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How to Use the Rectangle Tool in Photoshop?

  • Last Updated : 17 Aug, 2021

Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based image editing software. It is developed by Adobe.Inc and available for both macOS and Windows operating systems. You can use Photoshop to create or edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and various types of graphic designing work. It provides various tools for designing and editing and the shape tools are one of them. The Shapes tools in Photoshop are one of the most used tools in Photoshop. We can draw different types of shapes like rectangles, polygon, ellipse, etc. in Photoshop using different shapes tools like Rectangle tool, Polygon tool, ellipse tool, line tool, and custom shapes. They are used by all types of people including illustrators, designers, editors, and so on. They can be used in different ways according to the needs of the user. They also help to make our work a lot faster and easier because without them we would have to draw each of the shapes with our hand using the Pen tool which would make work much more tedious and time-consuming. The shape tools are present below the Text tool in the toolbar like as shown in the below image:

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Rectangle tool

The rectangle tool as the name suggests helps us to draw rectangles on our canvas. 



How to create a rectangle tool?

Step 1: Open any Photoshop document or a new document.

Step 2: Select the rectangle tool from the toolbar.

Step 3: The cursor will change to a (+) sign. Draw over the canvas.

Note: Your rectangle’s outline width may be different even there may be no outline and there may be background, this is because of the setting which we will understand later in this article

Now, if we want to make a square shape, we can do it with the rectangle tool only but when we draw a rectangle, we have to hold the Shift Key with it. It will produce squares as shown below:



Properties of rectangle tool

Now, every time we draw a rectangle, we see a properties tab pop us as shown below:

There’s a lot of properties as one can see let’s understand this one by one from top to bottom:

1. Width(W) and height(H) 

You can see it’s already having some values in these boxes. This defines the width and height of the rectangle. We can change the value of W and H individually. If we put W = 0, the rectangle will become a vertical line, and when H = 0, the rectangle will become a horizontal line. Also, there is clip like symbol between the boxes if we click it then on changing either of width or the height, the other changes keeping the ratio fixed.

2. X-axis and Y-axis 

These parameters tell about the position of the rectangle on the canvas. Now, by changing the value of the X-axis and Y-axis, we can move the rectangle up, down, left or right.

3. Fill 

This is the color fill option in drawing tools. By default, no color fill is applied. If we click on it then the color swatches appear as shown below:



Note: We can fill our shapes with gradients and patterns too. 

Here are a few examples where the rectangle is filled by a solid color, gradient, and pattern.

A rectangle is filled with a gradient

A rectangle is filled with solid

A rectangle is filled with a pattern

4. Stroke 

This option helps us to define the color, gradient, and pattern of the border(or boundary) of the shape(here rectangle). By default, it is set to black. We can also change the width of the stroke. In all the images above, the rectangle had a stroke width of 4 px. The range of value of stroke width can be anything between 0-1200 px.  

5. Curved Corner Options

The very last settings in the properties settings is this part shown in the image below:

By default, all the values are set to 0px. The four boxes define the values of the four corners of the rectangle to make them rounded. The range of the values of the range from 0-1000px. Here is an example where all the corners are rounded by 100px:



Rounded Rectangle Tool

The rounded rectangle tool is just the same as the rectangle tool. The only difference between them are the corners are rounded by default it is set to 10px and the rest of the other settings are the same as the rectangle tool.

How to draw an rounded rectangle?

Let’s understand how to draw an rounded rectangle using the rounded rectangle tool.

Step 1: Open any Photoshop document or a new document.

Step 2: Select the rounded rectangle tool from the toolbar.

Step 3: You will see the pointer will change to (+) sign.

Step 4: Drag over the Photoshop document to draw the ellipse as shown below:

Ellipse Tool

The ellipse tool in Adobe Photoshop is used to draw ellipse and circles in the Photoshop document.

How to draw an ellipse?

Let’s understand how to draw an ellipse using the ellipse tool.

Step 1: Open any Photoshop document or a new document.

Step 2: Select the ellipse tool from the toolbar.

Step 3: You will see the pointer will change to (+) sign.

