Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6 – Part 2

Using Drawing Tools to Create Lines

You can create straight lines in Photoshop in several ways.


Vertical and Horizontal Lines

Using the Brush or Pencil Tool (B), move the cursor to the position from which you’d like the line to start on your document. Click and hold down the mouse button.

Hold down the Shift key to constrain mouse movement to straight lines, then drag the cursor to draw your line. Release the mouse button to complete the line.

Diagonal Lines

Using the Brush or Pencil Tool (B), position the cursor at the point from which you’d like the line to start and click once (releasing the mouse button this time). Hold down Shift and click on the spot where you’d like your line to end. Photoshop will connect the dots with a straight line.

Vector Lines

If you want to make vector lines, use the Line Tool (U), position your cursor , then click and drag. Hold down the Shift key if you want to constrain mouse movement to vertical, horizontal, or 45-degree lines. You can modify the color , stroke, and weight of the line in the options bar.

Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6-Part2Vector Shapes Preferable

In today’ s environment of devices with different resolutions, you’re better off using vector shapes whenever possible. Vector shapes, unlike raster layers, can be resized bigger or smaller without losing graphic information. If you need to make a version of a graphic at 96ppi and another version at 72ppi, a vector graphic will allow you to make that change without any problem, whereas you’re likely to face more loss of quality with a raster-based image.

Perfect Squares and Circles

If you’ve been a bit adventurous and tried your hand at drawing a few shapes in Photoshop, you’ve probably found that it can be difficult to draw a perfect square or circle “freehand.” Never fear , Photoshop has you covered.


By simply holding down the Shift key while creating a rectangle or ellipse, Photoshop will ensure that the shape is a perfect square or circle. This works for both the selection and the shape tools.

Straightening Edges of a Rounded Rectangle

It’ s fairly straightforward to create rectangles and rounded rectangles using their respective shape tools. But what if you want a rectangle on which only some corners are rounded?


1. Create a rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), highlighted in Figure 2.11. Be sure to use the Shape layers option in the option bar, rather than the Pixels option.

Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6-Part2-1

Figure 2.1 1. Creating a rounded rectangle

2. Choose the Convert Point Tool, found in the Pen Tool fly-out menu (we’ll talk about the Pen Tool shortly in the section called “Curved Design Elements”). Click on the path to show the anchor points of the vector shape. These are represented by small white squares, as indicated in Figure 2.12. Click on each of the anchor points that make up the rounded corner you want to “straighten.”

Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6-Part2-2Figure 2.12. Clicking on the anchor points with the Convert Point Tool

3. Clicking on the anchor points with the Convert Point T ool will cut the corner of the curve, as seen in Figure 2.13.

Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6-Part2-3Figure 2.13. The result of using the Convert Point Tool

4. Select the Direct Selection Tool (A), the white arrow , clicking on its point (you may zoom in, if necessary). Holding the Shift key to constrain the movement to a horizontal path, drag the point laterally until it aligns vertically with the bottom point, as shown in Figure 2.14. You can move the point using the arrow keys for more precision if you prefer.

Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6-Part2-4Figure 2.14. Moving the corner point

5. To tidy it up, select the Delete Anchor Point Tool (found in the Pen Tool fly-out menu), and click on the bottom point to delete it (as in Figure 2.15) as it’ s now become redundant. Voilà! You now have a straight edge on a rounded rectangle.

Basic Skills in Photoshop CS6-Part2-5Figure 2.15. Deleting the anchor point