How to Make Curved Lines in Photoshop

Below, we've outlined how to make curved lines in Photoshop, using a few different methods with unique strengths and weakness. 

Using the Pen Tool

  1. Curved lines are easy with the Pen tool, because you can create two anchor points anywhere on an image, and then bend the line in between them. You can select the Pen tool from the main toolbar, or press the P key. 
  2. Since you're drawing curved lines (and not shapes), you need to select "Path" on the left side of the options bar. Then, click anywhere on the screen to create an anchor point. This is the start of your new line. 
  3. Click again to create a second anchor point, but this time, hold down the mouse button and drag your cursor to start curving the line. As you do this, another line should appear with black circles on the ends. This is called a "handle", and it helps direct the curvature of your line. 
  4. To adjust the line, you can extend the handle for a mellow curve, or shorten the handle for a more extreme curve. As a general rule, we recommend a handle length that is 1/3 the distance (or less) to your next anchor point. 
  5. Continue drawing anchor points and paths until you're happy with the finished line. If you ever need to delete an anchor point, just press Ctrl+Alt+Z (Command+Alt+Z on Mac) to undo your work. 

Using the Convert Point Tool

Once you've learned how to make curved lines in Photoshop, you can explore the program's advanced features, which provide even more control over a line's curve. For example, if you click and hold the mouse button over the Pen tool, a submenu will appear with supplementary tools. Choose the Convert Point tool from the bottom of the submenu.

Convert Point allows you to retroactively adjust any anchor point or handle on your line. Just click on the point or handle that you want to change, and then you can move, extend, contract, or delete the segment as you see fit. 

Using Stroke Paths

When you've finished drawing a curve, you can right-click on it and select "Stroke Path" to change it into a line. Right now, your curve is still a path, but the Stroke Path option will transform it into a defined brush stroke. In the Stroke Path dialog box, you can select color, brush style, and other options to complete your line. 

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