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How to use Photoshop shapes with creative cloud libraries tutorial

photoshop custom shapes and creative cloud libraries
  1. Photoshop's Window menu

  2. Libraries

  3. Select custom shape tool in toolbar

  4. Select shape layer option and shape and color of shape via fill

  5. Drag Photoshop shape from document to current library in libraries panel

How to use Photoshop shapes with Creative Cloud Libraries tutorial in CC 2017 2015 etc. The custom shapes in Photoshop are vector designs that can be used as a path, shape layer and fill pixels - all stored in a CSH presets format for use with CC 2014 etc. You can also now store the Photoshop custom shapes in libraries (window menu command) as well. Creative cloud libraries were introduced into Photoshop with CC 2014 and since have had new features added. You can drag Photoshop shapes into the library and it will be added as a shape. Once added to the CC library, the shape is now secure on the Adobe site (great for backups). You can now restore the shape at any time by dragging it from the library to the document as a smart object. You can also create a shape that is no longer connected to the library by holding down the alt / option key as you create the new shape. You can also store shapes with styles etc. You can store standard layers as well but not paths in the creative cloud libraries. This tutorial shows you how to use the Photoshop custom shapes with libraries in Photoshop as shape layers and as pixel layers. This tutorial also shows you how to restore the shapes

Custom shapes to purchase

$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 for use with the CC libraries - all can be stored in the libraries CSH 13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop and Elements

When were creative cloud libraries introduced into Photoshop as well as Illustrator

Creative cloud libraries were Introduced in CC 2014 as a way of storing as well as using resources / presets / information across various apps (at present, PS and Illustrator and After Effects and a few others). You can create one or multiple creative cloud libraries in either app. You can add as much and as little as you wish to the libraries and type / layers etc can be stored and then added back to a document at any point. The items are stored in the cloud as well as synced locally. Find the library via the window menu.

How to add your shape layers into the creative cloud library for storage as well as future use

photoshop cc libraries shapes
  1. Select the custom shapes tool

  2. Select the shape option

  3. Select color and shape via dropdown

  4. Add a single layer custom shape to the document

  5. Display the libraries panel in Photoshop via the window menu

  6. Create a new library or drag the custom shape to the current library.


The item is stored as a shape. You can also select multiple layers (say a vector cube) and drag that to the CC library and that will be stored. You can also add layer transformations such as perspective and rotations and these can also be stored in the panel.

How to restore creative cloud library artwork into Photoshop for use as smart objects etc

cube vector artwork with shadow cc libraries shapes layer

You can take the artwork from the CC library and place it back into the document


If you want it as a smart object, simply select the shape in the library and drag (with a link back to the library). If you want to edit the path, double click on the smart object icon in the layer menu and you can then edit the shape layer using the direct selection tool and save the opened psd file for the smart object


If you want it as a shape, simply select and hold the alt / option key to duplicate (and break the link) the shape but it is just a normal shape layer and not a smart object. To edit it, simply select the direct selection tool etc and modify the artwork. You can see an edit of the vector shape in Photoshop and this is not updated in the library (as the link has been broken via the alt / option key)

You can use and store layer effects in the Adobe Creative cloud in Photoshop

You can use the layers with layer effects and drag that to the library and that will be stored with all the drop shadow / outer glow etc intact. You can also convert the layer into a smart object and drag that to the CC library and that will retain all the smart filters etc information so you can see a blurred layer etc in the panel. This can then be restored at a later date with the live effects intact.

Use them with the pixel layers to save your favourite pics - great for backup as well

shapes and CC libraries and rename


  1. You can add the Photoshop shapes to a background or a Photoshop pixel layer

  2. drag that layer to the Photoshop CC library


and that is saved (whether it one or multiple applications). You can add effects and also then drag that to the library.


To restore the design, simply drag the library item back to the document and a smart object will be created. You can also hold down the alt / option to break the link with the CC library and just a normal layer is created but the pixel design is still just a pixel design, the shape cannot be modified as a vector shape. You can, as with the vector shape layer, edit the name of the artwork as well as copy and move etc the design in the CC libraries such as displayed on the left

Other resources

1. Large selection of Photoshop custom shapes CSH sets for CC 2017 2015 CS6 etc

Sources and references

1. Creative cloud libraries on

Other tutorials

1. how to combine layers / unite / subtract path operations in Adobe Photoshop tutorial

Youtube Video tutorial

Tutorial on the subject of creative cloud libraries [Youtube]