Learn How to Cut a Shape in Photoshop

Estimated read time 10 min read

How to cut a shape in photoshop

If you’re new to Photoshop or just starting to explore its various features, you may be wondering how to cut a shape or object in this powerful image editing software. Whether you need to remove the background from an image or create a custom shape for a project, cutting a shape in Photoshop can be done with just a few simple steps.

To start, open the image you want to work with in Photoshop. Make sure you have a clear idea of the shape you want to cut out, whether it’s a basic geometric shape or a more complex design. Once you have your image open, select the “Shape Tool” from the toolbar on the left side of the screen. This tool allows you to create various shapes such as rectangles, circles, polygons, and more.

After selecting the shape tool, choose the desired shape from the options bar at the top of the screen. You can also adjust the size and color of the shape to fit your needs. Once you have your shape selected, click and drag on your image to create the shape. Don’t worry about accuracy at this point; you can always adjust the shape later.

Once you have placed your shape, it’s time to refine the edges and cut out the shape from the background. Select the “Pen Tool” from the toolbar and use it to trace the edges of your shape. Be sure to make smooth and precise anchor points to get the best results. Once you have traced the entire shape, right-click on the path and choose “Make Selection” from the drop-down menu.

What is Photoshop and why should you learn to cut shapes?

What is Photoshop and why should you learn to cut shapes?

Photoshop is a powerful graphic editing software developed by Adobe. It is widely used by designers, photographers, and artists to manipulate and enhance images, create digital artwork, and design web graphics.

Key Features of Photoshop

  • Layer-based Editing: Photoshop allows you to work with multiple layers, making it easier to modify specific elements of an image without affecting the rest.
  • Selection Tools: It provides a variety of selection tools for precise editing, including the ability to cut shapes.
  • Image Manipulation: With Photoshop, you can retouch photos, adjust colors, remove backgrounds, and perform various transformations to create stunning visuals.
  • Text and Typography: It offers a wide range of text editing tools, allowing you to add and customize text within your designs.
  • Filters and Effects: Photoshop provides a vast collection of filters and effects to enhance your images, create unique styles, and add artistic touches.

Why Learn to Cut Shapes in Photoshop?

Why Learn to Cut Shapes in Photoshop?

Learning how to cut shapes in Photoshop is an essential skill for anyone working with digital design or photo editing. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Isolate Objects: Cutting shapes allows you to isolate and separate objects within an image, making it easier to manipulate or remove them.
  2. Customize Designs: By cutting shapes, you can create unique shapes and graphics to enhance your designs and make them more visually appealing.
  3. Remove Backgrounds: Cutting shapes makes it possible to remove unwanted backgrounds and replace them with new ones, giving you more flexibility in your designs.
  4. Create Collages: Cutting shapes allows you to combine different elements from multiple images to create collages and composite artwork.
  5. Refine Editing: Precise cutting of shapes can help you refine your editing and achieve better results in terms of accuracy and visual impact.

Overall, mastering the skill of cutting shapes in Photoshop opens up endless possibilities in the world of digital design, making your creations more professional and visually captivating.

Step 1: Open Photoshop and create a new document

Step 1: Open Photoshop and create a new document

Before you can start cutting shapes in Photoshop, you need to open the program and create a new document. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Launch Photoshop by double-clicking the program icon on your desktop or finding it in your applications folder.
  2. Once Photoshop is open, click on “File” in the top menu bar and select “New” from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Ctrl+N (or Command+N on a Mac).
  3. A new document dialog box will appear. Here, you can set the dimensions and other settings for your new document. You can choose a preset size or input custom values as per your requirement.
  4. Give your document a name by typing it into the “Name” field. You can also set the document’s width, height, resolution, color mode, and background contents in this dialog box.
  5. Once you have entered all the required settings, click on the “Create” button to create your new Photoshop document.

Now you have successfully opened Photoshop and created a new document, and you’re ready to move on to the next step of cutting shapes in Photoshop.

Setting up the document size and resolution

Before you can start cutting shapes in Photoshop, it’s important to set up the document size and resolution. This will ensure that your final product is the correct size and quality for print or online use.

To begin, open Photoshop and go to “File” > “New” to create a new document. This will open the New Document dialog box.

In the New Document dialog box, you’ll see several options to customize your document. The first thing you’ll want to set is the document size. This refers to the width and height of your canvas.

