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Create Shape Layers in Photoshop CS5

Use shape layers in Photoshop Creative Suite 5 when the goal of your design is to seamlessly integrate vector shapes and pixel data. A shape layer can contain vector shapes that you can then modify with the same features of any other layer.

Create a shape layer with any of these methods:

  • Create a shape with the Pen tool. With the Pen tool, you can create interesting custom shapes and even store them for future use. We show you how in the following section.

  • Use a Vector Shape tool. Vector shapes are premade shapes (you can even create your own) that you can create by dragging the image area with a shape tool.

  • Import a shape from Illustrator. Choose File→Place and choose an .ai file; when the Options window appears, choose to place the file as a shape layer or a path. This action imports an Illustrator file as a shape layer or path into Photoshop.

    The Vector Shape tools.
    The Vector Shape tools.

In Photoshop CS5, you can access the Vector shape and path tools directly from the Options bar when either the Pen tool or a vector shape tool is selected.

You can switch to the Vector shape tool with the Options bar.
You can switch to the Vector shape tool with the Options bar.
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