To draw lines in Photoshop, different tools can achieve this. Depending on the type of line you want to create, some options may be more useful than others. In this article, we’ll show you how to draw lines in Photoshop in two easier ways: the line tool and the pen tool.
The Line tool is the easiest way to draw lines in Photoshop. It is accessible through your Shape Tools (U) and can be easily customized with Stroke and Color Fill settings. With the line tool selected, simply drag it onto the canvas to create a new line.
This is just an introduction to the Stroke tool in Photoshop. Let’s take a closer look at this tool, with many other options available to you.
Two methods to draw lines in Photoshop
1. Using the Line tool to draw lines in Photoshop
The Line tool is a tool you can find in Photoshop. It works by creating a very thin rectangle while using the Stroke Fit to make the width thicker. It is very easy to use and is one of the best ways to create straight lines in Photoshop.
You can create curved lines with the line tool, but adjusting them is more difficult. Instead of following a path, the line tool can only be curved by distorting the layer.
Let’s take a look at the different ways to use the line tool in Photoshop.
How to use the Line tool
The line tool can be found in your Shape Fits by pressing U on your keyboard. You may not see the line tool at first because it is hidden by another shape adjustment. To access, click and hold the shape adjustment icon to display the line tool settings.
- With your line tool selected, you’ll need to make some adjustments to the settings before creating a line. Look at the tool settings bar at the top of the window and make sure the mode is set to “Shape”.
- Then click on the line color box to select the desired line color.
- Then set the stroke width to set the thickness of your stroke. If you’re not sure, start with a stroke between 15-25px. This can always be adjusted later!
- Now it’s time to draw the line. Click and drag anywhere on the canvas to start drawing. The more you drag the cursor, the longer your line.
- Once it’s okay, release it your stroke will be added to the shape layer.
How to adjust the thickness of the line using tool
After you have drawn the line if you want to adjust the line thickness. The good thing about the line tool is that everything can be adjusted later easily.
Make sure the stroke layer is selected, select the stroke tool or by pressing (U) and go to the width setting.
Type the new stoke width value and press Enter. The line thickness will change immediately.
How to change the color of line using the line tool
Not like other shape tools, setting the fill color does not affect the color of the Line tool. Instead, you must change the color of the stroke.
To change the color, click the line layer again, and be sure the line tool is active by pressing U.
Click the color box on the line and select a new line color.
How to create dashed lines with the line tool
By default, the Line tool creates solid line color. If you prefer a dashed or dotted line, you can change that with the stroke type.
Next to stroke, the adjustment is a preview of your line. Clicking this box displays an option for either a dotted line or a dotted line. Click on one to select it.
Depending on the size of your stroke, you may need to adjust the spacing and size of the strokes. Under the stroke options panel, select “more options”.
In the stroke options window, be sure “dotted line” is selected or choose one of the preset options.
To adjust the width of each stroke and the interval between them, enter values for the “dash” and “space”. Stroke size determines how long each stroke will last.
The gap determines the distance between each stroke. You can also customize your line and borders. If everything is in order, click OK and your job is completed!
How to create curved lines with the Line tool
Since the line tool works by creating a thin rectangle, it is impossible to bend the line tool while drawing a line. You can use a warp adjustment to do this.
With your line layer selected, press Command + T (Mac) or Control + T (Win) to access your transform adjustments. Then click on the Warp Mode icon in the upper setting bar.
From here you can click and drag any part of your line to bend it to your liking. It’s easier to do this manually, but there are a few predefined options to choose from.
To choose a shape preset curve, select one of the options from the warp type drop-down menu. This can be useful as a starting point for your warp settings!
The line tool is one of the simplest ways to draw lines in Photoshop. Because it does most of the work for you, you don’t have to worry about straightening or getting the perfect settings. You can adjust everything quickly later, this makes it one of the best ways to draw lines in Photoshop!
The only downside to this tool is that it doesn’t work very well for creating lines along with a specific shape or edge. That’s where the next tool on the list shines!
2. Using the Pen Tool to draw lines in Photoshop
The pen tool is one of Photoshop’s most versatile tools. It can be used to create selections, paths, and even lines. Because this tool gives you precise control over where your path goes, it’s the best way to get creative with your line shapes. Whether you want to draw a wave, a lightning bolt, or a simple straight line, the pen tool can do it.
How to draw lines with the Pen tool
- The pen tool can be found in the toolbar or by pressing P on the keyboard.
- Make sure the pen mode is set to “Shape” to turn the pen path into a line.
- Then change the fill color to transparent, shown by the white box with the red line through it.
- Now select a stroke color to choose your stroke color. Like the line tool, this color can be changed later, so don’t worry!
- Set the line size to the desired line width. If you’re not sure, it’s a safe bet to start around 25px.
- Click anywhere on the screen with your settings to create new anchor points. These anchor points define your path while defining the start and endpoints of your line.
- When creating anchor points, click and drag to curve the pen path. This in turn will bend the line you draw.
- Keep creating new anchor points to form your line with the pen tool!
How to Draw Straight Lines with the Pen Tool
Drawing straight lines with the Pen tool is very easy because Photoshop automatically creates straight lines between each anchor point.
That said, you can hold down Shift while creating anchor points to make sure each line is perfectly straight horizontally or vertically.
Regardless of where the mouse is, this shortcut only places anchor points in straight lines, horizontally or vertically from the original anchor point.
How to create thicker lines with the Pen tool
- Since the stroke weight creates the line, it needs to be adjusted to make your line thicker.
- With your line layer selected, click on the line value and increase or decrease as needed.
- Now your line will be thicker!
How to create dashed lines with the Pen tool
Just like the Line tool, you can create a dotted line with the Pen tool with the stroke type option.
Click the stroke type drop-down box to display the preset with dotted lines. Select which type you want to create.
To further customize the appearance of the dotted lines, go through the “more options” panel as we did in the first step.
The pen tool is another easy way to create lines in Photoshop. Changing your mode from path to shape makes it easy to adjust the stroke settings of your stroke. As with the line tool, this makes customization very easy. Everything you need can be found in the settings bar at the top. No additional buttons or workarounds are needed!
By using these two methods to draw lines in Photoshop, you are ready for any challenge. Having a few different techniques like this one will help you get the exact look you want with a line. Depending on your particular photo, one method may work better than the other.
For general use, using the Line tool is the fastest and easiest way to create lines in Photoshop. Since you just click and drag, it doesn’t get any easier than that! Even better, you can adjust any aspect of your line anytime after you create it.
On the other hand, the pen tool makes it easier to bend lines or run them along a certain edge. Whatever tool you use, one thing is for sure, you have now become a master of making lines in Photoshop.
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