Creating and Editing Shapes and Paths

You use shapes to create simple geometrical forms such as those you might see in Adobe Illustrator. Shapes have three modes: shape layers, paths, and fill pixels.

Shape layers are like having a solid color Fill layer but with a vector mask containing the shape's path. Shapes can also be created in Paths mode, where only a working path is generated. This path can later be combined with other path objects, stroked, or filled. Finally, Fill Pixels mode is a way to use shapes to make pixels on the current layer without any fuss.

Resuming from where I left off in the preceding section, follow these steps:

1. Click the foreground color swatch in the toolbox, and choose a medium blue using the Color Picker. Click OK.

2. Press U, and click the Rectangle tool on the Options bar.

3. Select the Shape Layers button on the left side of the Options bar.

4. Drag out a rectangle surrounding the word fox. Notice that a new layer is created in the Layers palette called Shape 1.

5. Drag the Shape 1 layer below the Text layer. Now the blue rectangle appears below the text in the document window.

6. Press A to select the Path Selection tool (black arrow in the toolbox). Drag a window around the blue rectangle, and drag it under the word dog. You move the entire path with this tool.

You use the Direct Selection tool to change the form of a shape object by moving individual anchor points:

7. Press Shift+A to select the Direct Selection tool (white arrow in the toolbox).

8. Drag a window around the left two anchor points of the blue rectangle to select them (see Figure 1.42).

Figure 1.42

Selecting with the Direct Selection tool

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