Adding a colored shape to the background

You'll begin by creating the backdrop for a poster image.

1 Choose File > Open and select the 10Start.psd file in your Lessons/Lesson10 folder.

Some work on the file has been done for you; the image already contains a background layer with a green gradient fill and a series of horizontal and vertical guides. The guides are locked in position. (If you do not see the guides, choose View > Show > and make sure that the Guides command is checked, or choose it now.)

2 Choose View > Rulers to display a horizontal and a vertical ruler.

3 Using the tab for the Paths palette, drag the palette out of the Layers palette group. Since you'll be using these two palettes frequently, it's convenient to have them separated.

4 In the Color palette, set the foreground RGB color to a deep blue color by typing 0 as the R value, 80 as the G value, and 126 as the B value.

5 On the toolbox, select the rectangle tool (_i). Then, in the tool options bar, make sure that the Shape Layers option is selected.

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6 Drag a rectangle from the intersection of the top and leftmost guides to the third horizontal guide (about three-fourths of the way down the image, slightly below the 5-inch mark on the ruler) and the right margin of the page.

You've created a rectangle with a deep blue fill. (If you don't get that result, make sure that you've selected the rectangle tool, which is below the type tool on the toolbox, and not the rectangular marquee tool. Also make sure that the Shape Layers option is selected in the toolbar.)

7 In the toolbox, select the direct selection tool (>), hidden under the path selection tool (^), and click anywhere on the path (edge) of the blue rectangle to select the path, so that selection handles appear in the four corners.

8 Select the lower left handle of the blue shape, being careful to select just the handle and not a path segment.

9 Shift+drag the handle upwards to the next horizontal guide (at about the four-inch mark on the ruler) and release the mouse button when the handle snaps into place against the guide.

Now the lower edge of the blue shape slopes down from left to right.

10 Choose View > Show > Guides to hide the guides, because you are finished using them for this lesson. You'll be using the rulers again, so do not hide them yet.

11 Click anywhere inside or outside the blue rectangle in the image window to deselect the path and hide its handles.

Notice that the border between the blue shape and the green background has a grainy quality. What you see is actually the path itself, which is a non-printing item. This is a visual clue that the Shape 1 layer is still selected.

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