Photoshop allows us to use and define custom shapes. Aside from good old circles and rectangles, a designer may wish to highlight objects with an arrow, thought bubble, or some other unique shape they have created and saved as a custom shape design. While not as fun or creative as others, this tutorial offers useful tips when working with custom shape presets. This quick guide will walk you through the steps of creating your own panels of custom shapes, so that you can quickly navigate and choose the shapes that you’ll use the most.
After selecting the custom shape tool in the left-side tool bar, we can see shape options in the top option menu. Click on the shape to expand these options.
Perhaps we want to change Photoshop’s default arrangement and replace it with our own collection. We can organize those we know we will frequently use or group them according to themes. Notice the small wheel on the right, in the extension window. To see every custom shape available, click the small embedded wheel and select All. The program prompts to ensure you want to replace the preset selection with “all,” click OK.
Now we’ll select the few shapes we commonly use and create a customized panel/preset. There are two ways to go to the preset manager. One is by clicking on the wheel in our shape option bar and selecting Preset manager. Later versions of Photoshop include this option for easy access to the shapes when already inside the custom shape tool.
The second option, which is likely required for earlier versions of Photoshop, is to go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager.
Now we see all the custom shapes in one panel (remember we clicked “all” in the wheel of the custom shape panel).
If you would rather see a particular theme or edit the size of the icons being viewed, use the small wheel in the Preset Manager.
Click on the icons (inside the preset manager) to make a collection of shapes we want to use in a set. Hold the ctrl key (Windows) or cmd key (Mac) while clicking multiple thumbnails.
Once you have refined your selection, choose Save Set. Give it a name and select Save.
Lastly, to see your saved panel, click the small wheel in the custom shape extended window. Select Replace Shapes then load your named file.
Easy as that, you have your own tailored selection of custom shapes to choose from when working on projects. Create as many categories as you like and name them accordingly.