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I have created an arrow shape (rightmost in image), from which I wish to cut out the majority so that only two thin sides remain. The most accurate way to do this would be to duplicate the shape and to somehow use the duplicate (leftmost in image) to remove the chunk that I no longer desire from the original. I am not sure what to do after the duplication, however, or if this method is even possible? Is there a better one?

enter image description here

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You are pretty much on the right track.

You could do it like this:

  1. Create the triangle shape ( Or in your case, delete the second triangle, you only need one at this point ).

    enter image description here

  2. Take Path selection tool and click the triangle once and press Shift + Alt + left arrow key.

    • Left arrow key: Moves the path to the left
    • Shift: Makes sure that the 1 Left arrow key click equals 10px to the left.
    • Alt: Makes sure that when the left arrow key is clicked, the currently selected shape is copied as well

    ( after that you may want to press just the the arrow keys few more times to position it perfectly... )

    enter image description here

  3. From the tool options you will find icon for path operations. Select: Subtract front shape( In older versions these icons will all be in the tool options sitting side by side, because that's how they roll... )

    enter image description here

    ...that will subtract from the previous path.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here


This all happens inside one shape layer:

enter image description here


...and the same method works in older versions as well, as long as you start with a shape layer.

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Perfect answer, thank you. I'd forgotten I could activate the paths on a shape layer with the path selection tool :/ –  zakgottlieb Apr 26 '13 at 14:37
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Right click the image preview box in the layers window for the layer of the image you want to use as the cookie cutter. Click select pixels. Now click or select the layer you want to chop a hole in, then go ahead and ctrl-X, or cut pixels.

You will need to rasterize your shapes before doing this if you haven't already.

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