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Pen Tool tool u Photoshop-u is an extremely versatile function used to create vector shapes and to select custom choices, and is an indispensable choice for graphic design. Pen Tool is a simple selection function that allows you to fill, move, or make selections from what is drawn.

This is one of the most powerful tools available in Photoshop-u, and at the same time one of the basic ones that need to be mastered before starting research on advanced functions in Photoshop-u. In this text, the focus will be on making selections with Pen Tool-om.

The difference between the Pen Tool and other selection tools

Unlike the others selection tools Pen Tool it does not pay attention to the pixels that are below it and provides complete control over what is selected. Pen Tool allows you to go back and edit choices. Creates paths across the image and connects multiple points together. And if it's used to draw shapes, Pen Tool is an ideal tool for cutting shapes and making selections.

Basics of using the Pen Tool

Pen Tool has various tool options, the first three options (Pen Tool, Freeform Pen Tool, Curvature Pen Tool) tools are path creation tools, the other three options (Add Anchor Point Tool, Delete Anchor Point Tool, Convert Point Tool) are point control options.

For a start, we will get acquainted with the basic use Pen Tool-a. Select a tool using a shortcut P. Click on the riverone surface the so-called Reference Point - Anchor Point. Holding the SHIFT command, the path created between the two reference points will be straight, ie. the trajectory will be drawn at angles of 0,45 and 90 degrees.

When you click on the desired place and drag the cursor with the mouse without releasing it, the handles appear. The handles are controlled in several ways. By holding the ALT, one lever is controlled independently of the other. Also when holding ALT and clicking on a reference point, the levers showing the direction will disappear. Then the path continues from the zero position, which means that it will not have an initial angle from which the path will start. When with Convert Point Tool approach the point that is in the zero position and drag the cursor with the mouse, the handles will be made evenly in the same directions.

Advantages of using the Pen Tool

The biggest advantage of using this tool is that it can be returned to the beginning and point selection can be edited. Thus, if it is noticed that some part is missed or we are not satisfied with the selection on that part of the path, the whole path does not have to be repeated, ie. the selection that arises from it. With Direct Selection tool-om shortcut A is moved to the path and the points are edited individually.

Also, while drawing a path, you can delete the transition points in the path and continue without interrupting or returning to the beginning of the path.

With this tool, you can add or delete waypoints by simply accessing the path. The cursor, which is in the shape of a fountain pen, gets the + sign when it approaches the path, which means that a point is added by clicking on that place. When the cursor gets the - mark, clicking on the point will delete it.

Selection with Pen Tool

When a path is drawn in the upper right corner, options appear asking if that path will be a Selection, Mask, or Shape. 

To make a selection from the path, select the option in the top menu Selection, then a menu dialog appears where we can specify Feather, and whether and how the selection that is added will affect the existing ones. There is an option "Anti-alias". Anti-alias represents the softness of the selection edges. When this option is checked, the edges are softer, and when it is not checked, the selection edges are harder. That is why this field is always left checked.

Creating a vector mask with the Pen Tool 

Click on Add Layer Mask we make a mask on layer-u, with another click on the same icon we make a vector mask, with the feather being lost outside the path creation. To create a vector mask directly, select the option Mask. Another way to create a vector mask is to click the CTRL command on the icon (Add Layer Mask).

When creating new paths, ie. masks in the top menu there is a useful set of functions in which you choose how the newly created path will affect the existing ones. So with drawing a new path we can add, merge, subtract, intersect, and cut. You need to click on the desired function before starting to create a new path.

Path transformations and where to find them 

Right-clicking opens a menu with various options for transforming and using the path. The most important is the possibility of transforming the mask so that the path is brought to the perfect position for making a selection

The path that was created can always be found in the section Paths. It is important that she is hired for ease of finding.

Pen Tool in front of everyone

With this tool you have complete control over any choice in Photoshop. Pen Tool it may not be the fastest selection tool, but when it comes to accuracy, Pen Tool the tool is far ahead of everyone.

Made by Vladimir Bojic - Senior Graphic Designer @Digitizer