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Learn how to install custom shapes into Photoshop Tutorial

Learn how to install the CSH custom shapes in Photoshop and how to load them in the custom shapes panel for CC 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 CS4 etc. The custom shapes can be installed in an admin account (the program files or applications folder on the pc and mac respectively) but they can also be added also to an user account (requires no privileges to add the CSH custom shapes install). You can also load the custom shapes in a number of other ways (not all work in all versions) so the install location for the custom shapes can be any folder. You can use the file open command to load the custom shapes in Photoshop.

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$7.79 (also GBP, etc) for the set, CSH format, download


BUY 13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop CC 2017 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 etc and Photoshop elements CSH 13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop and Elements

You can double click the CSH custom shapes file to load them. You can use the open with command to load the CSH files (multiple). You can also use the load and replace commands in the custom shapes panel of Photoshop to load and select the CSH custom shapes in Photoshop. You can also load the CSH custom shapes via the edit menu preset manager (so the install of the custom shapes can be any folder). This tutorial shows you how to install the custom shapes in Photoshop as well as load them via load / replace etc

  1. Select CSH files and copy

  2. go to the applications folder (mac) and program files (for the pc)

  3. go to the adobe photoshop cc etc (mac) and adobe / photoshop cc etc (pc)

  4. go to the presets folder and then "custom shapes"

  5. paste CSH files into the the custom shapes folder

  6. Start Photoshop

  7. go to the custom shapes tool in Photoshop toolbar

  8. go to the custom shapes panel dropdown

  9. right side menu and select the custom shapes file by name

There are a number of different ways to install the Photoshop custom shapes - they all result in the shapes being available for use via the custom shapes tool and presets panel

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.

Adding the custom shapes to the user account for ease of access and no need to add a password etc

You can also add the shapes into an user account (requires no admin privileges). For Photoshop CC

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC/Presets/Custom shapes (mac)

C:\Users\<place your account name>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC\Presets\Custom shapes (pc)

  1. go the ~/Library on the mac (probably a hidden folder so will require the go menu and goto to folder command on the mac

  2. go to the users folder for your account (could be anyname) and the appdata on the pc

  3. add the CSH files into the presets folder "custom shapes" there

  4. access them via the custom shapes panel right side menu

Personally, a much better location than the program files and applications location.

You can double click to quickly add the CSH custom shapes into Photoshopdouble click the custom shapes file in Photoshop to install the shapes

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 (or right click and select the open command or open with) 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 Photoshop, 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)

  1. Go to the CSH file

  2. double click CSH

  3. Check the Photoshop shapes panel to see that they have been added

Select multiple CSH files in the file browser and then right click and select the 'open' command in Photoshop

csh multiple files file browser folder finder

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 so you can load 100s of CSH files such as any number of custom shapes

  1. select 5 or 6 CSH custom shapes files in the folder

  2. right click and select "open with" command

  3. select the correct Photoshop versions (there maybe multiple versions displayed)

  4. go to the custom shapes panel and see the items have been added



If you prefer to place the CSH files anywhere and browse for them using the load / replace commands

preset panel and load replace photoshop custom shapes install
  1. Go to Photoshop

  2. open a file

  3. select the custom shapes tool

  4. go to the custom shapes picker along the top of the application

  5. go to the right side menu of the custom shapes presets picker

  6. select the load or replace command

  7. browse for the CSH file


If you select load then the shapes in the new file will be added to the existing. If you select the replace, the old ones will be removed and replaced

Add the custom shapes to the presets 'custom shapes' and access via the custom shapes picker panel

  1. Select the CSH files

  2. copy them

  3. go to the Adobe Photoshop folder and into presets and down to 'custom shapes'

  4. paste the CSH files into that folder (you may have to enter your admin password)

  5. Startup Photoshop

  6. open a document

  7. Go to the custom shapes tool in the toolbar

  8. go to the custom shapes preset picker along the top bar of the application

  9. right side menu and select the load / replace commands and you will see in the list the files added to the custom shapes folder (listed by name)

  10. select one of those files

  11. the shapes will now be added into the presets picker

  12. select a shape

If you have added the shapes to your user account preset 'custom shapes' folder you will see the shapes there also

Load and replace the Photoshop custom shapes via the edit menu / preset manager command

preset manager panel and photoshop shapes install

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.


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

  1. Open Photoshop

  2. edit menu

  3. presets

  4. preset manager

  5. load

You can use the open command in Photoshop in some cases, though it fails in some versions

installation install photoshop custom shapes open

You can, in some versions of Photoshop, 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.

Other installation tutorials for Photoshop

1. How to install colorful gradients GRD into Photoshop tutorial

Sources and references

1. Custom shapes for Photoshop on

Freebie custom shapes for you to try out

1. Free custom shapes