I created a standalone path by mistake, instead of creating a new shape layer.

What's the correct method of turning this into a new shape layer?

I tried converting to a selection, but I then seemed unable to fill the selection as I normally would, and I'm not sure how/if this would create a new layer from the path.

Thank you.


A path created with the Pen tool does not become an image element until you stroke or fill it. The Fill Path command fills a path with pixels using a specified color, a state of the image, a pattern, or a fill layer.

Fill a path using the current Fill Path settings
1. Select the path in the Paths panel.
2. Click the Fill Path button at the bottom of the Paths panel.

or you can

Fill a path and specify options

  1. Select the path in the Paths panel.
  2. Fill the path: Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the Fill Path button at the bottom of the Paths panel.

    Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Mac OS) the path to the Fill Path button.

    Choose Fill Path from the Paths panel menu. If the selected path is a path component, this command changes to Fill Subpath.

  3. For Use, choose the contents for the fill.

  4. Specify an opacity for the fill. To make the fill more transparent, use a low percentage. A setting of 100% makes the fill opaque.
  5. Choose a blending mode for the fill. The Mode list includes a Clear mode that lets you erase to transparency. You must be working in a layer other than the background to use this option.

  6. Choose Preserve Transparency to limit the fill to layer areas that contain pixels.

  7. Select a Rendering option: Feather Radius: Defines how far inside and outside the selection border the feather edge extends. Enter a value in pixels. Anti-aliased: Creates a finer transition between the pixels in the selection and the surrounding pixels by partially filling the edge pixels of the selection.

  8. Click OK.

  • Thanks, but the "Fill Path" button in the Paths panel is continually greyed out (as are the buttons alongside it). What conditions need to hold for this button to be available? I'm using the Pen Tool with "Paths" (as opposed to "Shape Layers") selected at the top, and "Add to Path Area" over on the right. Thanks... – zakgottlieb Jan 22 '13 at 22:31
  • 2
    You cannot fill a path when you are a text layer or a layer with vector shapes already on it. To make sure this is not the issue then create a path, create a new layer and try filling the path. – user9427 Jan 22 '13 at 22:41
  • Thanks, Derek, that solved it. Do you mind if I asked why it should be the case you cannot fill a path when I am on a layer which already has a vector shape on it? This is how I started out... I created a standalone path that was already on a layer with another path. Wondering why I shouldn't be able to fill it, too, or else how to transition it to its own layer, without losing it, so it can be filled? Thank you for your help with this... – zakgottlieb Jan 23 '13 at 10:01
  • To be honest, I'm not sure why it is like that. That would be a good question for Adobe. – user9427 Jan 23 '13 at 17:57

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