Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've asked this question before, but for Illustrator: How can I easily deselect a path after creating it in Illustrator?

I want to make hair strands, so I'm using the pen tool to make a path with two points. I am making hundred of these strands. I need to deselect the path after each strand. How do I do this? I don't want to copy the strand because that's not the look that I am going for. Thanks a bunch in advance!

Here is a video on what I am describing: Vector/vexel: Vexeling (Part 3) [Tagalog]

share|improve this question
Doesn't Scott's answer work for you in Photoshop? – JohnB Aug 7 '13 at 1:20
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you are using CS6 or CC you could press ESC to deselect

share|improve this answer
I didn't down vote but.... ESC simply hides the highlighting. It doesn't actually deselect the path. – Scott Aug 7 '13 at 1:52
Thank you. This really helped! – Rosie Aug 7 '13 at 2:49
This did not work for me – DelightedD0D Nov 10 '13 at 3:11
Actually, esc does work. However, it appears to only work if the Direct Selection Tools is active. – DelightedD0D Nov 13 '13 at 7:33
Feel free to add an answer explaining what "Direct Selection Tools" are! – user391339 Oct 16 '14 at 19:29

In Photoshop, Click the blank area in the Path Panel.


Photoshop path functions aren't nearly as robust as Illustrator. So, for Photoshop you basically have to click the Path Panel to deselect the current active path.

You can also hold down the Command or Ctrl key and click in the document window.

share|improve this answer
This works. But, for me, this becomes a problem when I have a bunch of paths and there is no longer a space under them in the panel – DelightedD0D Nov 10 '13 at 3:11
Then tap the ESC key 3 times to deselect the paths. – Scott Nov 10 '13 at 3:51
Ah, that does work, Once deselects the sub-path, twice deselects the entire path. However, this appears to only work if the Direct Selection Tools is active. – DelightedD0D Nov 13 '13 at 7:33
If you don't have a Shape tool, the Selection Tool, the Direct Selection tool, or the Pen tool active then the paths aren't selected anyway. Basically, if you choose a non-vector tool the paths are deselected by default. – Scott Nov 13 '13 at 7:50

For me, the best solution was to create an action. In the action I recored creating a new, empty path, then deleting that path. Map that action to a keystroke or better yet a wacom tablet key and your good to go.

share|improve this answer

Click on a path, press CTRL and click the path again it will de-select it. Or just click the page Icon in paths and it will deselect the path and make a new one. Though you will have to de-select the path if you want to use the transform tool.

share|improve this answer

Press Enter on the keyboard to deselect the pen tool in Illustrator CS6.

share|improve this answer
Hi Eddy, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Oct 23 '15 at 12:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.