Work with the line tool

Create lines and arrows using the Line tool in Photoshop.

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Follow along with any image and learn how to use the Line tool.

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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.

Watch the short video below to learn how to draw lines and arrows in Photoshop.

Read the full article to understand the step details.

Draw a line

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:

    Set the width of a shape line with the Weight settings in the options bar. For best results, ensure the Align setting in the Stroke options is set to Center or Outside. The stroke weight will not be visible if Inside alignment is selected.

    Set the color and thickness of the stroke in the options bar. You can also set the width of your line without a stroke. 

    Set stroke width and line width in Photoshop
    Set stroke width and line width

    A. Set stroke thickness B. 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.

    Notă:

    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.

Pixel 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 settings

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

Draw an arrow

To create an arrow, simply add arrowheads to a line.

After creating a line, select Start or End within the Arrowheads section of the Properties panel. Check Start to add an arrow at the beginning of a line. Check End to add an arrow at the end of the line. To add arrows to both ends, check both Start and End.

  1. 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.

  2. 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%. 

Create an arrow by adding arrowheads to a line
Create an arrow by adding arrowheads to a line

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