How to Convert Image to Vector in Photoshop

Photoshop has a wonderful suite of tools that you can dive into, and one would assume that something like the Pen Tool would get tossed aside. After all, it’s Photoshop, why bother drawing lines? The better question is: why not? Having access to tools that can draw lines is an absolute necessity and Photoshop expands on that basic need with various pen tools with their own properties and applications.

Draw Lines with the Pen Tool

Contrary to its name, the Pen Tool doesn’t let you freeform draw. Instead, the Pen Tool allows you to place two more more anchors and create straight lines. If what you need are straight lines, then you use the Pen Tool. If you want something freeform, then you’ll need to use the Freeform Pen Tool. Instructions below.

click on the Pen Tool

1. On the left hand side, where you toolbar is, locate the Pen Tool. Clicking it will open an additional menu with more tools.

2. In the menu, click on the Pen Tool.

3. Move you mouse cursor onto the location where you want your line to start. To start the line, all you have to do is left click (or right click if you’re left handed), but do NOT click and drag.

move your cursor to the spot you want the line to stop

4. Now that the first anchor point has been created, move your cursor to the spot you want the line to stop. You’ll see the line follow you, giving you an idea of how the line will look. Left click again. A straight line has been made.

Draw Lines with the Curvature Pen Tool

Now, the Curvature Pen Tool works by adding “anchors,” which in this context two are used for the beginning and the end of the line. When the two anchors are made, you can grab the line itself and curve the line in the shape you desire. If you’re outlining, say, a bridge, using the Curvature Pen Tool could be perfect for outlining the curvature of a bridge, considering you can add more than one anchor and create one big line.

1. On the left hand side, where you toolbar is, locate the Pen Tool. Clicking it will open an additional menu with more tools.

2. In the menu, click on the Curvature Pen Tool.

3. To make a curved line, you need two anchor points. Start by left clicking once anywhere on your project. That will create the first anchor point. Left click a second time on another spot of your project to create the second anchor point.

4. Now that both anchor points have been made, you can left click on the line you’ve made, and drag the line back and forth to curve the line as you see fit.

Draw Lines with the Freeform Pen Tool

If you’re here, then you didn’t need straight lines, but instead, needed the ability to freely draw. Lucky you because the Freeform Pen Tool gives you that power as well as the option to alter the work you make with automatic anchor points created as you draw.

1. On the left hand side, where you toolbar is, locate the Pen Tool. Clicking it will open an additional menu with more tools.

2. In the menu, click on the Freeform Pen Tool.

3. Now draw like you normally would. Photoshop will automatically create anchor points naturally as you draw. Unfortunately, you have no control on where the anchor points are created, but you can alter them like you if you were using the other Pen Tools.

Draw Lines with the Magnetic Pen

Let’s say you want to outline a picture with a line, like a sign. You could sit there and make line after line or you could use the Freeform Pen Tool and turn it into a Magnetic Pen. As you draw, the lines created will attempt to snap to the details of a picture.

1. On the left hand side, where you toolbar is, locate the Pen Tool. Clicking it will open an additional menu with more tools.

2. In the menu, click on the Freeform Pen Tool.

checkbox next to Magnetic

3. At the top, you’ll see additional options for your Pen Tool, like the thickness of your pen. However, more importantly, there’s a checkbox next to Magnetic. Put a checkmark in there and your Freeform Pen Tool will have magnetic properties, snapping to the shape of your project.