More information about the different types of paths and the tools used to create them is found in an earlier section of this chapter, "Making Vector Paths."
Paths created with the Pen tool are stored in the Paths palette. By default, they're stored as temporary or "working" paths until you save them (choose Save Path from the flyout menu in the Paths palette). In fact, these paths aren't really "selections"—that is, they won't allow you to select content within the file and edit it—until after you change them from vector-based paths to bitmap selections by choosing Make Selection from the Paths palette flyout menu.
Nonetheless, the Pen tool can be especially useful for drawing paths that you can edit before turning into bitmap selections.
TRY IT To use the Pen tools to make detailed, easily changeable | selections in Photoshop, first open a file requiring such a selection. For practice, consider opening the Ducky.tif file found in the Samples folder within the Adobe Photoshop 7 folder.
Click the Pen tool in the toolbox to make it active. Then, move into the Ducky.tif file and begin clicking around the outside of the rubber duck. You can create two different types of lines with the Pen tool depending on how you click:
1. To make straight segments, simply click and move to add anchor points along your path.
2. To make curved segments, click and drag before moving and clicking again. As you drag, the cursor pulls out a directional line that determines the angle and length of the curve on that part of the segment.
To close a path, position the cursor near the starting point until you notice a small circle appear next to the cursor. This indicates that when you click again, you'll close the path. To end a path without closing it, move the cursor away from the path and CTRL-click (Windows) or CMD-click (Mac).
Depending on the size of your monitor, it may be easier to zoom into the file to make really detailed paths. Press CTRL-+ (Windows) or CMD-+ (Mac) to zoom in, or use CTRL-- (Windows) or CMD-- (Mac) to zoom out.
TRY IT To move an entire path, use the Path Selection tool, which is just above the Pen tool in the toolbox. To move or reshape segments of a path, click and hold on the Path Selection tool to reveal a flyout menu with an additional tool—the Direct Selection tool.
Was this article helpful?