Saving a Selection as a Path

Saving a Selection as a Path

Photoshop CS6 Tutorial


How to Save a Selection as a Path in Photoshop



Selections can be made with the numerous tools in Photoshop. Once you make a selection, it can be saved as a Channel, Layer Mask or converted to a Path.

In this topic we will create a selection, then convert and save it as a Path for future use.

For more information on saving a selection as a Channel or Layer Mask, see topics, Saving a Selection as a Channel and Saving a Selection as a Layer Mask.


Step One

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

Step Two

Add a selection to the document by choosing the Elliptical Marquee tool (m key) and click-dragging in the workspace.

Step Three

Open the Paths panel by choosing Window > Paths.

Step Four

Click the Make Work Path from Selection icon at the bottom of the Paths panel. A new Work Path appears in the panel.

Step Five

To save the Work Path, double-click the path in the panel and assign it a name.

Step Six

You may find that the new path needs some fine tuning. With the path selected in the Paths panel, use the Direct Selection and Pen tools to make your adjustments.

Why Save Channels and Paths?

A good rule of thumb is that if you spent more than a minute making a selection, it is smart to save it as a channel or a path.

Once it is saved, you can always reload it into the document and have your selection back instantly. One big difference between Channels and Paths is that Channels are defined by grayscale images and Paths are created with bezier curves. A Channel selection can save a feathered edge unlike the Path's harder edge.