Drawing straight paths

Straight paths are created by clicking the mouse button. The first time you click, you set a starting point for a path. Each time thereafter that you click, a straight line is drawn between the previous point and the current point.

1 Using the pen tool, position the pointer on point A in the template and click the pen tool. Then click point B to create a straight-line path.

As you draw paths, a temporary storage area named Work Path appears in the Paths palette to keep track of the paths you draw.

2 End the path in the image by clicking the pen tool U) in the toolbox.

The points that connect paths are called anchor points. You can drag individual anchor points to edit segments of a path, or you can select all the anchor points to select the entire path.

3 In the Paths palette, double-click the Work Path to open the Save Path dialog box. For Name, type Straight lines, and click OK to rename and save the path.

The path remains selected in the Paths palette. ai

Saving a work path is a good habit to acquire and a necessity if you use multiple discrete paths in the same image file. If you deselected an existing Work Path in the Paths palette and then started drawing again, a new work path would replace the original one, which would be lost.

However, if you deselect a Work Path in the Paths palette, the Work Path and your drawing on it remain there while you perform other non-drawing tasks. You can also reselect the Work Path and continue to add to your drawing.

About anchor points, direction lines, direction points, and components

A path consists of one or more straight or curved segments. Anchor points mark the endpoints of the path segments. On curved segments, each selected anchor point displays one or two direction lines, ending in direction points. The positions of direction lines and points determine the size and shape of a curved segment. Moving these elements reshapes the curves in a path.

A path can be closed, with no beginning or end (for example, a circle), or open, with distinct endpoints (for example, a wavy line).

Smooth curves are connected by anchor points called smooth points. Sharply curved paths are connected by corner points.

When you move a direction line on a smooth point, the curved segments on both sides of the point adjust simultaneously. In comparison, when you move a direction line on a corner point, only the curve on the same side of the point as the direction line is adjusted.

A path does not have to be all one connected series of segments. It can contain more than one distinct and separate path component. Each shape in a shape layer is a path component, as described by the layer's clipping path.

-From Adobe Photoshop 7.0 online Help

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