I would use the Pen tool—it gives you the most flexibility.
To add lines, just click where you want to start and click where you want to end. If you want the entire trek to be one continuous line (all the same color, width, dashed or solid) just click in the center of each black square. If you would prefer to be able to work with each hike individually, after you complete a segment, Ctrl/Cmd click on an empty part of the page to signal that you are finished with the path, and the you can start a new one.
You can manipulate the paths after you finish with the Selection too (black arrow) and the Direct Selection tool (white arrow). Use the Selection tool to select the path and change the Stroke color, Stroke Width and Stroke Type (solid or dashed). Use the Direction selection tool to drag the start and end anchor points to a new position.
Thanks for the quick and detailed reply. I greatly appreciate it. The Pen works great!
But for the life of me...i can't figure out how to modify the pen's properties once i've drawn it. The first time I tried the Pen, it came out as a Path and not a Layer. So I made a new layer and then used the pen. But in either case, i can't figure out how to make the line a different color, shift from solid to dashes, etc.
Can you help me clarify your last point on that?
Again - thanks so much!
The Pen tool has two modes: Shape and Path. In this case, you want to choose Shape before you start. This creates a new Shape layer in the Layers panel, and draws an editable path on that layer.
Take another look at my first screen shot. Do you see the word Shape outlined in orange at the top left? Once you start drawing, the new Shape layer appears as in my second screen shot. You can change the line look as soon as you finish drawing, or use the Selection tool to click on the line—in either case, the formatting commands are visible on the Options bar as per the 2nd screen shot.
To do as Barb wrote, you need to set the Pen tool to produce a Shape, in the Option Bar at the top of the screen:
You can then change the appearance by making sure the path for this Shape is selected in the Paths panel, and then updating the setting in the options. If you make any changes to the path with the Direct Selection tool the stroke will be updated.
Another way you could do this is with a plain old path, and then stroke the path with the Brush tool (or any other painting tool; Pencil, Clone Stamp, Pattern Stamp, Eraser, Smudge, etc.. You need to do this on a regular layer, not a Shape or Text layer. You can
- Right-click on the path in the Paths panel, and in the menu that opens up, select Stroke Path. This brings up a little dialog, where you can select the tool to stroke with. Select the desired tool, and press OK.
- Click the hollow circle at the bottom of the Paths panel. This strokes the path with whatever was previously set in method 1. This is stored in the preferences, so if you have it set to Brush, say, it would still be Brush the next time you open Photoshop.
- Select a painting tool from the Toolbar, and press Enter.
The advantage of this method is you have a much wider variety of strokes you can use. The disadvantage is that the strokes are not live; you need to do a new stroke every time you want to change something.
OK - I finally caught on. The line color for the path itself was confusing me to no end. I'm a power PowerPoint user and the concept of having a path that has color/width/etc - but ultimately is invisible...was completely escaping me.
And my actual strokes were being overlaid so I never could see any effect of my changes...but they were there! I just had to click away to get rid of the path so I could see it.
Whew! Great tool - fantastic flexibility and control. But much for me to learn.
Barb - thanks so much!
Got it - thanks so much for your help, i appreciate it.
Sorry about that. This is a confusing area in Photoshop for a lot of people, but it sounds like you figured it out. And that trip looked amazing!