How to export custom shapes as vectors / rasters from Photoshop tutorial

How to export Photoshop custom shapes into different formats such as raster and vector (AI etc) tutorial

Vector export / AI format

Custom shapes can be added as a path(via the options at the top of the application or use the shape layer option), use the 'export paths to ai' command found in the file menu to save the path as AI format. You can then use the resulting vector file in many other applications. Once you have opened the exported the artworks, the generated AI file has no color fill or stroke, you can add that in many apps such as Illustrator. You can find many of our custom shapes available throughout the site such as vintage type custom shapes and wave custom shapes and zoom / manga custom shapes


1) Select the custom shape tool

2) Click the path option (top bar of the app)

3) File menu and Export command and Paths to AI

4) OK


export via path


Vector export / pasteboard

They can also be copied to some applications via the pasteboard / clipboard


Vector export / CC library

A quick way to export the CSH presets to Illustrator and other apps is to use the recently added CC libraries (found via the window menu). Select the layer and drag to the CC library. You can then go to Illustrator and drag the artwork to the artboard and select the first option (convert layers to objects) to keep the artwork editable. You will have to release the clipping mask etc and remove any bounding boxes (nothing is ever made easy) and then you can edit the artwork such as moving anchor points etc. See the same path being edited in AI below


export cc libraries


SVG format / vector export

You can also export the artwork as a SVG file. Create the paths in PS and then go to the file / export menu and select the export as and select the SVG format. The SVG format can then be imported into AI as well as Dreamweaver (as used throughout this site with many a vector path displayed in SVG). You can also re-open the SVG file in PS though sadly it is not treated as a vector at that point (but it is in Illustrator)


Raster export of Photoshop shapes

You can also export them via the save command by selecting a format (blend with the background or use as normal raster layers) such as PSD or PNG or TIFF format. You can, if you wish to spend the time, go through all 13,000+ shapes and create huge 2000 x 2000 files and save each and everyone of the designs to PNG. Just an idea for a wet Sunday afternoon. The artworks can be exported for use in PSP, Adobe Indesignesign, Affinity, GIMP etc via the save command. There is an app called PresetBreeze from Tumasoft that export the artworks from the CSH, that may speed things up a little.


PSD format

Probably the best all purpose formatĀ is PSD, the native Photoshop format. You can save raster and vector data with that format. Just use the save as command


Other tutorials

You can find many additional tutorials about custom shapes such as how to use shapes to create new Photoshop brushes and how to create amazing patterns using Photoshop shapes and how to add a glow to Photoshop custom shapes


Youtube Video Tutorial

A tutorial showing the export of vectors by various methods [Youtube]