In Photoshop

Photoshop has countless tools, such as the pen tool, with many functions to perform the same task. The key is to know which is the best to use.

Due to the creative’s different evaluations, some people may be worried about trying the pen tool. Usually, the main complaint about this tool is that it is time-consuming, cumbersome, and difficult to learn.

To make creators more familiar with this tool, learning the beginner’s pen tool guide is a useful start to understand this tool’s importance. There are some important aspects to learn here.

What is the Photoshop Pen Tool?

From outline objects to create shapes, the pen tool has great potential for all kinds of creativity. There is a misunderstanding that this tool is very effective for most designers, but it is very effective in photo editing.

A pen tool is a precise tool that can create lines or curves to create outlines or designs of any size, which can then be filled with any color. In other cases, you can use the pen tool to move the object from the background to another location.

For graphic designers, this tool is often used to create simple or complex logos or shapes. Other tools (such as the shape tool or the direct selection tool) have the same functions but are different from the customization options. Creatives can specifically point out that they want to “cut” the Photoshop program into an image or logo form instead of deciding on their own.

When should I use the Photoshop Pen tool?

There are different options when deciding which tool to use to perform a task, but the key is to know which is the best option. For example, if you need to remove a Subject from the background. You can use three different tool options to accomplish this task.

The first option is to select the tool directly. It may seem like a faster process, but it will produce intermittent pixelated corners. Photoshop samples the pixels in the surrounding area, which may look more accurate, but it will increase the required edges.

The second option is the lasso tool, which is suitable for people with stable hands. This tool allows individuals to use “freehand drawing” to outline objects, but it should not be used for detailed work.

The last available option is the “Pen Tool,” which is the most desirable tool because it allows individuals to change the outline’s outline’s working path and prevents Photoshop from including unwanted areas.

In some deceptive situations, there are situations where personal images with long flowing hair will produce a large number of angles, which may require the use of multiple tools to complete this task. Use the pen tool to outline the outline of each person. But use a different process (such as the quick selection tool) to complete the area around the hair. Each object will be different, but the most recommended tool is the pen tool.

The common uses of the Photoshop Pen Tool

Because you can modify, store and reuse the path created by the pen tool as many times as you want, every time you need to delete the product image from its background or select a part of the product image to make it your preferred tool. For example, change its color. You can create multiple paths in one image or multiple path segments in one path.

The shape path created with the Pen tool allows you to create custom shapes on the image, which can call up specific parts of the image. Unlike shapes created with standard “shape tools” (such as “rectangle tool” or “ellipse tool”), any shape that can be created with the “pen” tool can be manipulated.

Using the Photoshop pen tool

When trying different Photoshop tools, people usually understand the function of the tool and how to use it. Unless someone knows the basics of the “pen tool,” it is not easy to “wing” it. This tool requires more practice before executing any major projects.

The components of the pen tool consist of lines, work paths, and anchor points. When you want to change the direction or shape in the created work path, anchor points will appear. To adjust any point, select and move the mouse to create other angles.

Exploring all the functions of the pen tool is the key to understanding how to use it.

Step-1: Locate the left side of the workspace 

First, find the tools panel on the left side of the Photoshop workspace. In the “Tool Panel,” find the “Pen Tool” defined by the nib-shaped symbol.

Photoshop Pen Tool

Step-2:  Select the top Pen Tool

Once found, select the pen tool and hold down the mouse to see the pen tool’s drop-down menu. There are not only “universal” pen tools and different variants of tools and options to choose from.

Select Pen Tool

Now select the pen tool at the top and notice the different customization options in the upper workspace. First, if this project aims to create a shape or path, it must be signed. This option is located at the top left of the work area.

When you select “Path,” different options will appear at the top of the work area to customize the desired paths. 

The window next to the stroke allows you to adjust the line’s pixel width and the line design type. You can customize the measurement values ​​in the “W” and “H” boxes. An important option that is always checked is that the new path will interact in the “Layer” panel on the workspace’s right side. The square symbol for this option is located next to “Height.”

The drop-down menu options allow individuals to indicate whether they want the new design to be combined with other shapes to become a new layer, etc.

 The last important option is the “Auto-add/remove” checkbox. By selecting this option, you can add or delete all anchors at any time when creating a line. This saves time on large projects.

Compared with Shape, the Path option at the top of the workspace does not provide so many options, but it does provide options for customizing the interaction between lines and designs.

The “universal” pen tool is completely manual, which means that Photoshop will not decrypt where the lines should be placed. This provides full access to the creative when determining the design of the object.

The second option is the Freeform Pen Tool, which allows individuals to actively track items while holding down the mouse. After releasing the mouse, the anchor point will appear as the direction of the mouse changes.

When learning how to use the pen tool, the curvature pen tool is the best. This option will automatically create straight lines and curves, making the contour drawing of objects faster and easier.

Using the Add Anchor Point Tool and the Delete Anchor Point Tool, you can add a delete anchor point to any line created with the Pen tool. The anchor point is identified by a blue square that appears throughout the created path.

Convert Point Tool in the last option in the drop-down menu. Just select the anchor point, and this tool can make the curve between two anchors a perfectly straight line.

