Art & Design

Path Basics

Click on the pen icon in your tools menu

Ensure that the “paths” icon in the options bar is highlighted.

Do not select the shape layers tool to its left. You don’t want this one!

With the pen tool selected and the paths icon selected in the options bar, click alongside part of the graphic that you wish to create a path around (good starting points include square points of an image and natural corners – if possible! It’s much easier if you don’t start at the beginning or middle of a curve on the graphic you wish to create a path around) clicking on the image will add a small square start-off point.

Add a second anchor point, and create a straight line joining the two points together!

To create a curve you have to make a valued judgment on where the curve needs to bend. Plot your point “over the bridge” of the curve of your image. Once you’ve plotted your end point, you are able to drag your curve by holding left click down and dragging the point to where you want the path to bend. The pen cursor transforms into an arrow cursor when clicking and dragging… This takes practice!

You are also able to correct points using your “convert point tool” in your pen tool drop-down menu (left click and hold to activate your drop down menu options in the pen tool icon.)

To move a point you can hold down the CTRL button on the point you wish to move and move it to the necessary place

To close a path, press the shift key prior to meeting up with your initial path point – left click and shift closes the path off.

(This quick guide to creating a path is by no means a definitive guide! But it may help you to get your path started in the right direction!)


illustration of a simple path route

You Might Also Like

5 Creative Mother’s Day Photo Gift Ideas for 2019, 2020 and Beyond

Comic Conventions: Their impact on fashion, culture, technology and entertainment

Incorporating Pantone Color into Your Backyard Decor

Overnight Prints Offers Custom Sticker Printing

Overnight Prints Offers Cookie Printing

A Brief History of How Valentine’s Day Got It’s Charm

Show Your Stuff by Submitting Your Business to the 2019 National Small Business Week Awards

3rd Annual #SpookMeONP Halloween Design Contest

Back 2 School – From the 1950s to Today

How To Spruce Up Your Apartment Walls

Comic-Con Festivals from Around the World

Hit Summer Flicks Blasting Their Way Into Theaters

Genres That Defined the Nightclub Scene: From Dance Hall to EDM

Best Voted Movie Poster Designs of the 2018 Oscars

How to Use Psychology to Create Good Design

Achieving the ‘Feng Shui’ of Art & Design

Artist Alert: 5 Typography Trends to Know in 2018

Calligraphy: Learn the Basics of Hand Lettering from Master Artists

All Hail the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year

2nd Annual #SpookMeONP Halloween Design Contest

Best Halloween Party Invitation Templates

Overcoming Fears One Canvas at a Time

4 Modern American Artists to Watch

National Photography Month: 5 Photogs to Celebrate on Instagram

8 Design Faux Pas You Need to Avoid

6 Brilliant Office Pranks for April Fool’s Day

Free Printable Kids’ Crafts for Chinese New Year

Inspirational Prints For Your Home Office

Creative Ways To Decorate With Leftover Print Materials

Understanding Gloss & What It Can Do For Your Prints.

What To Consider When Creating A Logo And How Our Design Services Can Help

Stand Out From The Crowd By Using Spot-UV

Artistic Genius Ben Kwok Speaks

Expand Your Booklet Horizon

What Chlorine Free Means


Steve Jobs 1979 business card

3 Best Print Product Ideas

Flyer design – upload Photoshop flyer for free

My Adventures Up & Down the Ladders – Interview with Mear One

Creating your own Business Card file for print

The Importance of Good Print quality when creating Photo Postcards

Maryland Institute College Illustration Artists

The Dark Art of Edward Frausto

Brilliant Art & Design Work

Ryan Claytor – Elephant Eater Comics

Create a Simple Holiday Postcard in Photoshop- using the Clipping Mask, Warp Tool, and other Text Effects!

Five Steps to Better Color with Adobe Photoshop – color profiling

Top 10 FREE design resource and inspiration sites!

ABOMINABLE FONT CHOICE! – My list of dreadful Typography!

Interview with Graphic Designer Stephen Bowman

Resolution Blues: the tiff between gifs and jpgs

Selecting Fonts

The pen tool – leading you up a scary path!

Shop the Story!


  1. The pen tool – leading you up a scary path! « Design and Print Blog | Overnight Prints

    […] « Path Basics […]

  2. Avatar

    I’m kinda new to photoshop and this helped a bit. I’m still confused as to how to use the path tool but at least this mini-guide was in plain English! I can’t follow the book instructions without pulling out my hair!

  3. Avatar

    Love your blog Keep em coming you’ve got a fan:)

Comments are closed.