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Do You Use The Pen Tool?


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#1 PolkaDot

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:49 PM

It is like a foreign language to me. I read the tutorials but just don't "get it." I have trouble with curved lines, and wonder if anyone uses it in LOs as opposed to for designing?I have tried it for type paths but just prefer those in the boutique!
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#2 Belle

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 01:26 AM

Yes, what she said. I use PSE7. Thanks.

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#3 Bride

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 07:00 AM

Anxiously awaiting an answer on this one as well. All my attempts in using the pen to create a type path do not produce on screen what I have in my mind's eye. I use cs4 and have found a different method to create a type path successfully, but the pen eludes me. The alternative method was used in my Humble Pie ala mode to make my journaling in the shape of a partial pie dish, but as far as using the pen tool ..... I still need to learn that one!

#4 Westina

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:22 AM

Took me about an hour through trial and error but eventually the type ended up where it was supposed to go and not upside down or backwards. Once it worked, I thought, wow, that wasn't too hard but now I'm not sure I could reproduce the correct steps again. Definitely a feature I'd like to master. Here's my layout with the path. Other than that, I use the pen tool for extraction.

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#5 SandiC.

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:50 AM

I've played with it a couple of times, but the practical use of it is a little beyond what I'm comfortable with and certainly not something i can use quickly. Maybe I'll try again and see if its any better. Will get back with you if I discover any tricks or tips.
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#6 PattyBee

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 10:59 AM

Using the pen tool can be useful in certain situations. Unlike all the other selection tools which select pixels based on their color (or color-range). The pen tool draws a line that is able to actually cut THROUGH a single pixel. If I were to create a selection using a low-res image... my selection would be very blocky and pixelated. One could choose to "smooth" the selection, but the smooth option often straightens out areas that you DIDN't want straightened at all. Whereas, if I traced around a low-res image using the pen-tool I would be able to create a custom-shape or path that is very smooth and specific. Likewise, a pen-tool selection/path can be enlarged to HUGE sizes without becoming pixelated... think poster-size or even billboard size.

Yes, it has a bit of a learning curve to it. But it can be the better tool of choice in certain situations.
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#7 michgirl

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 11:41 AM

I use it every now and then for creating a typing path, but other than that, I haven't messed with it too much. I have seen others do amazing things with this tool, but not me :disappearing-smilie:
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#8 Sara Arell

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:06 PM

I don't have one, but it's on my list - after reading these responses though, not sure it's what I really want - I guess I thought it would be easy -
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#9 Westina

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:35 PM

Hi Sara - do you have the full version of Photoshop? If so, it's one of the built-in tools. Photoshop Elements however doesn't have the Pen tool.

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#10 KatieGrace

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:59 PM

I do use the pen tool to make type paths and text boxes that flow around an object. That doesn't come up that often though, so I guess I don't use it a lot but I love what it can do when I do use it. I'm taking an online course which I hope will give me a better understanding of it.

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#11 PolkaDot

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:21 PM

I don't have one, but it's on my list - after reading these responses though, not sure it's what I really want - I guess I thought it would be easy -


Oops, sorry, Sara. Should have made it more clear that I meant the pen tool which is built in to PS. :hit-head-with-hammer:
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#12 Sara Arell

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:57 PM

Oops! Sorry! I thought you were talking about a tablet, Dot - yes, I use the full version of Photoshop and I do use the pen tool in that - my mistake - I need to read before I leap! It's just that I want a tablet, so thought that's what we were talking about here -
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#13 Cheri T

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:14 PM

I really like the pen tool for text paths...I use it on the following settings in the option bar: paths, and pen tool (as opposed to freeform pen tool). I do not try to get absolutely smooth curves, but simply click once to make a point, then click again. If I need a smooth curve I use the shape tool to make, eg a circle, select the circle to get the marching ants, then go to paths in the layers palette and choose make path from selection.

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#14 PolkaDot

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:37 PM

I really like the pen tool for text paths...I use it on the following settings in the option bar: paths, and pen tool (as opposed to freeform pen tool). I do not try to get absolutely smooth curves, but simply click once to make a point, then click again. If I need a smooth curve I use the shape tool to make, eg a circle, select the circle to get the marching ants, then go to paths in the layers palette and choose make path from selection.


Great info, Cheri! Thank you!
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#15 Sara Arell

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:41 PM


I really like the pen tool for text paths...I use it on the following settings in the option bar: paths, and pen tool (as opposed to freeform pen tool). I do not try to get absolutely smooth curves, but simply click once to make a point, then click again. If I need a smooth curve I use the shape tool to make, eg a circle, select the circle to get the marching ants, then go to paths in the layers palette and choose make path from selection.


Great info, Cheri! Thank you!



That's pretty much what I do too, Cheri and Dot - thanks Cheri for putting it into words so well.........it can be difficult, I agree - and I do get frustrated with it at times, so Dot, you are so not alone.
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#16 PolkaDot

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 01:53 PM

Took me about an hour through trial and error but eventually the type ended up where it was supposed to go and not upside down or backwards. Once it worked, I thought, wow, that wasn't too hard but now I'm not sure I could reproduce the correct steps again. Definitely a feature I'd like to master. Here's my layout with the path. Other than that, I use the pen tool for extraction.


That LO is amazing! Beautiful! LSL..
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#17 PolkaDot

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 01:54 PM

Anxiously awaiting an answer on this one as well. All my attempts in using the pen to create a type path do not produce on screen what I have in my mind's eye. I use cs4 and have found a different method to create a type path successfully, but the pen eludes me. The alternative method was used in my Humble Pie ala mode to make my journaling in the shape of a partial pie dish, but as far as using the pen tool ..... I still need to learn that one!


Lei, I can't get the link to work and am anxious to see the LO, when you get a chance! Thanks!
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