I am trying to give a Stroke color and thickness to a silhouette I did with the Pen tool.

The problem is the layers in my artboard are set as Pixel layer whenever I add a new one and it will not let me modify the stroke of my shape, I can't find where to change the layer type anywhere, not even in properties. I understand it needs to be a Shape layer not pixel.

So how can one change layer types? Please help.

  • I mean there is the Layer style called Stroke, that can be used to add a stroke around the layer contents. I think that would be one option in this case... I can't remember when they added it, but you can convert selections into paths in PS CC: helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/… – Which can be converted into a shape layer if needed.
    – Joonas
    Feb 11, 2021 at 8:40

2 Answers 2


It is not possible to simply change a pixel layer to a shape layer.

When drawing with the pen tool you must choose the layer type first, then draw. It sounds like you drew a pixel layer when you should have drawn a shape layer.

You might look at the Paths Panel to see if you have a path there. You can construct a new Shape/Vector layer from a path, if it exists.


Pray that you have saved the Path with the file. (Path Palette > Double Click to Save the path). If you have saved it you can create the shape layer based on that path.

If you haven't saved the path and closed the file after filling it with the Edit > Fill tool, you are left with limited options.

You can select the silhoutte with magic wand and create the path from selection followed by the shape layer from that path. It is not as neat (as you might expect) but you can tweak it to make it smoother.

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