Step 4: Drag over the Photoshop document to draw the ellipse as shown below:

Note: To draw a circle we have to press the SHIFT key while drawing



Properties of Ellipse tool

Now having understood the process to use the ellipse tool in Photoshop, let’s understand the properties tab of the Ellipse Tool that appears every time, we draw a shape using the tool. We can also open the properties tab from the right side of the Photoshop document as shown below:

As we can see from the above image, there are a lot of properties, let’s understand them one by one from the top to bottom manner.

1. Width 

This defines the width of the ellipse. If we increasing its value then the width of the ellipse is also increased.

2. Height

This defines the height of the ellipse. If we increasing its value, then the height of the ellipse is also increased.

Note: In the above image, there is a clip like sign in between the Width and height option, if this is selected then the width and height increase proportionally.

3. X-axis 

This defines the position of the ellipse/circle created in the X-axis. Increasing its value makes the shape move horizontally towards the right and decreasing its value makes the shape move horizontally towards the left of the document.

4. Y-axis 

This defines the position of the ellipse/circle created in the Y-axis. Increasing its value makes the shape move vertically up and decreasing its value makes it move vertically down of the document.

5. Fill 

This is the fill of the shape. Currently, in the above shape, the fill is set to none. When we click on the fill box, a dialog box opens as shown below:

We can choose any color and consecutively the shape will get filled by the selected color as shown below, (here we have selected red color):

6. Stroke: The box next to the fill is Stroke. This box determines the stroke(or border) of the shape.

7. Stroke Radius: This box determines the width of the stroke. By default, it is set to 1px. It can have a maximum value of range 0-1200 px. If the stroke is set to 0 px, then there is no stroke applied to the shape.

8. Stroke Options: This box determines the type of stroke: dotted, dashed, normal, and many more that can be applied to the stroke.

9. Path Operations: This option lets us combine shapes to make new shapes. There are four options: Combine shapes, Subtract from front shape, Intersect Shape areas, Exclude overlapping layers.



(i) Here is an example of add shapes

(ii) Here is an example of subtracting from the front shape.

(iii) Here is an example of intersecting from shape areas.

(iv) Here is an example of excluding overlapping layers.

Polygon Tool

Polygon tool as the name suggests helps us to draw polygons on our Photoshop document.  

How to draw a polygon tool?

Let’s understand how to draw the polygons using the polygons tool:

Step 1: Open any Photoshop document or a new document.

Step 2: Select the polygon tool from the Photoshop toolbar.

Step 3: Drag over the document to draw the polygon as shown below:

The properties of the polygon tool are the same as the other tools like the ellipse tool and rectangle tool except for one thing that is the number of sides. This option helps us to determine the number of sides in a polygon. As we know that a polygon can have 3-100 sides and each of them has a different name.  

Line Tool

As the name suggests line tool, helps us to draw lines.  

How to draw lines?

Step 1: Open any Photoshop document or a new document.

Step 2: Select the line tool from the Photoshop toolbar.

Step 3: Drag over the Photoshop document to draw a line as shown below:

The properties of the line tool are the same as the properties of the other shape tools.

Custom Shapes tool

As the name suggests, the custom shapes tool lets us add some custom shapes other than the standard geometrical shapes to our Photoshop document. To understand this tool, let’s first see the properties bar of the custom shapes tool as shown below:

From the above image, you can see that the properties bar is exactly the same as the other shape tools except the Shape option marked in green. Using a custom shape tool, we can bring these shapes in our document. 

How to create customer shapes?

Step 1: Open a blank Photoshop document.



Step 2: Select the custom shapes tool from the toolbar.

Step 3: Now, click on the shape option to select your desired shape (here we have select a bird) as shown below:

Choosing shapes from the shapes library

Step 4: Now drag over the document to make the shape as shown below:

Thus, we have learned to use the custom shapes tool in Photoshop.

Note: Here in the above diagram, your shapes option might not show all the shapes initially, because you have not made the settings to All.

Now let’s see how to use the shape library. When you click on the shape library, you can see a small settings icon on the right as shown below:

Settings option of the Custom Shapes tool

When you click on this setting option, you will see different options in the settings library as shown below:

Using the Custom Shapes settings 

There are several options like All, animals, birds, web and so on. When you click on any options your settings library will load shapes based on the category. Here, I have made my category to All which loads all the shapes of the library.




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