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Create Work Path in Photoshop
Tutorials Basics 28520 January 7th, 2018

A work path is a temporary path that appears in the Paths palette and defines the outline of an object; by object I mean a vector shape(custom shape), a text, a raster, etc. You can make a Photoshop work path out of almost anything. In this Photoshop tutorial for beginners we'll learn how to create an work path.

Quick Tip: Make Work Path and Stroke Path

Create an Work Path from Photoshop Shapes

As you probably know in Photoshop there are 6 Shape Tool that allows you to add vector shapes in Photoshop. We have the Rectangle Tool, the Rounded Rectangle Tool, the Ellipse Tool, the Polygon Tool, the Line Tool and the Custom Shape Tool. They all can be used to make work path but you have to choose Paths from the toolbar as shown in the image.

photoshop custom shapes path

Simply choose one of the shape tools, let's say the Custom Shape Tool, choose Paths option and draw the shape. You will see that the only thing that is created is a black outline shape. This shape is a temporary path that doesn't have a layer attached.

photoshop make work path

Even if this Path has no layer attached it is visible in the Paths Tab where you can see it.

photoshop work paths tab

This work path acts like ant other vector shape so you can easily resize it, rotate, change its shape using the Pen Tool options: add/delete/convert anchor point. To select the Photoshop path use the Path Selection Tool; right click on the path and you will see the options that you have for this path. We'll talk about ways in which you can use paths in the next tutorial.

photoshop make selection from path

Create a Work Path from Text In Photoshop

To make a work path from text first you have to select the text(press CTRL+click on the Text Layer Thumbnail. Then go to Path Tab click on the button from the right side and choose Make Work Path.

make work path from text in photoshop

Create an Work Path from Selections

You can create a path from any selection. Make a selection using one of the Photoshop Selection Tools, right click on the selection, choose again Make Path and you have a quick path to play with.

create a work path from a selection in photoshop

Create an Work Path from Raster Objects

To create Photoshop work path from any raster object/cut out object/png object/etc the process is the same with the one described in the previous step; first you have to select the raster object(press CTRL+click on the Raster Layer Thumbnail. Then go to Path Tab click on the button from the right side and choose Make Work Path.

Hand-drawn Work Path

All the path from the previous steps are all closed path types. But in Photoshop you can draw paths using the Pen Tool or the Freeform Pen Tool. Simply select the Paths button and you can draw a closed path or an open path.

photoshop closed working path and open working path

In the next tutorial I will show you how to edit a path and how to stroke path in Photoshop; these are two of the most useful ways in which you can use a path and that you must know in order to practice more advanced Photoshop tutorials.

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1 comment(s) for "Create Work Path in Photoshop"

10:03 AM Friday, February 14, 2014
Do you have any idea how can I open a closed path in Photoshop? reply

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