Drawing rectangles is much easier in CS6 and CC, which allow you to click once and a dialog box comes up to resize. For CS5 it's harder. When I was using CS5 I would either create a new doc the size i wanted the rectangle and then draw it to the full size of the document then transfer it over, or create some guide lines the exact size I needed - both methods are slow. As far as a stroke. In CS5, you have to do that through layer styles. You can set your fill opacity to 0, if you just want the stroke.
Chuck it sounds like Patrick might be talking about Shapes.
Patrick, Guides are a huge help, and if you are draging out your rectangle, it will snap to the Guides. Turn on your rulers and set appropriate units in Preferences. If you don't want to use Guides, drag out the rectangle from the top left corner, and stroke it on a new layer. You can move it into postition after. To center it, select the layer and the Move tool, and use the Align tools in the Options bar.
If you were referring to Shapes, come back and say so.
Yea, Trevor, I was assuming he meant shapes also.
My specific issue is that I tried creating a rectangle using the "Rectangle Tool" which showed up as a black rectangle with no apparent sizing options (either before or after placement) or line/fill options. Then, when I went to Photoshop Help and entered the search terms "rectangle size", no results were found, so I tried entering my question in this forum.
Is the "Rectangle Tool" what the two of you are referring to as "shapes"?
The rectangle tool is a subset of shapes and paths. You might have more luck doing searches on shapes, but CS5 does not lend itsself to sizing shapes very well. If you are going to be doing a lot of this type of work, I would highly recommend you upgrade to at least CS6. Like I said, you really need to plan ahead and create some guides the exact size you want, or a new document where you can draw the rectangle/shape to the full size of the document. Resizing can be done, but you have to calculate the percentage - sometimes it's just easiser to create a new shape with the guides. As for the stroke. CS6 allows shapes to have a stroke and no fill like Illustrator, but CS5 doesn't. You have to use the layer effects (double click on the layer to bring up the UI).
In photoshop cs5 you can type in a preset size before you make the rectangle by using the Geometry Options
set to Fixed Size.
You can also change size after drawing by using Edit>Free Transform Path or Ctrl (Cmd)+T
and change the width and height units to pixels either by typing in the value plus px or right
clicking in one of the fields and choosing pixels.
That is if you want an exact size.
If you just want to change the size by eye, you can also just move the transform handles after going in the Free Transform Path.
I forgot about that Curt. Nice!