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Drawing and Type Tools

The Drawing and Type tools are used to create vector graphics, as well as set type inside of documents. While Photoshop is not really considered a vector graphic editor, it is possible to create vector based shapes and elements that can be resized without losing quality!

The Type Tools

The default type tool is the Horizontal Type Tool, which is used to set horizontally oriented type inside of an image. Although Photoshop is a raster based program, it preserves the vector-based type outlines meaning that type can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This property allows us to easily configure type size, style, and other attributes, as well as modify them later on in the design process.

Enough of the technical side though. To set type in an image, first select the Horizontal or Vertical Type Tool, and click anywhere inside of your image. You should immediately see a cursor start blinking where you can begin typing. In the options bar, you’ll notice some settings for the currently selected type.

There are several different type tool options, including font family, font style, size, and anti-aliasing method.

Font Family – Set the currently selected type to a specific font family.

Font Style – Set the font style of the currently selected type. Common styles include bold, italic, and regular.

Font Size – Change the size of the selected type.

Anti-Aliasing Method – Set the method used for anti-aliasing on your type. Anti-Aliasing allows you to create smooth edged type by partially filling edges of the text (rather than the single color, jagged alternative when set to “None”).

Here’s a quick demo showing how Type can be adjusted (Rollover to see changes):

When type is selected, you can change it using the options provided in the options bar.

There is much more to Type in Photoshop than shown here, but it would be way outside the scope of this lesson to give much more than a cursory glance of how to use this tool. Additional reading on the Type tool can be found elsewhere on Tutorial9.

Interested in learning more about the Type Tools? Check out these other Photoshop Tutorials to learn more! Otherwise, we’ll be covering more about the Type Tools in future lessons.

Using Shape Tools in Photoshop

There are quite a few predefined vector-based shapes in Adobe Photoshop, all of which can be easily added to graphics. There are 6 different kind of Shape Tools in all.

The 6 Shape Tools are the Rectangle Tool, Rounded Rectangle Tool, Ellipse Tool, Polygon Tool, Line Tool, and Custom Shape Tool.Rectangle Tool – Creates a rectangle shape (or square if constraining proportions by holding shift).

Rounded Rectangle Tool – Creates a rectangle with rounded corners. The roundness of the corner can be controlled by setting a radius in the options bar.

Ellipse Tool - Creates an ellipse shape (or perfect circle if constraining proportions by holding shift).

Polygon Tool – Creates a polygon shape with a specified number of sides set in the options bar.

Line Tool – Creates a line shape.

Custom Shapes – Use predefined shapes (or user created ones) in your graphic.

To create a shape in your image, simply select the shape tool you want to use, adjust the settings for that tool in the options bar, and then drag our your shape in the active image area (in the same fashion you’d create a selection with one of the selection tools).

Example of some Shapes that can be created with the various shape tools.

Select Shape Layers from the Shape Tools Option barBe Aware! When you are creating new shapes in Photoshop, make sure you have Shape Layers selected to create new shapes. Otherwise, you may end up creating non-vector based shapes on the current layer, or paths rather than vector-based shapes on there own individual layer.

The Pen Tool

The Pen Tool is often considered by beginner users to be the most difficult tool to get used too. Thankfully, we’ve put together a great little guide to help such users familiarize themselves with the pen tool. Check out our Pen Tool Basics tutorial to learn how to use the pen tool, and how to create your very own custom shapes in Photoshop.


  1. Add point Subtract point
    Web Design (1 Point) April 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Impeccable article thanks for sharing!!!!

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  2. Add point Subtract point
    Web Design (1 Point) April 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    YAY! found what i needed thanks for sharing

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  3. Add point Subtract point
    “legitimate work at home jobs” : (0 Points) April 9, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Hey. Thanks

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  4. Add point Subtract point
    “legitimate work at home jobs” : (1 Point) April 9, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Hey, Thanks

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  5. Add point Subtract point
    mating (1 Point) March 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    thanks ,Coolio Tutorial,your tutorials are a boon to me……

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  6. Add point Subtract point
    khadak (1 Point) March 10, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Small but useful for fresher thanx for sharing….

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  7. Add point Subtract point
    Matthew Malloy (1 Point) February 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Coolio Tutorial my good man.

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  8. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) February 3, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Great post . Thanks157

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลง (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Great post . Thanks150

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  10. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลงใหม่ (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Great post . Thanks145

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  11. Add point Subtract point
    โค้ดเพลงhi5 (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 10:07 am

    wow Great article, thanks!

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  12. Add point Subtract point
    ดาวน์โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) January 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Great article. Thank you.

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  13. Add point Subtract point

    cool tutorial, now in my bookmarks =)

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  14. Add point Subtract point

    Great tutorial for me. Thanks!

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  15. Add point Subtract point

    Thank Goodness for this tutorial – great for beginners…
    If I want to have multiple little images and want to transform them all differently, do I need a layer for each?

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    debjani (1 Point) May 11, 2009 at 2:17 am

    thanks ,your tutorials are a boon to me……

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  17. Add point Subtract point
    AztKfullHD89 (1 Point) May 6, 2009 at 12:41 am

    You’re amazing, thanks!

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  18. Add point Subtract point
    huwaw69 (1 Point) May 3, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Wow very good basic guide, hahaha it fun reading at tutorial9 i learn alot i wish i could enroll…

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  19. Add point Subtract point
    Lynna Chan (0 Points) November 9, 2008 at 1:25 am

    i am looking of how to do bending text on the picture. i am very barely new to photoshop and even on of my friends are not helping me.

    if you have any idea how can I get that i am very appreciated.

    thank you.

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  20. Add point Subtract point
    Ehsan (1 Point) July 23, 2008 at 6:22 am

    this is simply so much fun. though i think that the section about the pen tool should have been within this tutorial, not just linked to. that would make it easier for users to read.

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  21. Add point Subtract point

    @ Fay – That’s delving more into the world of Typography, which I would love to write about! Unfortunately, I am by no means qualified to write about typography, and will have to continue learning myself before giving that a go. Perhaps we’ll have an expert on the subject here at Tutorial9 soon though!

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  22. Add point Subtract point

    Suggestion: you could build a tutorial about the best types to be used in each situation, like, what to use in titles, posters or birthday cards made in Photoshop. We’d certainly save much time while working on our stuff!
    Stay beautiful!

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  23. Add point Subtract point
    David (1 Point) May 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Great job!

    You may want to change the following:
    or paths rather than vector-based shapes on there own individual layer

    or paths rather than vector-based shapes on their own individual layer

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  24. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks Simon! It’s definitely geared towards beginners, but I hope other users find it to be a nice reference from time to time.

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  25. Add point Subtract point
    Simon (1 Point) May 20, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Awesome little tutorial here!

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