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I am attempting to create very simple icon, which resembles a 'dashboard' of a car.

The first part of the icon (shape 1) was created by adding and subtracting shapes. The second part (shape 2) was created because the three parts of the shape needed to be placed accurately.

Is there a way to subtract shape 2 from shape 1? I am aware that shapes can be combined, but can they be "excluded" together?

Here's shape 1:

enter image description here

and here's the second shape that I want to subtract from the first:

enter image description here

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I would suggest using Illustrator for this type of work, not Photoshop. – Philip Regan Jun 17 '11 at 12:58
I would agree, the designers use illustrator, but I'm not a designer and only know Photoshop (no time to learn another design tool). Just needed it for one job while the designer was away. – Greg Jun 21 '11 at 8:27
up vote 10 down vote accepted
  1. Select the path of shape 2 on its layer. Copy the path.

  2. Target the shape 1 layer.

  3. Paste.

  4. Activate a shape tool (rectangle, ellipse, doesn't matter).

  5. On the control panel, click the "Subtract" icon (second from left).

  6. Turn off or discard the shape 2 layer.

Not nearly as simple or intuitive as it would be in a native vector application like Illustrator, but it'll get you there.

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excellent answer, although my question is, why aren't you using Illustrator, Greg? – Lauren Ipsum Jun 17 '11 at 12:28
LOL! I so carefully refrained from saying that! :-D – Alan Gilbertson Jun 17 '11 at 17:49
@Lauren Ipsum I know, I know ... but I have learned Photoshop, and just needed it for this one small task. – Greg Jun 21 '11 at 8:28
Learned how to use a hammer and suddenly everything's a nail, eh? ;) – Lauren Ipsum Jun 21 '11 at 11:33

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