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Photoshop Elements 4: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Drawing with Shapes

Wow, so many brush options and Adobe still isn't done—there's yet another way to draw things in Elements. Elements includes a Shape tool, which lets you draw geometrically perfect shapes, regardless of your artistic ability. And not just simple shapes like circles and rectangles. You can draw animals, plants, starbursts, picture frames—all sorts of things, as shown in Figure 11-20. This tool should appeal to anyone whose grade school masterpieces always seemed to get put up on the wall behind the piano somewhere.

Here are just a few of the shapes that you can draw with Elements, even if you flunked art class in elementary school. These objects look much more impressive once you gussy them up with Layer styles (Section 12.2.1).

Figure 11-20. Here are just a few of the shapes that you can draw with Elements, even if you flunked art class in elementary school. These objects look much more impressive once you gussy them up with Layer styles (Section 12.2.1).

Turning yourself into an artist by using the Elements' Shape tool is easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open an image or create a new one.

    You can add shapes to any file that you can open in Elements.

  2. Activate the Shape tool.

    Click the Shape tool in the Toolbox, or press U. The Shape tool is sometimes a little confusing to newcomers to Elements, because the icon reflects the shape that's currently active—so you may see a rectangle, a polygon, or a line, for instance. The little cartoon speech balloon of the Custom Shape tool is the icon Elements initially presents you with.

  3. Select the kind of shape you want to draw.

    Click the shape you ...

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