• The Pen Tool is the most accurate way to make a selection but it must be done by hand, tracing around the part of the image to cut out.
  • It produces a vector mask with points and curves, all of which can be edited.
  • The vector path can be turned into a selection by right clicking inside the mask with the Pen Tool and selecting Make Selection, which brings up a dialogue box. It is best to check Anti-Aliased to smooth the edges slightly and Feather Radius of something like 1 pixel to further add a little smoothness to the edge.


  • P selects Pen Tool.
  • CMD + CLICK - Brings back the path, and the points on it, select the Pen tool, select the Path if necessary.
  • CMD + CLICK & DRAG edits a point or a control arm.
  • Holding ALT converts the Pen Tool to the Convert Point Tool.
  • ALT + CLICK on a curve point changes the point to be an angle rather than a curve, then use the handle to show the corner shape.
  • ALT + CLICK & DRAG on an angle point converts it to a curve.
  • Hovering over a point converts the Pen Tool to a Delete Anchor Point Tool.
  • Hovering over part of a curve converts the Pen Tool to a Add Anchor Point Tool.


  • The vector shape shows up in Paths, with Work Path as the one you are currently creating. Save this by double clicking it in Paths and giving it a name.
  • You can also create a new Path by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the Paths panel, which calles it Path 1 etc, which saves automatically.
  • Clicking from one point to another produces straight lines between points.
  • Clicking and dragging produces a curve between points.
  • You can produce a stroke along a path using several tools, such as the brush tool.

Top Menu

  • Pen Icon - Can have other pens included. Peanut Dash is there by default.
  • Path - Can also have Shape or Pixels.
  • Selection - Creates a Selection on the current Layer.
  • Mask - Creates a new Layer with its own Vector Mask. Or clicking this with the Path active creates a Mask with that vector path as a selection.
  • Shape - Creates a filled shape with a defined stroke for an outline.
  • Sample Size - Can be Point Sample or a larger size. It opens this dialogue box -  
  • The Properties Panel also displays further options.
  • Paths can be added to, subtracted from or aligned, and changed stacking order.
  • Rubber Band Function is turned on and off from the cog wheel, which makes the pen path predictive.


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