SHAPES AND LAY­ERS

Maximum PC - - R&D -

When you draw a vec­tor shape in Pho­to­shop, what you’re cre­at­ing is a fill layer linked to a vec­tor mask—this is why a shape seems to float freely from other lay­ers, be­cause it’s a layer in its own right. When you’ve cre­ated a shape, it re­mains ed­itable as long as you don’t choose to ras­ter­ize it. You can use the Di­rect Se­lec­tion tool to mod­ify it, click­ing and drag­ging on the square points that mark its cor­ners and the half­way points of its ver­tices. You can ap­ply a Layer Style to a shape, just as we did with the frame for our pop-up photo, and you can fill it with a pat­tern or gra­di­ent us­ing “Gra­di­ent Over­lay” in the “Layer Styles” win­dow. The Cus­tom Shape tool, which folds out from the Rec­tan­gle tool, means you don’t need to be con­strained by the El­lipse, Rec­tan­gle, Line, or Poly­gon tools—you can go com­pletely freeform. Lines with ar­row­heads on them are also cre­ated as Shapes— draw a line, and you’ll find an “Ar­row­heads” drop-down on the “Op­tions” bar at the top of the in­ter­face. Use­ful if you’re draw­ing di­a­grams for use in a pre­sen­ta­tion.

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