Make an Anchor Point With Photoshop The Pen Tool

You can use the Photoshop Pen Tool to create many points and anchor points, but in some cases, you need only an anchor point or a line on your project.

There are two different ways to accomplish this task, but in this case, using keyboard shortcuts is faster and more convenient. Suppose you only need to create a curve with only one anchor point.


After selecting the “generic” pen tool, select the canvas to place the pen tool’s starting point.


Now,  Hold down the mouse to select another point. Hold down the mouse, hold down the “Command” button on the keyboard and drag the mouse down. Note how the curve is displayed on the line.

Anchor point


Now, hold down the Option key and select the second point you just created. After selection, an anchor line will be displayed.

Anchor point

How To Fill an Object

After using the Pen tool to draw an outline or create a design, you can take the project further by selecting other options. If you want to fill the object with color, you can perform certain steps to accomplish this task.

Step-1: Hover the mouse over the outline

After selecting the pen tool, hover the mouse over the outline area. The tool should have an asterisk (*) next to the pen symbol.

Hover the Mouse

Step-2: Select Fill Path

After selecting the original file, right-click the area to display a drop-down tab offering different options. In this case, select “Fill Path,” and the “Fill Path” window will be displayed in a different way to customize the path.

Select fill Path

Step-3: Content to Fill

The first option allows you to choose the type of content you want to fill. Photoshop will automatically set the “Foreground Color” as the default color, but you can use options such as “Background Color,” “Color…” and “50% Gray”. For this example, choose 50% gray.

Content to Fill

Step-4: Apply Blending Mode to the selection

The second option, “Mode,” allows you to apply a blending mode to the selection. You can select this option later. Opacity indicates how visible or invisible the layer is, but in this case, set it to 100%.

Apply blending Mode

Step-5:Once completed, select OK

When finished, select OK. Photoshop will now fill the area you created with the “Pen Tool” gray.

Once completed

Best uses for the Photoshop pen tool

You can use the pen tool in many different ways. It is important to know when to use the pen tool as the most appropriate tool. The answer to this question is that it depends entirely on the shape of the main body and the intent of the final product.

Whether used to place objects on different backgrounds or to remove backgrounds, photo editors usually use the pen tool to outline the objects. In other cases, you need a unique crop of the image. And the pen tool will not limit the crop to only the typical square or rectangular format.

Graphic design involves angles and dimensions. These angles and dimensions define the Pen tool’s functions and are the most recommended tool in design. The pen tool also makes the process easier because it allows you to adjust the outline at any time by clicking and dragging the anchor points.

 If this process seems time-consuming or too cumbersome, try using the Curvature Pen tool on less complex projects to speed up the process.

How to create a shape using the Pen Tool

By selecting “Shape” in the menu of the “Pen Tool” options bar, you can specify the path as a “shape path” before creating the path.

We mentioned before: Next to the “Shape” option, you can change the color of the shape by double-clicking the color rectangle next to “Fill.” A color menu will appear-the top bar of the color menu allows you to change the color by choosing no fill (transparent), solid color, gradient color, pattern, or custom color. The available color palettes are displayed at the bottom of the menu.

Create a Shape

You can also change the shape’s outline color by double-clicking the color rectangle next to “Stroke.” To adjust the stroke’s width, change the width in the drop-down menu to the right of the stroke color.

Create a Shape

Once the “shape path” settings are set correctly, you can use the pen tool to draw the shape, just like a regular path.

Create a Shape

When you use the Pen tool to create a shape, a new layer containing the shape and the “shape path” in the “path” panel is automatically created.

Create a Shape

When to use the Photoshop Pen tool

With so many tools in Photoshop, with multiple functions. It is sometimes difficult to determine when to use a particular tool. The pen tool is not the only tool in Photoshop for designing or drawing object outlines. It is important to know when to use the pen tool on other tools.

Before you start editing, pay attention to the subject you want to isolate and pay attention to the angles and curves you need to create. If there is an image of a windmill in the yard, I want to put the windmill on a white background.

In other cases, if there is an image of a person with long hair. Other processing and tools will be preferable for the hair portion of the image. For the graphic design of the pen tool. The pen tool is the most customizable tool when creating a design or logo. If you want to create certain designs or patterns, the pen tool is the best because it can create precise angles and perform precise measurements.

Use the stylus in the Photoshop Pen tool

Over the years, the world of creativity and acquisition has exploded, making Photoshop easier to access various formats. Photoshop can be used not only on desktop computers but also on laptops and tablets, making it easier for creators and freelancers to access work “on the go.”

The most popular tool for design in Photoshop is Stylus or also known as Pen Tablet. A stylus is a pen-shaped tool that can make editing more accurate, and you can use the “pressure sensitivity” setting in Photoshop to create a “hand-drawn” effect. The sensitive surface tablet components are placed flat beside the computer, representing the computer screen, and can also be used as a mouse.

Some people may think that there is no difference between using a mouse or a stylus when using the pen tool, but there are subtle differences between the two. When using the mouse with the pen tool, select any area of ​​the work area to create different points in the work area.

A unique feature is to press the “up” button on the side of the stylus. When you need to apply a stroke or fill a path, this button provides a quick shortcut. This operation is equivalent to clicking the right mouse button. Although there are some subtle differences, using a stylus can save time and provide more accurate results.

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