How to draw a precise angle with pen tool in Photoshop?


Is it possible to draw a precise angle with the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop CS6?

By using Shift key it is easy to draw 45° or 90° but I need for example 37.45°.

2/12/2016 1:25:00 PM

Accepted Answer

It would be far easier to draw in Illustrator and then copy paste into Photoshop. More on this later.

How to do this in Photoshop

Unfortunately theres no direct way of doing this in Photoshop. Don't let that discourage you it is still possible to this. We just need to fish slightly further.

  1. Draw a line on horizontal or vertical.
  2. Select the line.
  3. Enter free transform for the path and type in a angle in the top toolbar.
    • Important: Make sure you draw a closed path or the transform tool wont work. Don't worry you can delete the extra segment later. Or use line tool.
  4. Done.


  • Tip: you can move the rotation handle for precise work

image capture

Image 1: How to do this in PS.


Now in illustrator this is very straightforward:

  1. enable the line tool.
  2. Alt click on the point where you want the line to start
  3. Type in line lenth and direction
  4. Done, now copy paste the path to Photoshop.

Could this be done better.

Yes, we could make a script that does more or less what illustrator does. I dont have time right now but maybe somebody else does.

12/24/2015 3:24:00 PM

You may consider, if no real solution arrives, using "Rotate Canvas" option.

  1. Draw one side
  2. Rotate the image (not the canvas as I originally wrote by mistake) by the desired angle, Image/Image Rotation/Arbitrary
  3. Draw the other side of the angle
  4. Rotate the image back by the same amount

This is awkward, I know, but that's the only thing I can think of.


It was in front of me all along! The simplest and totally non destructive way of working at any angle on any PS document is to use the "Rotate View" command, the shortcut being the letter R. Once in this view, the "view" can be rotated at precise angles by entering numeric values, or rotated freehand by click-and-drag. Since only the view is rotated, there is no image degradation at all. This should alleviate the worry that "image rotation" may degrade quality.

I wanted to add this to close the loop and present a very effective way of working on any image at any angle we want for various reasons. For the rotate view to work you may need to have graphic acceleration enabled in preferences.

Try it!