how to use the pen tool in adobe photoshop

Learning how to use the pen tool in Photoshop will not only enhance your workflow, it will also give you much more control while working with your designs.

What is the Pen Tool Used for in Photoshop?

For starters, the pen tool allows you to draw straight lines, curved lines, or a combination of both.  You’re also able to create extremely precise and intricate selections.  

Here are a couple of reasons you should be using the pen tool in Photoshop:

  • The pen tool is the most accurate way to make selections
  • Paths created with the pen tool are always editable
  • You can save your pen paths for future use
  • You can make precise selections from your paths
  • Use those selections to cut anything out of a background

So, with the pen tool you can trace an image by drawing a path, create a mask of your selection and cut out any object you want, and have that path remain editable.

Think about it — if you’re willing to spend time making a precise selection… wouldn’t you want to save that information?

I’d call that working smart.

Ok, now that we know what’s possible, let’s learn how to use the pen tool in Photoshop.

The Fundamentals of the Pen Tool

It’s always a good idea to start with the basics.

In this beginner photoshop tutorial by Phlearn founder Aaron Nace, you’ll learn how to master the pen tool in under 8 minutes!  Aaron covers the fundamentals of the pen tool, and demonstrates how to use it to make elegant curves, perfect angles, and accurate selections.

Master the Pen Tool in Under 8 Minutes – A Photoshop Tutorial by PHLEARN

Hopefully, after viewing this tutorial, you’re beginning to see the power of the pen tool… and now that we’ve got the fundamentals down, let’s take it a step further.

Creating Work Paths with the Pen Tool

One way to get the most flexibility out of the pen tool is to create work paths.  

As we learned above, paths created with the pen tool remain editable, so you can always go back and fine tune or revise your selection.  This is what makes the pen tool so powerful.  

Learn how to create editable paths with the pen tool in this Photoshop tutorial, then follow along as Aaron teaches you how to use this technique to transform regular text into a stylish logo by adding stylized extensions and flourishes.

The following tutorial is just an excerpt of a complete and comprehensive course on how to master the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop.  See below for more details.

How to Master the Pen Tool (PRO Excerpt) – Photoshop Tutorial by PHLEARN

Learn How to Master the Pen Tool in Adobe Photoshop

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Joel Simser is a creative writer, entrepreneur, and all around video maestro. He’s produced original music for commercials and television, lent his voice to various promos and presentations, and edited thousands of non-award winning videos (including a few actual award shows).

As founder of AwesomeContentCreator.com, he authors in-depth guides that teach fellow content creators ways to grow and develop in their industries.