Revision Date: 27 August 2015

Shapes Tool Shapes Tool

There is a new tool for creating shapes in the Shapes Tool.  This new tool replaces the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse and the Freeform Shape tools found in 3.5x.

The new Shape Tool has 27 predefined shapes. 8 Basic shapes, 6 Polygon or Star shapes, 4 Arrows, 4 Callout shapes and 5 Symbols.

Preset Shape Preset Shapes

The different Shapes are selectable from the drop down menu in the Tool Bar when the Shapes Tool is active.

Basic Shapes

Polygons & Stars





Pressing A cycles through the shapes when the Shapes tool is active ( Shift + A cycles backwards ).

To create a shape, click on the shape type in the Tool Bar menu and drag the shape out on the canvas.  The shape will be created in Edit mode. In Edit mode, the shape is not fixed and can be altered in size, orientation, fill and color along with anti-aliasing options and blend modes.  All these options are available from the Tool Bar when the Shapes Tool is active. Click the Finish button in the Tool Bar to commit the shape to the active layer.

The draggable control nubs transform the shape. Click and drag these to relocate them. Dragging one nub over the one diametrically opposite has the effect of flipping the shape.

The shape's center point determines the center of rotation. It looks like a circle with a cross inside it. Click and drag the center point to relocate it. The center point can be moved outside the shape or even off-canvas.

When the cursor is rendered as a double headed curved arrow, the shape can be rotated about the center of rotation by clicking and dragging.

Rotate Shape Cursor Rotate Shape Cursor

Shift the shape around the canvas by clicking and dragging the blinking four-arrows-in-a-square icon.

Move Shape Cursor Move Shape Cursor

Commit the shape to the active layer by clicking outside of the bounding box of the current shape, clicking Finish or drawing a new shape.

Draw Mode

Shapes are able to be drawn in three distinct modes; Shape Outline, Filled Shape and Filled Shape with Outline.  The first two options use the Primary Color if the Left Mouse button is used or the Secondary color if the Right Mouse button is used.  In the Filled Shape with Outline mode, the fill will be the Secondary color and the outline the Primary color if the Left Mouse button is used.  The Right mouse button reverses this coloration.


Shapes can be forced to have equal height and width by holding down the Shift key while dragging out the shape.

Brush Size and Style

Shapes are subject to the Brush settings in the Tool BarBrush Width & Line Styles are all configurable.

Line Styles Line Styles

Fill Styles

Shapes can be rendered using a Fill Type as specified in the Tool Bar. This feature allows the Shape to be filled with one of numerous patterns rather than a solid color.

Fill Styles Fill Styles

Fills utilizing a fill style will make use of both the Primary and Secondary colors.

Blend Modes

Shapes can be applied using a Blend Mode selected from the Tool Bar.  The Shape will be applied in accordance with the other parameters then reinterpreted as if the pixels were on their own layer with the layer blend mode set.

Tool Bar Blend modes Tool Bar Blend Modes


Example 1

With Draw Shape Outline selected in toolbar

Example 2

Outlined Shapes

Example 3

With Draw Filled Shape selected in toolbar

Example 4

Filled Shapes

Example 5

With Draw Filled Shape With Outline selected in toolbar

Example 6

Outline and Filled Shapes