How to use the Pen Tool in Photoshop? – Beginner Tutorial

How to use the Pen Tool in Photoshop? – Beginner Tutorial

Many designers use Photoshop CC as their primary creative tool. Its Pen tool is considered one of the program’s most powerful and user-friendly features and lets you fill, stroke, or select whatever you’re creating. 

It’s one of the foundational tools you’ll need to understand before diving into more advanced features or Photoshop plugins. In this article

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, we’ll show you how to use the Pen tool in Photoshop and give you tips on how to get the most out of it.


Photoshop pen tool settings


When you select the pen tool, the cogwheel will provide you with a few possibilities. One option is to adjust the outline color, which is useful if the default color is too close to the image’s dominant color.




Rubber bands are another excellent choice. When the mouse button is released, the next path segment you’re designing shows; when you move the pointer, nothing appears. When you switch on the feature, the next segment appears before you put it down, providing you with a preview before you commit to the next anchor point.




You may also switch between the conventional cursor (pen tool icon) and the precise cursor (a lot more modest crosshair that doesn’t get in the way).


What can you do with the Pen tool in Photoshop?


Fill a path


Select the Pen tool using the shortcut P. To make a selection, click two points to create a line between them, and drag a point to create a curved line. Use Alt/opt-drag your lines to change them. Ctrl/right-click your path in the Paths tab on the right and then choose the Fill Path to create a shape from it.




Depending on the color swatch you want to use, change the Contents to Foreground or Background. If you want to fill with pixels from the rest of the image, use the Content Aware.


The fill’s Blend mode and Opacity will affect how the pixels interact with those below them. For example, a 50% Opacity Screen will give your object modest lighting.


To soften the borders of the shape you’re filling, use Feather Radius. Leave this at 0px to make a totally rigid form.


Make a selection




The Pen is a handy selecting tool in addition to being a capable sketching instrument. You can choose whatever shapes you want to brush into. Once you’ve constructed a form, cmd/Ctrl+click a path to choose it, or Ctrl/right-click a path and choose Make Selection.




To save a path as a future selection, double-click it and give it a name. The Paths tab will display a list of these paths. To make a selection, click the dotted outline symbol in the menu at the bottom of the palette. Alternatively, you can utilize the Delete, Mask, and New icons from the Layers palette.


Stroke a path




Ctrl/right-click a path and choose Stroke to apply a line across the selection in whatever brush you have selected. For this particular line of the chandelier, we used a scatter brush to evenly space the dots. 

Use the drop-down in the popup shown to change the tool you’re using to stroke the line with – for example, instead of whichever brush file you have selected, you may wish to switch to a pencil. 

The Simulate Pressure checkbox simulates the pressure you’d use while using the Brush tool to create a stroke, so your line would taper off at the end.

Instead of having to choose the Stroke and Fill colors of whatever you make with the Pen tool manually, you can use the toolbar at the top of the interface to do so quickly.




When to use the Pen Tool in real estate photo editing?

The Pen Tool is a quick and easy way to select and define an area in Photoshop, and it’s a lot faster and more flexible than the Lasso Tool. It’s most commonly employed in real estate photography for “window masking,” which involves painting the right exposure into a window with minimal detail or that has been “blown out.”



How to use the Pen Tool for Real Estate Photo Editing?


  1. To begin your journey, click on the image where you want to start. A path is just a line that connects two points and is independent of the image beneath it. It might be straight or curved.




  1. Place your cursor where you want the route to begin and end on the image. The first segment of your path is now complete. The result should be a straight line. The more points you click, the more complicated the shape becomes. 




  1. To close a path, click on the starting point once more. A little circle appears in the bottom right corner of the pen icon when your mouse cursor hovers over the starting point. This indicates that you’ve completed the path by clicking the starting point.




  1. You can save the path to a Selection after you’ve finished creating it. Don’t be concerned about saving it. You can now perform a variety of things with your Path, such as filling it with foreground color or applying a stroke to it with the brush you’ve chosen.




  1. If you’d rather use a keyboard shortcut to convert a path to a selection, simply press Ctrl+Enter (Windows) / Command+Return (Mac), and Photoshop will convert the route to a selection.




Final thought

Hopefully, you’ve gained a better knowledge of the pen tool’s capabilities and know to use the Photoshop pen tool to edit your real estate photography.

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