Shape and Type Layers in Photoshop Elements 10

Elements lets you draw shapes with six different drawing tools. These shapes also have the bonus of being vector-based. This means that the shapes are defined by mathematical equations, which create points and paths, rather than by pixels.

The advantage of vector-based objects is that you can freely resize these objects without causing degradation. In addition, they’re always printed with smooth edges, not with the jaggies you’re familiar with seeing in pixel-based elements.

To create a shape layer, grab a shape tool from the Tools panel and drag it on your canvas. When you create a shape, it resides on its own, unique shape layer. As with other types of layers, you can adjust the blend modes and opacity of a shape layer.

You can also edit, move, and transform the actual shapes. However, to apply filters, you must first simplify the shape layer. This process converts the vector paths to pixels.

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To add words to your images as shown, click your canvas with the Type tool selected and just type. It’s really as easy as that. Well, you can specify options, such as a font family and size, on the Options bar, but when you click the Commit button on the Options bar, you create a type layer. On the Layers panel, the type layer displays a T icon.

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