How to use Fragments or parts of Custom shapes in Photoshop tutorial

How to use fragments or parts of custom shapes to create new path designs in Photoshop tutorial

Use part / fragment

You can use the full vector or you can remove the rest of the shape and use only a fragment of the Photoshop shape. This can be done via the direct selection tool or using the pathfinder exclude / subtract tools.


1) Select custom shape tool

2) Set to shape layer or path (top bar of Photoshop / control bar)

3) Go to the middle of the top bar (custom shapes options)

4) Select either 'add to shape area' or subtract from shape area option (depending on the design)

5) Select the subtract option to remove existing area from the shape (either use the same shape or perhaps circle or square)


Using fragments can be a great source for new PS vectors. It can also be saved as a new shape via the edit menu define custom shapes command.


You can use custom shapes such as the sets on the site such as 13,000 shapes collection and snowflake shapes and star flashes


photoshop shapes flower


The above Photoshop can be used as is (it is part of the shapes collection) but a fragment of the image can be used


Direct selection tool

direct selection


The above was created by using the direct selection tool to select some parts of the earlier design and then delete key was pressed removing part of the design.


fragment shape path


This was repeated with other points in the path. You can then define the shape as new Photoshop shape fragment.


Fragment Photoshop shapes and pathfinder / set functions




By using them with the pathfinder (combine, subtract etc) or set functions, you can remove parts of the path leaving a part which in turn can be used to create new vector and defined as such as via the edit menu. Basic artworks can be used to fragment the artwork but you can also use the paths themselves to create ever more complex artworks




Other tutorials for Photoshop custom shapes include how to use shapes as a source for pattern tiles and how to use the custom shapes panel / palette options in Photoshop