I'm new to Photoshop, and am teaching myself. In playing with the pen and custom shape tool I've noticed that the Fill and Stroke settings for "Shape" appear to be locked. I cannot click to change them and don't get any kind of drop down like in other tools. I've tried making sure I'm on the right layer, but that's about all I can find.

I know I should be able to click on the color boxes next to each option to change them, but it's not letting me. Any ideas?

  • Do you have a shape tool active?
    – Scott
    May 23, 2013 at 14:36
  • I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. In the top options bar, next to the pen icon, there is a drop down that lets me choose between Shape, Path, or Pixels. It is set to Shape.
    – chicjean
    May 23, 2013 at 16:07
  • Okay. That confirms that. What is the document color mode? Basically what's checked in the Image menu under Mode?
    – Scott
    May 23, 2013 at 16:10
  • Color mode is set to RGB
    – chicjean
    May 23, 2013 at 16:15
  • hmm... All I can suggest is to try resetting preferences. tv.adobe.com/watch/the-complete-picture-with-julieanne-kost/…
    – Scott
    May 23, 2013 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


Going off Scott's comment, I'm going to write out how to reset preferences (based on the video) just in case someone just wants to read over this and do it rather than watching the 8 minute video.

Method 1: Moving the Preferences Files

First off, make sure you are closed out of Photoshop.

Next, if you're on Mac, navigate to:

~/Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CSx Settings

Or On Windows 7:

\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CSx\Adobe Photoshop CSx Settings

Next, move both Adobe Photoshop CSx Prefs.psp and Adobe Photoshop x64 CSxPrefs.psp to somewhere else (i.e the desktop).

Now simply start Photoshop and your preferences should be reset.

Method 2: Keyboard shortcut

Hold down the following keys:

Mac: Command + Option + Shift

Windows: CTRL + ALT + Shift

And then launch Photoshop, a dialog will come up asking you to confirm whether to delete the preferences or not.

Please note that the keyboard shortcut method is a little more destructive and will delete some other preferences that Method 1 will not get rid of. So method 1 is recommended unless there are no settings/preferences you'd like to hold on to.


There is a workaround that was working for me...

After you do your pen custom shape with your pen, select "Path" from your options -instead of "Shape"- and then "Shape" on the button to your right -as one of the "Make" options. I didn't touch "Selection" or "Mask"...

Then change to your Direct Selection Tool (A) and you can change Fill and Stroke now...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.