Draw a Shape in Photoshop Elements

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photoshop Elements 12 offers an assortment of shape tools for you to choose from. Follow these steps to draw a shape in your document:

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

    You can also press 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 Mac) 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 with a specified number of sides, from 3 to 100.

    • Star: This tool creates a polygon or star with a specified number of sides/vertices, 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 Mac) key to draw from the center out.

  2. In the Tool Options, click the down-pointing arrow to access Geometry options.

    By default, the option is set to Unconstrained.

  3. If you chose the Custom Shape tool in Step 1, click the Custom Shapes Preset picker down-pointing arrow to access the pop-up 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.

  4. Select your desired color from the Color drop-down menu.

    Click the color-wheel icon in the bottom-right corner to access the Color Picker for additional color choices.

  5. Select a style from the Style picker drop-down panel.

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

  6. 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. The figure shows the shape, a Japanese hairstyle, from the Dressup preset library.

    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.