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One Sided Borders in Figma

  2 minute read

One feature I’d love to see in Figma is the ability to add a border (or stroke) to just one side of a rectangle. Currently strokes apply to the whole shape and so do any customisations. This is a shame since a border on a single edge can easily be achieved in CSS with declarations like border-bottom and border-left.

In the meantime, using the “inner shadow” effect can create the appearance of a solid border on only one side of a shape. This is how.

An inner shadow effect on the left side of a rectangle and the Effect Settings for this

  • Select your rectangle layer and add a new effect from the Effects section in the right-hand sidebar
  • This will be a “Drop shadow” by default. Change it to “Inner shadow” from the dropdown menu
  • Enter the Effect Settings menu by clicking the sun icon to the left of “Inner shadow”
  • Change the “blur” value to 0
  • Change the x and y values depending on the side you want the border to appear:
Side x y
Left 1 0
Top 0 1
Right -1 0
Bottom 0 -1

The number value will match the width of the border. So for a border width of 10, change the number 1 or -1 to 10 or -10.

An inner shadow effect on each side of four rectangles

Finally change the colour to 100% opacity or whatever your design requires and you have a solid single border.

If your design requires another border on a different side of the shape, add a separate “Inner shadow” on the same shape.

Four different inner shadow border effects on a rectangle

A drawback of this method is that the style of the border can’t be customised: it must be straight and can’t be dashed. However you can apply a border-radius to the shape and this will be reflected in the shadow effect.

Four different inner shadow border effects on a rectangle with a border radius