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Working with Photoshop Shapes

Article Description

Take Helen Bradley's quick course in using Photoshop's built-in shapes and learn how to make your own custom shapes to add life and dimension to your digital art projects.

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Building a Personal Shapes Collection

When you add a new shape, it appears at the bottom of the Custom Shapes Picker. However, you’ll lose your new shape if you ever reset your shapes and haven’t already saved them. The ideal solution when creating shapes is to make your own shapes collection. Here’s how:

  1. Before you save a custom shape, open the Custom Shapes Picker, click the fly-out menu, and choose Reset Shapes.
  2. Delete all the shapes from this collection by right-clicking each in turn and choosing Delete (on the Mac, select the shape and click Delete Shape from the fly-out menu). While this technique is a little time-consuming, you only have to do this once!
  3. Return to your custom shape, select the Direct Selection tool, and choose Edit > Define Custom Shape.
  4. Name the shape and click OK. Your new shape is now the only shape in the Custom Shapes Picker.
  5. Click the fly-out menu, choose Save Shapes, type a name for your personal shapes collection, and click Save. Now you can open and load your personal shapes whenever you need them.
  6. Before saving more new shapes, load your new collection as the only collection. Then create your shapes and save them in your custom collection so you won’t lose them.

You can share your personal shapes collection with other users by giving them a copy of your shapes file. Your collection will appear in the Shape Files list at the foot of the fly-out menu when you’ve closed and reopened Photoshop.

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