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How Do You Make Shapes in Photoshop?

Last updated on January 24, 2023 @ 12:57 pm

Photoshop is a powerful image editing software that allows you to create, edit, and manipulate images in various ways. One of the most basic and essential skills in Photoshop is creating shapes. In this tutorial, we will go over the different ways to create shapes in Photoshop, including using the shape tools, the pen tool, and vector masks.

Step 1: Using the Shape Tools

Photoshop has a variety of shape tools that you can use to create basic shapes such as rectangles, circles, and polygons. To access the shape tools, go to the toolbar on the left side of the screen and click and hold on the rectangle tool. A submenu will appear, showing the other shape tools. Select the shape you want to use and draw it on your canvas. You can also adjust the properties of the shape, such as the stroke and fill color, by going to the options bar at the top of the screen.

Step 2: Using the Pen Tool

The pen tool is a more advanced way to create shapes in Photoshop. It allows you to create custom shapes by drawing a series of points and connecting them with paths. To use the pen tool, go to the toolbar on the left side of the screen and select the pen tool. Then, click on the canvas to create a point and draw a path by clicking and dragging to create more points. To finish the shape, click on the first point you created to close the path.

Step 3: Using Vector Masks

Vector masks are another way to create custom shapes in Photoshop. They allow you to create a mask that can be edited and adjusted at any time. To create a vector mask, go to the layers panel and select the layer you want to mask. Then, click on the “Add vector mask” button at the bottom of the panel. You can then use the pen tool or the shape tools to draw a shape on the vector mask.


Creating shapes in Photoshop is a fundamental skill that can be used in various projects. Whether you’re working on a design project or retouching an image, the ability to create shapes can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. With the techniques covered in this tutorial, you should now be able to create basic shapes using the shape tools, create custom shapes using the pen tool, and create vector masks to create more advanced shapes. Happy creating!

PRO TIP: When working with shapes in Photoshop, always use vector shapes instead of raster shapes. Vector shapes are resolution-independent, meaning they can be scaled up or down without losing quality. Raster shapes, on the other hand, are made up of pixels and will become pixelated when scaled up. By using vector shapes, you can ensure that your shapes will look crisp and clean at any size.
Morgan Bash

Morgan Bash

Technology enthusiast and Co-Founder of Women Coders SF.