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Photoshop CC – Curvature Pen Tool

Photoshop CC 2018 provides a great new tool for creating vector paths and shapes. The Curvature Pen tool instinctively allows you to draw vector paths and then simply push and pull them to change their curve. No more need for Bezier curves although they’re still available via the Direct Selection Tool.

The Curvature Pen tool is located with the Pen tool (P) in the toolbar. It can be set to create either paths or shapes. The Path mode is capable of creating accurate paths to be used as selections or turned into shapes. The Shape mode allows you to initially set you fill colour, stroke colour and size.

Getting a Path Preview

To see a preview of where Photoshop will create the path, we can turn on the Rubber Band option in the Path or Shape options. Click on the gear icon in the Options bar and check the option for Rubber Band.

Curvature Pen Tool Options

Photoshop Curvature Pen Options

The Rubber Band option enables a preview of the path that will be created prior to the mouse click. In the example below, the thin blue rubber band line automatically provides a visual clue to where the path will be created.

Rubber Band option example

Using the Curvature Pen Tool

The major advantage of the Curvature Pen Tool is that it does everything. No need to switch tools. To start, click to create your first point. You can continue to place points by clicking once to place each point. If you need to move a point, simply click and drag a point to move it.

Using the same tool, can click anywhere on a path to add extra points. To delete any unwanted points, click a point to select it, and then press the Delete key. In previous versions of Photoshop, much of this would have required switching between 2-3 tools.

Adding and moving points with only the Curvature Pen Tool
Curvature Pen Tool Points

Converting Straight Lines and Curves

And finally, to demonstrate how easy it is to use the Curvature Pen Tool, you can switch between drawing straight lines and curves by simply double-clicking any point to switch between a corner and a curved point. Again, no need to switch tools like with previous versions of Photoshop. Converting a path or shape point is just a double-click away.

A simple double-click converts angled points to curves

Photoshop Convert Point

Find out more about Adobe Photoshop Training

If you would like to learn more about Adobe Photoshop from an Adobe Certified Instructor, please check out our two day Introduction to Adobe Photoshop training course. We also have an Intermediate level Photoshop course for those who want to enhance their skills.