How to export vector custom shapes from Photoshop tutorial

How to export Photoshop custom shapes / vectors tutorial. You have your custom shapes in Photoshop CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 etc but want to export them as vectors to other application. There are a number of approaches

Vector export via the pasteboard - you can use the pasteboard to copy into Illustrator etc

how to export custom shapes as vectors from Photoshop
  1. Select the custom shape tool

  2. Set to shape layer option

  3. Select a shape

  4. Draw shape using the shape tool

  5. Go to the direct selection tool in the toolbar

  6. Select all the points

  7. Edit menu

  8. Copy

  9. Paste into Illustrator

You can export the shapes / paths as vectors via the file menu and export and paths to illustrator. You can use the direct selection tool to select all the points of the custom shape and paste them into Illustrator for export as AI etc. You can drag the custom shape from the document into the Photoshop / CC libraries panel (you can restore the shape from the libraries at a later point or use in Illustrator or After Effects etc). You can export the vector custom shapes from Photoshop as a SVG file / vector file via the export as command. You can also use the save as command with the Photoshop PSD format to save the custom shapes as vectors. This tutorial shows a number of ways to export custom shapes as vectors as well as rasters such as using SVG method, Illustrator path, pasteboard etc

CSH format, download


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13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 etc and Photoshop elements for use to export to other applications CSH 13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop and Elements


Illustrator Path method to export shapes from Photoshop

export via path vector custom shapes from Photoshop tutorialCustom shapes can be added as a path via the options at the top of the application or use the shape layer option


  1. Select custom shape tool

  2. Select path option (top bar)

  3. Apply path / custom shape

  4. File menu

  5. Export

  6. Paths to Illustrator


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.

Vector export / CC library - a really useful way to export the shapes to After Effects, Indesign etc

export cc libraries raster and vectorA quick way to export the CSH presets to Adobe Illustrator and other apps is to use the recently added CC libraries (found via the window menu).

  1. Select the custom shape tool

  2. Select the shape option

  3. Apply shape

  4. Select the shape layer

  5. 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.

SVG format / vector export - great for saving shapes to web pages to display on the web in seconds

export as svg photoshop filesYou can also export the artwork as a SVG file.


  1. Select the custom shape tool

  2. Select the shape option

  3. Apply shape

  4. File menu and export and export as

  5. Select 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).


PSD format and vector export from Photoshop

export photoshop custom shapes raster vectorProbably 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

  1. Create a vector Photoshop custom shape using shape tool

  2. Create some other layers

  3. File menu

  4. Save as

  5. Layers ON


Other tutorials

1. how to use the Adobe Generator to export image assets from Photoshop tutorial

Custom shapes

1. vintage type / letter / historical custom shapes

2. wave / wavy design custom shapes

Youtube Video Tutorial

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


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