Manage paths

  1. Photoshop User Guide
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    4. Create, open, and export cloud documents
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    22. System requirements 1.x | Photoshop on the iPad
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  10. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
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    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
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    8. Apply Smart Filters
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    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
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  11. Selections
    1. Select and Mask workspace
    2. Make quick selections
    3. Get started with selections
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Select a color range in an image
    7. Adjust pixel selections
    8. Convert between paths and selection borders
    9. Channel basics
    10. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    11. Create a temporary quick mask
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
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    15. Channel calculations
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    3. Healing brush examples
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  13. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
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    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  15. Image transformations
    1. Transform objects
    2. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    3. How to crop and straighten photos
    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
    10. Warp
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  16. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    14. Draw with the Pen tools
    15. Create patterns
    16. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    17. Manage paths
    18. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    19. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    20. Create textured brushes
    21. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    22. Gradient
    23. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    24. Paint with a pattern
    25. Sync presets on multiple devices
  17. Text
    1. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    2. Format characters
    3. Format paragraphs
    4. How to create type effects
    5. Edit text
    6. Line and character spacing
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    8. Fonts
    9. Troubleshoot fonts
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    11. Create type
    12. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
    13. World-Ready composer for Asian Scripts
    14. How to add and edit text in Photoshop
  18. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  19. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  20. Saving and exporting
    1. Save files in graphics formats
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    3. File formats
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    6. Digimarc copyright protection
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    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  22. Automation
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    8. Record tools in actions
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    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  23. 3D and technical imaging
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    2. Print 3D objects
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    4. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    5. Essential 3D concepts and tools
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    13. Count objects in an image
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    17. 3D panel settings
  24. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors

Paths panel overview

The Paths panel (Window > Paths) lists the name and a thumbnail image of each saved path, the current work path, and the current vector mask. Turning thumbnails off can improve performance. To view a path, you must first select it in the Paths panel.

Photoshop Paths panel
Paths panel

A. Saved path B. Temporary work path C. Vector mask path (appears only when shape layer is selected) 

Select a path

  1. Click the path name in the Paths panel. Only one path can be selected at a time.

Deselect a path

  1. Click in a blank area of the Paths panel or press Esc.

Change the size of path thumbnails

Choose Panel Options from the Paths panel menu, and select a size, or select None to turn off the display of thumbnails.

Change a path’s stacking order

  1. Select the path in the Paths panel, and drag the path up or down. When the heavy black line appears in the desired location, release the mouse button.
    Note:

    You cannot change the order of vector masks or working paths in the Paths panel.

Create a new path in the Paths panel

  • To create a path without naming it, click the Create New Path button  at the bottom of the Paths panel.
  • To create and name a path, make sure no work path is selected. Choose New Path from the Paths panel menu, or Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the New Path button at the bottom of the panel. Enter a name for the path in the New Path dialog box, and click OK.

Create a new work path

  1. Select a shape tool or a pen tool, and click the Paths button  in the options bar.
  2. Set tool-specific options, and draw the path. For more information, see Shape tool options and About the Pen tools.
  3. Draw additional path components if desired. You can easily switch between drawing tools by clicking a tool button in the options bar. Choose a path area option to determine how overlapping path components intersect:

    Add To Path Area 

    Adds the new area to overlapping path areas.

    Subtract From Path Area 

    Removes the new area from the overlapping path area.

    Intersect Path Areas 

    Restricts the path to the intersection of the new area and the existing area.

    Exclude Overlapping Path Areas 

    Excludes the overlap area in the consolidated path.

    Note:

    While drawing with a shape tool, hold down Shift to temporarily select the Add To Path Area option; hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to temporarily select the Subtract From Path Area option.

Path options

You can define the color and thickness of path lines to suit your taste and for easier visibility. While creating a path—using the Pen tool, for example—click the gear icon () in the Options bar. Now specify the color and thickness of path lines. Also, specify whether you want to preview path segments as you move the pointer between clicks (Rubber Band effect).

Path options: Thickness and Color

Manage paths

When you use a pen or shape tool to create a work path, the new path appears as the work path in the Paths panel. The work path is temporary; you must save it to avoid losing its contents. If you deselect the work path without saving it and start drawing again, a new path will replace the existing one.

When you use a pen or shape tool to create a new shape layer, the new path appears as a vector mask in the Paths panel. Vector masks are linked to their parent layer; you must select the parent layer in the Layers panel in order to list the Vector mask in the Paths panel. You can remove a Vector mask from a layer and convert a Vector mask to a rasterized mask. For more information, see Add and edit vector masks.

Paths saved with an image appear when you open it again. In Windows, JPEG, JPEG 2000, DCS, EPS, PDF, and TIFF formats support paths in Photoshop. In Mac OS, all available file formats support paths.

Note:

Paths in formats other than those listed here generally don’t survive a transition from Mac OS to Windows and back to Mac OS.

Save a work path

  • To save without renaming, drag the work path name to the New Path button  at the bottom of the Paths panel.
  • To save and rename, choose Save Path from the Paths panel menu, enter a new path name in the Save Path dialog box, and click OK.

Rename a saved path

  1. Double-click the path name in the Paths panel, type a new name, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS).

Delete a path

  1. Click the path name in the Paths panel.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Drag the path to the Delete icon  at the bottom of the Paths panel.

    • Choose Delete Path from the Paths panel menu.

    • Click the Delete icon at the bottom of the Paths panel, and click Yes.

    Note:

    To delete a path without being asked to confirm, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the Delete icon at the bottom of the Paths panel.

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