Draw Multiple Shapes on Any Shape Layer in Photoshop Elements 11

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

You can draw additional shapes on any shape layer that you create in Photoshop Elements 11. You can add, subtract, exclude overlapping, and intersect shapes in exactly the same way you do with selections. Follow these steps:

  1. After you create the first shape, select a state button in the Tool Options:

    • Add to Shape Area: Combines and joins two or more shapes.

    • Subtract from Shape Area: Subtracts one shape from another shape.

    • Intersect Shape Areas: Creates a shape only from the areas that overlap.

    • Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas: Creates a shape from only the areas that don’t overlap.


  2. Choose a shape tool and draw the next shape.

    You can finish a drawing, which started out as a basic Elvis hair outline, by adding a face to the Elvis impersonator.

    You can also hold down the Shift key to temporarily switch to Add to Shape Area while drawing a new shape. Hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) to temporarily switch to Subtract from Shape Area. It works just like adding or subtracting selections.