You can choose to set the size in pixels, inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, picas, or columns. The unit of measurement you choose will depend on the requirements of your project. If you’re designing for print, you may want to set the size in inches or centimeters. If you’re designing for web, pixels are usually the preferred unit of measurement.

Next, you’ll want to set the resolution of your document. Resolution refers to the number of pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi). A higher resolution will result in a higher quality image, but also a larger file size. Again, the best resolution will depend on the intended use of your final product.

It’s important to note that if you plan on printing your document, a resolution of 300 ppi is generally recommended for high-quality output. For web use, a resolution of 72 ppi is typically sufficient.

Once you’ve set your document size and resolution, you can click “OK” to create your new document. Now you’re ready to start cutting shapes in Photoshop!

Step 2: Import the image you want to cut a shape from

Step 2: Import the image you want to cut a shape from

Once you have opened Adobe Photoshop, you will need to import the image that you want to cut a shape from. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “File” menu located at the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Select the “Open” option from the dropdown menu.
  3. Navigate to the folder where your desired image is located.
  4. Click on the image file to select it.
  5. Click the “Open” button to import the image into Photoshop.

Note: Make sure that the image you choose is a high-quality image with clear details, as this will make it easier to cut shapes from later on.

After importing the image, it will appear as a new tab in the Photoshop interface. You can now proceed to the next step to begin cutting the desired shape from the image.

Using the “Place Embedded” or “Place Linked” option

Using the

Photoshop provides two options for adding an image or shape into your composition: “Place Embedded” and “Place Linked.” These options are especially useful when you want to insert a complex shape or element into your project.

Place Embedded

When you use the “Place Embedded” option, Photoshop creates a unique copy of the file and adds it to your composition. This means that any changes you make to the original file will not affect the inserted shape in your project. It is a great option to use when you want to preserve the original file as a separate entity.

To use the “Place Embedded” option, go to the “File” menu, select “Place Embedded,” and navigate to the file you want to insert. Click “Place” to add the shape to your canvas. You can then resize, rotate, or reposition the shape as desired.

Place Linked

Using the “Place Linked” option allows you to maintain a connection between the inserted shape and its original file. Any updates made to the original file will automatically be reflected in the shape within your composition. This option is useful when you want to work with a dynamic element that may be updated frequently.

To use the “Place Linked” option, follow the same steps as “Place Embedded.” However, instead of selecting “Place Embedded,” choose “Place Linked” from the “File” menu. This will create a linked version of the shape in your project.

Keep in mind that if you move or delete the original file, you may encounter issues with the linked shapes in your composition. Always ensure that the original file is accessible if you plan on using the “Place Linked” option.

By using the “Place Embedded” or “Place Linked” option in Photoshop, you can easily add complex shapes or elements to your projects while maintaining control over their original files or updates. Experiment with these options to enhance your designs and make your workflow more efficient.

Step 3: Select the shape you want to cut

Step 3: Select the shape you want to cut

Once you have your image open in Photoshop, it’s time to select the shape you want to cut. This is an important step because it determines what portion of the image will be cut out and what will be left behind.

To select the shape, click on the “Selection Tool” icon in the Photoshop toolbar. It looks like a dotted square. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “M” to access the selection tools.

With the selection tool active, click and drag your cursor over the area of the image that you want to cut. You will see a moving dashed line outlining the selection. Make sure to be precise and include all the necessary details within your selection.

If your shape is a simple geometric shape like a square or a circle, you can use pre-made selection tools like the “Rectangular Marquee Tool” or the “Ellipse Tool” to make your selection. These tools allow you to easily create perfect shapes without the need for manually selecting an area.

If your shape is more complex, you may need to use a combination of selection tools, such as the “Lasso Tool” or the “Pen Tool”, to create a precise selection. Take your time and ensure that your selection accurately captures the shape you want to cut.

Once you have made your selection, you are ready to proceed to the next step of cutting the shape in Photoshop.


What tools can I use in Photoshop to cut shapes?

In Photoshop, you can use various tools to cut shapes, such as the Pen Tool, the Shape Tools, and the Lasso Tool.


Photoshop Tutorial: Using the Pen Tool to cut out objects

How to Cut Out an Image in Photoshop (Tutorial)

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