How to Install Custom Shapes in Photoshop Tutorial > How to install custom shapes in Photoshop CC 2015 CS6 CS5 CS4 - how to install CSH, load, open tutorial



Installation of the custom shapes in Photoshop and elements tutorial

Install of CSH Photoshop shapes for Adobe ® Photoshop and Elements

As with many things relating to Adobe ® Photoshop ®, there are a number of ways to install the items but all have the end result of adding the vector artworks into the preset panel so they can be selected and used as layers as well as paths and fills / pixels in PS and PS Elements.


Open custom shapes file approach

You can, in some versions of PS, open them direct via the file open command and that is a very quick way to load them but this will fail in many versions of PS so is not particularly useful. The approaches below are far more useful and usually work fine. Not exactly an installation but it does mean you can add the artworks from any folder in seconds



Using the open command works in some instances.


Double click the CSH

In most cases, the CSH file will be associated with PS or PSE and you can just double click it. Of course, the file association may be incorrect and it may be linked to a custom shell script or something and that is not so useful. You can always re-associate the CSH back to the current version of PS. If you double click the CSH then all the vector artworks are loaded into the preset panel along with all the currently existing artworks in the panel. However, that is not really an installation, as the items can be located in any folder (that is the case with my system as I generally have all my CSH files in one massive resources folder section on my user account). At least this means if you have multiple versions of PS then they are all located in one place instead of having all the resources in multiple locations, though you can always just delete all the versions as you move from version to version (this is not such an issue now as the presets can be migrated with the version as you move from PS 2014 to PS 2015 to PS 2016 etc). Another approach is to right click the CSH file and then select the version of PS and then the vectors will be loaded into that version of PS (I have multiple versions of PS residing on my hard disk as well as PSE)


Select multiple files in file browser for Photoshop shapes - quick install / load

Select five or six CSH sets at a time and use the right click mouse option to select the open option. All the selected CSH presets will then be opened and loaded (install) into the presets panel of PS


Presets panel / load / replace command in Adobe ® Photoshop ® - Photoshop shapes install

The standard way to install them is to add them to the presets folder of Photoshop - this does vary from version but in most cases just go to the applications folder on the mac and the program files folder on the pc and then the PS folder and beneath that you will find a presets section in that you will find a section for the custom shapes and just as the CSH files into there - you will probably have to enter your admin password at that point. In the case of PSE this is definitely the best solution. You can also add them to the user equivalent section via the library (user) on the mac (use the go to folder feature to go to the ~/library and application support folder) or the app data section on the PC and search for your version of Adobe ® Photoshop ® .. if you have had your machine for a few versions then you will see a number of folders there with 15 14 etc. Find the presets section in there and add the CSH files to that (you won't need the admin password for the user account).


Installed but now how to access

There you have it, all installed and now if you go to PS and then the presets panel and the right side menu you will see the CSH files listed there by name (such as gears, animals, arrows, etc). You can also use the same preset panel to load the presets which means you can add the files to any folder (not for PSE) and the load option adds the new set to the old; or you can use the replace command and browse for the set. The panel can be used to load many 1000s of different vectors but there are probably some limits though I have never reached them. As the panel has no grouping functionality or search tool then the more you add to the panel, the harder it is to find the required vector artwork.


preset panel

Or use the replace or load command via the preset's panel


Edit menu preset manager

You can also do much the same as mentioned above in the preset manager in the edit menu though this has varied over the versions. You can load the items etc. Some of the functionality is in the buttons and some in the side menu which is odd and to be honest, makes little sense. Still, all the presets are all in one place and it is a useful dialog but it doesn't offer anything newer or different from the other approach.


preset manager panel

Or use the preset manager found in the edit menu, not all versions have it in that location


Now they are all loaded

Once you have the items in the panel then you can just look through all the items and select them and then add them to the document via the CSH tool as well as via the cookie cutter tool and also via the shape blur tool.


Future wishes for the shapes

It would be great if the panel had other options such as 1) Quick access to the most recently selected items (like the brushes panel) 2) also most recently used CSH sets would be nice 3) Perhaps also highlighting the currently selected item a little clearer (it is a thin line around the current selected item) 4) A double click approach to add them to the center of the document etc. I can't see that happening. 5) A bigger thumbnail option as on the newer bigger screens the thumbnails are very small 6) consistent preset manager 7) a convert to brushes or patterns etc feature 8) An invert path feature where the vector is combined with a square or a circle of the same size etc 9) Instant add to the CC libraries as vectors for the entire set 10) Path cleanup / points feature 11) The panel to show the thumbnails in the current color / gradient etc with stroke and fill as set 12) Save as EPS files 13) Click and add to CC libraries would be useful with the new CC.



Video Tutorial

A quick video showing the install of the vectors [Youtube]


Once you have loaded / installed the shapes then you can quickly use them over and over in Photoshop


You can use the preset panel to rapidly swap between the CSH sets


You can select a set of CSH custom shapes files and drag them into Photoshop (works in some versions). You can also just install the .csh files into the presets folder of Photoshop or elements and then access them via the right side menu dropdown. You can load 1000s of shapes into the app though there are some limits.