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I'm doing some linework for a perspective-rendered image and I need to draw lines frequently. I've turned the combine shapes option on and it works... for one layer. Is there a way to set this to be default on anything I'm working on?

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The shape mode you select should persist between layers, but it only persists while the tool is active. So as soon as you switch tools it reverts to "New Layer".

I don't think there's a way to change that.

You can however use key modifiers to draw in the shape mode you want, regardless of the shape mode selected in the options bar. So even though "New Layer" is selected in the options bar, holding a modifier key will will draw your shape on the current shape layer....

The key modifiers are:

  • alt = Subtract
  • shift = Add / Combine
  • alt + shift = Intersect

Those keys also constrain your drawing which can be a bit confusing, but you can release the keys as soon as you've started drawing the shape and they'll no longer be constrained, but they will still be drawing in the modified shape mode.

Note, those keys are for a Mac, I assume they would be the same for Windows, but I don't have Photoshop on Windows to check. It also seems weird that there would be keys for those modes but none for the "Exclude" mode, but I can't figure that one out; maybe someone else can figure that out.

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