady
    | Reply

    Hi Jan, this didn’t work for me. When I followed the instructions to select the lines, the outside frame was also selected. I lowered the tolerance all the way down but it just selected parts of the line. I increased the tolerance but still no. Anyway, the way I got it to work was draw a selection around each line, then move them all up, copy and move back down. Still a time saver. I don’t know why the Magic wand would not do the job for me–I’m using PSE15.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Donna. I’m glad you gave it a try.
      You need to make sure that Contiguous is checked in the Tool Options of the Magic Wand tool.
      If Contiguous is unchecked, all the blue pixels on the entire element will be selected.
      Give that a try and see if it helps. 😀

  10. Christine
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen. I tried it but it’s not working for me. When I come down 10 and press CTRL-V the lines are still there. I played around a little and counted a few extra presses with the down arrow and that helps, but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Christine. Make sure when you press Ctrl C that the element is active in the Layers panel. If that’s not helping, can you send me a screenshot of your workspace at the point things don’t seem to work?

      • Christine
        | Reply

        I count up 10, but my lines seem to go higher than what yours show, and when I count 10 to come down, it doesn’t seem to end where it should because the lines don’t disappear. I still have the magic wand selected. Oh well.

        • Jen White
          | Reply

          Hi Christine. The Arrow key on your keyboard moves a certain number of pixels with each click based on how far you are zoomed into an image. So, if you are zoomed in at 100% when you move the selection up, then you need to be zoomed in at 100% when you move the selection down. Hope that helps. 😀

          • Christine

            Thanks, Jen,
            I didn’t know that. It’s working now just fine.

          • Jen White

            That’s great! Glad we got it figured out. 😀

  11. Terri
    | Reply

    What a slick trick. I always use the clone tool or the healing brush, but those take much longer and don’t always do the best job. Thanks again for sharing your expertise!!

  12. Beverly
    | Reply

    Neat tutorial. Thanks!

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