Draw a Shape in Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photoshop Elements 10 offers an assortment of shape tools for you to choose from. When you create a shape in Elements, you’re creating a vector-based element. Shapes reside on a special kind of layer called, not surprisingly, a shape layer. Use shapes to create simple logos, web buttons, and other small spot illustrations.

Follow these steps to draw a shape in your document:

  1. Choose your desired shape tool from the Tools panel.

    You can also press Shift+U to cycle through the shape tools. All the following tools have associated Geometry options. Here are the available tools:

    • Rectangle and Ellipse. As with their Marquee counterparts, you can hold down the Shift key while dragging to produce a square or circle; hold down the Alt (Option on the Macintosh) key to draw the shape from the center outward.

    • Rounded Rectangle. This tool works like the regular Rectangle but with the addition of a radius value used to round off the corners of the rectangle.

    • Polygon. This tool creates a polygon or star with a specified number of sides, from 3 to 100.

    • Line. This tool draws a line with a width from 1 to 1,000 pixels. You can also add arrowheads at either end.

    • Custom. Custom is the most varied shape tool. You have numerous preset custom shapes to choose from. As with any shape, hold down Shift to constrain proportions or the Alt (Option on the Macintosh) key to draw from the center out.

  2. In the Options bar, click the down-pointing arrow just to the right of the Shape tool icon to specify your Geometry options.

    For detailed explanations on the various Geometry options, see the upcoming sections.

    If you chose the Custom Shape tool in Step 1, click the down-pointing arrow to access the drop-down Shapes panel and choose your desired shape. You can access more preset shape libraries via the pop-up menu at the top of the panel.

  3. Select your desired color from the Color drop-down panel on the Options bar.

    Click the More Colors button (the down-pointing arrow) to access the Color Picker for additional color choices.

  4. Select a style from the Style drop-down panel.

    To jazz up the shape with bevels and other fancy edges, choose a style from the panel.

  5. Drag in the document to draw the shape you defined.

    The shape appears in the image window on its own shape layer. Check out the Layers panel to see this phenomenon.

    Custom shapes run the gamut from the ordinary to the exotic, such as this hairstyle.
    Custom shapes run the gamut from the ordinary to the exotic, such as this hairstyle.