Topics Map > Software Guides > Photoshop

Photoshop: Drawing Shapes

Version: Adobe Photoshop CC 2020. Be aware that different versions of Photoshop will vary in appearance and functionality. Full Guides: Photoshop: Images, Photoshop: Graphic Design


Basic shape tools that are available in the Toolbar include: Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse (circle/oval), Polygon, Line, and Custom Shape. Before using a shape tool, create a new layer to avoid inadvertently modifying other layers. 

To create a shape:
  1. Create a new layer in the Layers panel.
  2. Select the desired shape tool from the Toolbar. 
    • Access all shape tools: click-and-hold the shape tool in the Toolbar. A pop-up with shape tool options should appear.
  3. (Optional) Configure settings in the Options bar.
    • Polygon: Enter the desired number of sides in the Sides field.
    • Line: click the gear icon and check the boxes for “Start” or “End” under “Arrowheads” to draw an arrow. For just a line, un-check these boxes.
    • Custom: select an option from the Shape drop-down.

  4. Click-and-drag to draw the shape on the Canvas.
    • When drawing a rectangle or ellipse, hold the Shift key to create a square or perfect circle.
Upon releasing the mouse, the Properties panel should open. If it doesn’t, navigate to Window > Properties. Options for modifying the shape will also appear in the Options bar. Be aware that in order to modify a shape, its layer must be selected the Shape tool must be in use. Available options will depend on the type of shape, and may include: 
  • Size and position
  • Colors for fill and stroke. The fill is the inside of the shape and the stroke is the outer border. Choose from a set of swatches or click the icon in the top-right of the color pop-up to open the Color Picker (see Photoshop: Colors for more details).
  • Stoke options such as the size, pattern, and alignment
  • Corner rounding
  • Path operations (used for combining shapes overlapping shapes)
To resize a shape:
  1. Select the layer for the shape in the Layers panel.
  2. Select the Move tool, and ensure “Show Transform Controls” is checked in the Options bar.

  3. Click-and-drag the handles that appear on the sides and corners of the shape.
  4. Click the check-mark from the Options bar to confirm changes.
    • To cancel the changes instead, click the cancel button.


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Keywords:circle, rectangle, line, polygon, graphic design, illustrating   Doc ID:106156
Owner:Misty B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2020-09-24 13:18 PDTUpdated:2020-09-25 13:42 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
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