Can a Path turned into a Shape Layer in Photoshop?
2007 at 08.23 am posted by Veerle Pieters
I always try to find time to answer e-mails I get from people with questions about Illustrator, Photoshop, CSS, design, ExpressionEngine etc., but it is rather frustrating to get an error message back that the e-mail couldn’t be delivered because the address doesn’t exist. So please double check and make sure you’ve entered a valid e-mail address. Sometimes I can’t give a true answer or an answer that will really help you, but I always try…
Yesterday I answered an e-mail from a reader, Chris, who was trying out the flexible buttons tutorial. He was trapped in a situation by accident and was wondering if there was a way out without having to redo the path he had just drawn:
I was following along with one of your old tutorials, the one regarding making glassy buttons in Photoshop. At the last step (the one where you create a new shape to add some extra gloss), I accidentally made the path on my original button layer, because the 'Add to shape area' was selected instead of the 'Create new shape layer' option. I just selected the path points and cut the new shape out of the original button shape so that I didn't have to redo the path. I couldn't figure out how to paste the path as a new shape layer though. I have it saved to the path palette for now. There doesn't even seem to be a way to create a new shape layer without dropping a few points with the pen tool. But then even when I do that, then paste my path onto that layer, the path doesn't have the fill - it's just another empty shape on the shape layer... Is there a way to paste a path as a new shape? I'm using CS2 by the way.
Is there a way out?
Chris was using CS2, so my first reaction was 'OK this can be done in CS3'. My guess was to make sure the 'Add to shape area' option is deselected. If the 'Create new shape layer' is selected instead, then this would do the trick when you paste the path, but I was wrong unfortunately. I reproduced the situation Chris was in and tried to paste it as a Shape Layer, but it was turned into a Path every time. Then I tried to turn that Path into a separate Shape Layer, but I couldn't find a way either.
I tried many ways, but they all didn't work : I tried
- dragging the Path from the Path palette into the Layers palette
- pasting it into a new document, so I could then drag it back into the original document
- converting the Path back into a Shape Layer by selecting the Shape Layer icon in the toolbar
- checking the Path palette menu to see if there was a 'Convert to Shape Layer' option
I don't think I was blind or stupid, because if there is a way to do this then Photoshop needs a serious UI fix on this :) If anybody knows a way, don't hesitate to comment this here. Thank you ;)
Kudos to Jan who showed a way to achieve this. It's simple and easy and I had this "ah" reaction when I read it :)
- Select the path with the path selection tool
- Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. (Or use the Create new fill or adjustment layer button in the layers palette)
- You have turned a path into a new shape layer
Want to learn more?
A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.