Learn how to create shapes on your canvas and use the Live Shape Properties to interact with your shapes.

Photoshop comes with the ability to draw and edit vector shapes easily. You can also convert your vector shape to a raster or pixel-based shape.

Follow these quick steps to create shapes in Photoshop:

  1. Select a shape tool

    From the toolbar, click and hold the Shape tool () group icon to bring up the various shape tool options — Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Triangle, Polygon, Line, and Custom Shape. Select a tool for the shape you want to draw.

    shape tools in photoshop
  2. Set shape tool options

    In the shape tool options bar, you can set:

    • Mode: Set a mode for your Shape tool — Shape, Path, and Pixels.
    • Fill: Choose a color to fill your shape.
    • Stroke: Choose the color, width, and type of your shape stroke.
    • W&H: Manually set the width and height of your shape.
    • Path operations: Use path operations to set the way your shapes interact with each other.
    • Path alignment: Use path alignment to align and distribute your shape components.
    • Path arrangement: Use path arrangement to set the stacking order of shaes you create.
    • Additional shape and path options: Click the gear () icon to access additional shape and path options to set attributes such as width and color of the on-screen display of your path, and constrain options while drawing shapes.
    shape tool options bar
  3. Draw a shape

    Click and drag on the canvas with your selected shape tool to draw a shape. This automatically creates a new shape layer in the Layers panel.

    • Hold the Shift key while drawing to make your shapes proportional.
    • With your shape layer selected, use the Move tool to move your shape around and reposition on the canvas.
    • To easily scale, transform, or rotate your shape, choose Edit > Free Transform or press Control+T (Win) / Command+T (Mac).
  4. Edit shape properties

    You can easily edit your shape properties directly using on-canvas controls or accessing Shape Properties under the Properties panel. On-canvas controls make your interaction with shapes more intuitive. 

    You can use on-canvas transform and rounding controls to adjust the appearance of your shape. The keyboard modifiers will work the same way for on-canvas transform controls as they work in Transform tool in Photoshop. You can modify the radius of all corners of your shape at once or hold Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) as you drag to change the radius of a single corner. For triangles, all corners will be modified even if you drag one of them. Easily rotate a shape using the on-canvas rotate handle that appears as you hover over your shape on the canvas.

    Click the reset () icon in the properties panel to reset all modifications at any time.

    live shapes
    Draw a shape and use the on-canvas controls to easily edit shape properties.

    Once you've drawn a shape, you can click anywhere on the canvas to bring up a Create Shape pop-up dialog and modify your shape parameters.

    Create rectangle dialog
    Use the Create Shape (Create Rectangle in the example above) dialog to modify parameters.

Fill and stroke shapes

Follow these quick steps to fill and stroke shapes: 

  1. In the Layers panel, select the shape layer you want to fill or stroke.

  2. Do one of the following to set the shape fill or stroke type:

    • Select a shape tool (press U) from the toolbar. In the tool options bar, select Fill or Stroke.
    • In the Properties panel, click the fill or stroke type option.  
  3. In the pop-up menu, choose a fill or stroke option — Solid Color, Gradient, or Pattern.

    Solid Color: Fills or strokes the shape layer with the current foreground color. Use the Color Picker or color presets to select a different color.

    Gradient: Choose a gradient preset or click on the gradient to display the Gradient Editor dialog. Set additional gradient options:

    • Angle specifies the angle at which the gradient is applied.
    • Reverse flips the orientation of the gradient colors.
    • Style specifies the shape of the gradient.
    • Scale changes the size of the gradient.
    • Align With Layer uses the bounding box of the layer to calculate the gradient fill. You can drag in the image window to move the center of the gradient.

    Pattern: Choose a pattern from the pop‑up menu and set additional pattern options:

    • Angle specifies the angle at which the pattern is applied. Set the angle selector at a certain degree or manually type in an angle value to rotate your pattern at the desired angle.
    • Scale changes the size of the pattern. Enter a value or drag the slider.

Draw a custom shape

Enhanced with the February 2021 release of Photoshop desktop (22.2)

You can draw custom shapes by using shapes from the Custom Shape pop-up panel, or save a shape or path to use as a custom shape.

  1. Select the Custom Shape tool from the shape tools in the toolbar.

  2. To view all the custom shapes that come with Photoshop, click the gear icon on the right of the Custom Shape picker in the shape tool options bar. You will see the list of available shapes. Select any custom shape as desired.

  3. If you don't find a desired shape, click the gear icon in the Custom Shape picker panel and select Import Shapes option to import a desired shape from your saved files. You can also create and save a custom shape in your library.

    Custom shape picker
  4. You can easily edit your Custom Shape Tool properties directly from Shape Properties under the Properties panel. You can also use on-canvas Transform controls to transform a custom shape while keeping intact its shape properties. 

  5. Click and drag anywhere in the canvas to draw your custom shape.

Enhanced properties panel for Custom Shape Tool
Enhanced properties panel for Custom Shape Tool

You also have the flexibility of setting Custom Shape Tool preset directly from the Shapes Windows panel. When you select a custom shape from Windows > Shape panel, this preset will get updated in the Custom Shape Tool > Custom Shape picker as well. 

Note:

You can access the custom shape properties only for the shapes drawn using the Custom Shape Tool and not when a path has been converted to a shape.  

Save a shape or path as a custom shape

  1. In the Paths panel, select a path—either a vector mask for a shape layer, a work path, or a saved path.

  2. Choose Edit > Define Custom Shape, and enter a name for the new custom shape in the Shape Name dialog box. The new shape appears in the Shape pop-up panel in the options bar.

  3. To save the new custom shape as part of a new library, select Save Shapes from the pop-up panel menu.

    For more information, see Work with the Preset Manager.

Draw a star shape using the Polygon tool

One of the basic shapes that we learn to draw as kids is a five-corner star shape.

Follow these 3 quick steps to draw a star shape with the Polygon shape tool:

  1. From the toolbar, click and hold the shape tool group icon to bring up hidden shape tool options. Select the Polygon tool.

  2. Drag on your canvas to draw a polygon.

  3. Click anywhere on the canvas to bring up the Create Polygon dialog and set the following attributes:

    Width & Height: Manually set the width and height of your polygon.

    Symmetric: Select the checkbox to maintain symmetry in your polygon.

    Number of Sides: Manually enter the number of sides you'd like the polygon to have. For example, set the number of sides to 5 if you want to draw a 5-cornered star shape. 

    Corner Radius: Manually set a radius to get rounded corners for your polygon. 

    Star Ratio: Adjust the Star Ratio percentage to get the perfect star shape.

    Smooth Star Indents: Select the checkbox to round up the star indents.

    From Center: Select the checkbox to align the star-shape from the centre.

    Create a star shape with the Polygon tool
    Create a star shape with the Polygon tool