Posted on 2005-04-13
Last Modified: 2010-04-02
Hey there all! I find myself doing work-arounds when I need something that the pen tool can supply is getting to me!
Say I want to make an outline for a web site. It includes the banner and the side bar. I want it filled with a color and then I want to do things with it. I can't get it to ends up filling the whole page. There should be a book written about JUST the pen tool I swear! Who can help me really understand the pen tool and all of it's options?
Love from Harrisburg, PA
Question by:georgedinah
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Hi Dinah,

    Here are some tutorials dealing with using the Pen Tool:  <<-- Has links to several tutorials.

    Hope they help

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Hey dinah, the pen tool isn't that unfriendly, I use it a lot for my designs. From what u said it sounds like when u create a shape, and fill it, the entire page is filled except for the shape. When creating vector shapes with the pen tool, or any of the other vector shape tools, u must make sure you're creating the type of shape u want. What i mean is you can create negative/positive shapes, inclusive and exclusive shapes. This isn't as complex as it sounds, when u start using the shape tools, look at the tool properties bar that appears at the top of the screen, below the File/Edit bar, there u will find options for adjusting the behaviour of your tool.  look for 5 box icons, these are also available with the path selection tool. With your shape selected, clicking these will change what type of shape u have. The first box creates an "add to shape area" shape, a positive shape, which will contain its fill. The "subtract from shape area" tool will create a negative shape, that will remain empty and fill everythng else, u can use this to subtract this shape from a positive shape, and create new complex shapes.

    Just as an aside the pen tool creates vector paths, as well as the other tools around it, these can be actual vector shapes or work paths, to make sure ur creating vector shapes and not work paths(which are independant of layers, and are used much like the marquee tool), when u select a vector tool, in its tool option bar, on the left side, there will be 3 boxes(they will look like squares with tiny squares on their corners, one will have the pen tool icon in it), make sure the first box is the one that is selected, "shape layers" box and not the "paths" box(the one with the pen icon). This will ensure that u are creating shapes and not work paths.

    Author Comment

    I appreciate the lengthy explanation, freeman, but it was not really what I needed. Thank you will_scarlett! I went to one of the links, and I have to say...that
    I am trying to teach some people that have a very limited ability of learning, and it helped me out BIG TIME!
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Glad to help.
    God bless!


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