Use the Lasso tool ( L ) or Polygonal Lasso tool to rough-in a shape.  After making your selection, open the Paths panel (Window>Paths), press-and-hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and click the Make Work Path From Selection icon at the bottom of the panel. Choose a suitable Tolerance from the ensuing dialog and click OK to create the path. Grab the Direct Selection tool (nested under the Path Selection [ A ]   tool in the Toolbox) and edit the path as necessary to achieve the proper geometry and smoothness. Control-click (PC: Right-click) the path and select Define Custom Shape, name it, and click OK.



  1. Michelle 27 June, 2009 at 07:41 Reply

    Great tip! I can’t wait to get home and try this one out! The tip of the day is my favorite feature of this site – So many good little tidbits that I didn’t know!! Thank you!!

  2. Michelle 28 June, 2009 at 07:30 Reply

    Thank you so much for this tip! I can’t tell you how much this is helping me right now! I have a job of extracting karate portraits from a flat background and putting them on custom backgrounds. This tip has cut my work time in half. What a great way to use a fast selection tool and not lose the quality you can achieve with the pen tool! Way to go!!

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