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When I delete a shape, I am left with a colored background, and this background has the color of the foreground color. And this colored background covers everything else that is in the other layers below.

Also when I delete the shape, it asks me if I want to delete the vector mask. Is a shape the same as a vector mask then? Why is that?

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2 Answers 2

It's because the shape is actually a fill with a layer mask (a vector mask) and when you hit delete on the layer it deletes the mask first.

EDIT

To address your comment:

Photoshop simply does not do vector shapes like Illustrator, you can't create multiple shapes on the same layer and manipulate them individually. (At least not like you'd want to).

Each shape should have it's own layer. For organizational purposes you could put them all inside a layer group.

But to maintain the maximum amount of customization on these shapes they should have a layer all to themselves.

If you really need to work with shapes like you do in Illustrator, then you should be working in Illustrator.

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Drag the shape layer to the trash can on the Layers Panel.

Chances are you are simply hitting the delete key with the actual path selected, which deletes portions of the path, not the layer itself.

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If I do that, I lose everything in that layer. What if I have other shapes that i want to keep? –  angel rojas Sep 16 '13 at 13:47
    
If you have multiple shapes on a layer, you simply need to watch what is selected when you hit delete. In addition to how the Path Operations are configured. –  Scott Sep 16 '13 at 20:40

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