Work with the line tool

Create lines and arrows using the Line tool in Photoshop.

Draw a line

The Line Tool allows you to draw a two-point line on the canvas. Lines can be drawn as vector shapes, paths, or pixels. Choose Shape mode if you want to make a non-destructive, scalable line that you can edit at a later date. Choose Pixels mode when working with rasterized content such as pixel art.

Follow these quick steps to draw a line:

  1. Select the Line tool

    From the toolbar, click and hold the Shape tool () group icon to bring up the various shape tool choices. Select the Line tool.

    Work with the line tool

  2. Set the width of your line

    Shape Mode:

    The weight of a Shape line can be adjusted with both Stroke and Weight settings in the Options bar.

    Choose the width of your line in the options bar by setting the desired Stroke size with Weight set to 0. For best results, ensure the Align setting in the Stroke options is set to Center or OutsideThe stroke weight will not be visible if Inside alignment is selected. Alternatively, you can set the width of your line using Weight in the options bar with or without a stroke.

    Line width
    Two different ways to set line width

    A. Use Stroke to set line width B. Use Weight to set line width 

    stroke alignment options
    Choose Center or Outside from the stroke alignment options

    Path or Pixels Mode:

    Set the width of your pixel line in the options bar by setting the Weight.

    Note:

    Pixels mode and Weight are not available for the Line tool in Photoshop version 22.0-22.2

  3. Click and drag 

    Click on the canvas, drag, and release to create a line. To constrain the line angle to a multiple of 45 degrees, hold down shift as you drag and draw the line.

Shape mode options

Line tool options

A. Set various attributes and properties of the line tool by clicking on Stroke Options B. More Options 

Line Mode

  • To create a vector line, choose Shape.  

Fill color         

  • Select a color from the list or click on the color picker to select a color. Alternatively, you can click the color swatch in the Appearance section of the Properties panel to choose a color. This will be used to fill the center of the arrowhead.

Stroke color         

  • Select a color from the list or click on the color picker to select a color. Alternatively, you can click the color swatch in the Appearance section of the Properties panel to choose a color. This will color the line and the outside of the arrowhead.

Stroke width        

  • Enter the stroke width in pixels.

Weight        

  • Enter the line Weight in pixels.

More Options    

  • Preset: Choose from, solid line, dashed line, dotted line, or click on More Options to create a custom line preset.
  • Align: Select Center or Outside. Stroke weight will not display if Inside alignment is selected.
  • Caps: You can choose between 3 line cap shapes: Butt, Round, or Square. Line cap shapes determine the shapes of the beginning and end of the line.  
  • Dashed Line: Customize the look of your dashed line by inserting numbers for the number of dashes and gaps in the repeating pattern.

Pixels mode options

Line Mode

  • To create a pixel-based line, choose Pixels.

Mode

  • Select the desired blend mode. The default option is Normal.

Opacity  

  • Set the Opacity value from 1-100%.

Weight        

  • Set the desired line width in pixels.

Additional options

Click the gear icon () on the Line tool options bar and select Live Shapes Controls to enable on canvas transform controls. This allows you to rotate and resize lines from the canvas. This will also scale the arrowheads.

Transform and Appearance settings can also be set from the Properties panel. This can be enabled on the main menu from Window > Properties.

Properties panel
Properties panel

Creating arrows

To create an arrow, you simply add arrowheads to a line. After creating a line and setting the stroke color and width, click the gear icon () on the Line tool options bar. To add an arrow at the beginning of your line, Check Start; to add an arrow at the end of your line, check End. To add arrows to both ends, check both Start and End.

  • Set the Width and Length of the arrowhead in pixels. In version 22.0 and above, arrowheads are defined in absolute pixels, not percent weight.
  • Set the Concavity, the amount of curvature on the widest part of the arrowhead, where the arrowhead meets the line. Enter a Concavity value between –50% and +50%. 
Arrowheads
Click the gear icon in the Options bar for more options.

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