Combining Shapes

Combining Shapes

Photoshop CS3 Tutorial


How to Combine Shapes in Photoshop



Shapes can be added or subtracted. The intersection can be excluded or the only thing left.


Step One

Open a blank document in Photoshop (File > New). Set the size to 500 pixels by 500 pixels at 72 ppi.

Step Two

Select the Rectangle tool. Set the tool options to Shape Layers and click-drag a rectangular shape.

Step Three

To add to your shape, click the vector mask thumbnail in the Layers palette and select the Add to Shape Area icon.

Step Four

Using the Rectangle tool click-drag another rectangle. It is added to the existing shape.

Step Five

To subtract from the base shape, click the Subtract from Shape Area icon. Draw a rectangle to create a hole.

Step Six

The Intersect Shape Areas icon creates a shape defined by the intersection. Draw a rectangle and notice that only the intersection remains.

Step Seven

Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas icon creates a new shape that excludes any overlapping areas.

Optional Shapes

In these examples we used the Rectangle tool. You can also combine other predefined shapes such as Rounded Rectangles, Ellipses and Custom Shapes. Shapes created by the Pen tool may also be used.