Five Great Tips for Using the Pen Tool in Photoshop

The Pen Tool elicits a range of emotions, most commonly fear and love. If you've mastered it, post-processing life is good. For everyone else, learning the Pen Tool always seems to be put off for a rainy day that never comes. This quick and easy tutorial has five great tips to help you better use this essential tool.

Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid runs through a few essential elements of the Pen Tool, including setup tips and tricks. From selecting the best settings in the tool control bar to drawing smoother and more advanced curve paths, Dodson offers easy to follow pointers to be used in conjunction with a solid foundation and, of course, practice. One interesting insight is that you can change the line thickness and color in Photoshop CC 2018, making it easier to see your overall path.

Up until recently, I've always shied away from the Pen Tool, lazily preferring to use the Magic Wand or Polygonal Lasso for my selections in Photoshop. Watching one of the initial episodes of "The Hero Shot: How to Light and Composite Product Photography" with Brian Rodgers Jr. really brought to light how much more effective the Pen Tool is at precise selections. After numerous frustrating attempts, I'm finally starting to get a feel for it. At the very least, I don't involuntarily shudder every time I hear the term "Bezier handles" anymore. 

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Aneesh Kothari is a Houston-based travel, landscape, and cityscape photographer. He enjoys reading, traveling with his family, and making lists of things he enjoys. He yearns to be a Civil War buff but has yet to finish the Ken Burns series.

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