Photoshop: create open path with the Pen Tool

If I want to draw a nice line with the Pen Tool in Photoshop, I make a path and then stroke it. However, the stroked path is not a vector now. When I create a shape instead, it must be closed before I can stroke it (or Photoshop will close the shape itself with a straight line).

What I want is to create an open shape (like e.g. the Line Tool does), with the Pen Tool, such that I have a vector line instead of the rasterized stroked path layer. How can I do this?

Answers:

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Method 1

Update: For Photoshop CC

This is now possible in Photoshop CC by drawing your path and adjusting the Stroke options in the Control bar across the top of the screen.

Photoshop: create open path with the Pen Tool


Previous answer (CS6 or earlier)

  • Create a closed shape with the Pen Tool.
  • Add your vector stroke to it.
  • Add a layer Mask (raster or vector) to your vector layer and mask away the section of the path you do not want visible.

Unlike actual vector applications, Photoshop is not designed to create open vector paths. This is merely one of the shortcomings of Photoshop vector tools. You have to simply hide the portions of the closed path you do not want visible.

Method 2

In CS6 just stop drawing with the pen tool and select another tool or change the pen to a convert point tool. Stroke/save/etc.

Method 3

Two ways to create an open path shape with the pen tool:

  1. Draw a path with the Pen tool with tool mode set to “Shape”. This will give you a strokable open path shape. (NOTE: If the stroke width is less than 3 px you might not see it behind the path line.)

Photoshop: create open path with the Pen Tool

  1. Draw a path with the Pen tool with tool mode set to “Path”, then hit the “Make: shape” button in the control bar. Note that the path operations mode must be set to “Combine shapes” or it may try to close the path when converting to a shape. (Not sure why you would do it this way instead of way #1, but it’s an option.)

Photoshop: create open path with the Pen Tool


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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