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Jonreeves
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What happened to the 'Shape Mode' shortcut keys on the Pen Tool?

Mar 9, 2013 3:54 PM

Tags: #pen_tool #shortcut_keys #shape_mode #vector_drawing

For the longest time I've used both the Shape and Pen Tools for drawing vectors in Photoshop, but with CS6 I noticed a lot of weird behaviours. The one that is really getting to me is the lack of 'Shape Mode' shortcut keys when using the Pen Tool. When on the 'Shape Tool', fo example Cirle or Rectange, you can press the Shift to change the Shape Mode to 'Add', Alt to change it to 'Subtract' or both together to get 'Intersect'. This functionality used to exist on the Pen Tool too, but in CS6 I can't seem to get it working.

 

A collegue suggested to move over to Illustrator for all my Vector needs, and I know that this a good advice. However the lack of quick/integrated changing between 'Shape Modes' in either product (now) makes drawing things alot slower (for me).

 

Am I missing something, or is this feature now ommited in Photoshop CS6. If it is does anyone know if its possible to script something to allow this kind of behviour in Photoshop or Illustrator?

 

cheers,

Jon

 
Replies
  • JJMack
    5,998 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 4:29 PM   in reply to Jonreeves

    pen.jpgCS6 did a lot of work on Photoshop vector support.  You should still see options for those mode on the tool option bar. The may work differently the in pervious releases you may not get the results you expect till you click on the combine path or merge shape option.

     
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  • JJMack
    5,998 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 5:03 PM   in reply to Jonreeves

    I have only  known the Alt Ctrl and shift modifier keys to change  modes to be add and subtract for selection type tools for the pen tool they changed the way the pen tool work like to convert an anchor point or let you move an anchor point. Not the mode of the current segment. When you use the keys you should see the cursor change mode when over a control point.

     

    The modifier keys work many ways how the work depends on the tool being used..

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2013 5:55 PM   in reply to Jonreeves

    Jonreeves wrote:

     

    To experience what I'm referring to... Draw a circle Shape or Path, and then Hold Shift and draw another circle, it will Add to the existing path automatically... Try the same with the Pen Tool, and it doesn't work. But in CS5 it does.

     

    I find CS6 and CS5 to match in that the Shift and Opt/Alt keys switch the combining mode of the non-Pen vector tools (e.g. Ellipse Tool) but do not affect the combining mode of the Pen Tool.

     

    I don't understand how you get the modifier keys to affect the combining mode of the Pen Tool in CS5, but maybe I'm missing a trick.

     
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  • JJMack
    5,998 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2013 6:16 AM   in reply to Jonreeves

    The modifier keys "Alt|Opt", "Ctrl|Cmd" and "Shift" work differently depending on the tool being used but the individual keys seem to provide somewhat related functions.

     

    For example the "Shift" key tends to be a constraining key Rectangle tools are constrained to square ellipse tools to Circles. However if there is an Active selection when you hold down the skey when you drag out a new selection it does not reset the current selection instead the new selection is not constrained and is added to the current selection. Shift constrains Transform tool to current aspect ratio,  Shift constrains Line tools to vertical, horizontal or 45 degree angles. Pen tool like line tool shift constrains the angle.

     

    The "Alt|Opt" key changes the way tools operate. Transforms are from the center not from the side or corner being dragged.  Selection tools like the rectangle and ellipse will cause the intal drag out be from the center however it there is a Active selection dragging out a new selection will be subtracted from the current selection. This key changes the Pen tool from draw mode to anchor point adjusting.

     

    The "Shift" and "Alt|Opt" modifier keys can be used together to have an operation be both constrain and from the center.

     

    The "Ctrl|Cmd" key seems to change the way a tool works on a control anchor point.  The Pen Tool changes from Pen Draw mode to Direct Selection tool to facilitate moving the point.  Transform can be distorted a single corner point can be moved and distort the rectangle bounding box.

     

    These keys may have other functions I don't know about.  Photoshop has many features so many I don't know if any one person know and uses all of them. For the rest of us they seem to be Photoshop hidden secrets.

     
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