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Here are my menu tabs:

Menu tab examples

#1 is the look I am trying to achieve but I can't quite make it look the same. #2 is my attempt.

I have 2 questions:

  1. Is there another easy way to create these that does not involve the Pen tool?
  2. Is there a way to make it so that the end result that does not look too pixelated or blurry with a stroke?
share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

In short, no there is not really an easy way without Pen tool. Even if there was, I'd still recommend learning to do it with Pen because it is very simple and effective once you get comfortable with it.

Most of the problems with pixelation or antialiasing result from being zoomed in closer than 100% which allows the pen tool to provide sub-pixel precision. If you keep your zoom level at 100%, you can easily reproduce the shape you want with by using the Rounded Rectangle, Rectangle, Path Selection, and Convert Point tools.

Easy menu tab

If you need it to snap to specific dimensions, use your Guides. To make sure your horizontal lines stay straight while using Convert Point, hold the Shift key.

The only other way that I can think of to do this task would be to free-hand it with the Lasso tool, but I sincerely doubt you want to do that.

share|improve this answer
still lots of hard work for me :| :( – Jack May 14 '11 at 4:35
Thank you so much for detailed explanation :) – Jack May 14 '11 at 4:41
@Jack I understand the hesitation. It took me a while to get comfortable with the Pen tool, but I'm glad I did. It's extremely powerful once you get the hang of it. For example, if you had a steady hand you could create the desired tab shape without Pen tool - but then you have "dead" pixels that you can't easily modify. Editing a corner requires destroying & recreating it. On the other hand, with a Shape and Convert Point tool, you can easily drag an anchor point and alter the bezier curve. No pre-edit artifacts remain after the change. It gets less scary with practice. :) – Farray May 14 '11 at 5:08
ya i am trying my level best thanks for being my inspiration :) hope now i"ll do better with your guidance – Jack May 14 '11 at 5:12
@Jack That's what SE is for! :) If you have access to Illustrator, try playing around with shapes in Illustrator instead of Photoshop. Since AI is built for vector art, its tools are much better suited for editing shapes and may be easier to learn & get comfortable in. The concepts you learn in AI can be applied to shape layers in PS. Good luck! – Farray May 14 '11 at 5:22

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