Photoshop: create open path with the Pen Tool


If I want to draw a nice line with the Pen Tool in Photoshop, I make a path and then stroke it. However, the stroked path is not a vector now. When I create a shape instead, it must be closed before I can stroke it (or Photoshop will close the shape itself with a straight line).

What I want is to create an open shape (like e.g. the Line Tool does), with the Pen Tool, such that I have a vector line instead of the rasterized stroked path layer. How can I do this?

1/22/2017 12:50:00 AM

Accepted Answer

Update: For Photoshop CC

This is now possible in Photoshop CC by drawing your path and adjusting the Stroke options in the Control bar across the top of the screen.

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Previous answer (CS6 or earlier)

  • Create a closed shape with the Pen Tool.

  • Add your vector stroke to it.

  • Add a layer Mask (raster or vector) to your vector layer and mask away the section of the path you do not want visible.

Unlike actual vector applications, Photoshop is not designed to create open vector paths. This is merely one of the shortcomings of Photoshop vector tools. You have to simply hide the portions of the closed path you do not want visible.

7/12/2017 9:32:00 PM