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How To Use the Pen Tool in Photoshop

How To Use the Pen Tool in Photoshop

Graphic designers, artists, and hobbyists can create beautiful works of art by modifying images in Photoshop. To get the most out of this program, you need to know how to use the many different tools and functions in the software. One of the most versatile tools is the pen, which gives you a variety of different drawing options.
 
Benefits of Using the Pen Tool

One of the most useful ways to use the pen tool is to create extremely accurate and complicated shapes. With this functionality, you can crop out certain areas of an image to remove them or relocate them to a different project. 

Locating the Pen Tool

You can access the pen through the main Photoshop toolbar on the left side of the screen. The icon looks like an old-fashioned pen nib. When you click on it, you can see several different options, including pen, freeform pen, and curvature pen. 

Using the Pen Tool

With the standard pen tool, you can create a shape, path, or outline using specific anchor points within Photoshop. Once you've created a path, you can see it in the Paths panel, which has similar functionality to the Layers panel. Making selections from the Paths panel allows you to make nondestructive changes to your original image.

Creating Straight-Line Paths

The easiest way to use the pen tool is to create a path or shape consisting of straight lines. When you select the pen tool, choose Path from the options bar at the top. You can click to create an initial anchor point. When you click again at a different location, the tool will automatically draw a straight line between the two points.

Drawing Curved Paths

The method for creating curved lines is similar but slightly more complicated. Select the curvature tool, and place the cursor where you want to make the first anchor point. Next, click to define the second anchor point. In the curvature pen, the default setting is to create a curved segment between points. You can double-click to make the segment a straight line instead. Now, you can drag the cursor around to draw the next curved segment.

You can also use the freeform pen tool to draw curves. This pen allows you to draw on the screen as if you were using a pen on a piece of paper. You can create curves faster with the freeform option, but they usually won't be as symmetrical as with the curvature pen.

The pen tool can be extremely useful in Photoshop, especially when you want to create precise selections that include both straight and curved lines. Shutterstock can help you perfect your project with Photoshop tips and access to millions of high-quality stock photos.
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