I want to combine two individual paths in Photoshop. Though I do add the paths and do Ctrl + Enter, it shows marching ants on the combine path, but the paths don't combine. Why is that?


6 Answers 6


Combining paths in Photoshop

  1. Click on one of your paths in the paths palette. Copy it (Edit>Copy or Cmd/Ctrl+C).
  2. Then click on another path in the paths palette and paste the first path into it (Edit>Paste or Cmd/Ctrl+V).
  3. Both your paths will be on the same path.
  4. Continue until all of your paths are in the same path.

You can see that they are by checking the paths' thumbnail and you will also be able to see the paths on your image. (You can increase the size of the thumbnail by choosing 'Panel options' from the right-hand menu - click on the tiny arrow).

Source: Combining paths in PS

  • 1
    While this method definitely works, it's much quicker to merge the shape layers using the Layers panel and Layers panel flyout menu as I suggested in the comments to Mark McDonald's answer.
    – George C
    Aug 11, 2016 at 19:31

If I understand you correctly you want to merge multiple overlapping paths into a single path element?

All the paths you wish to merge need to be on the same path 'layer' and selected. Then click on the 'Path Operations' button on the toolbar (it's available with the pen tool or either path selection tools). In the fly-out menu select 'Merge Shape Components'.

Note that the merge operation uses the per-curve boolean setting – i.e. 'Combine', 'Intersect', etc.

  • In order to first get all the paths on to a single layer, select all the paths you want to merge in the Layers panel. Then in the Layers panel fly-out menu, choose "Merge Shapes". Then follow the steps in this answer to merge the individual paths (now on one layer) into one path.
    – George C
    Aug 11, 2016 at 19:26

I suggest that if you are using two different paths and want to combine it into one path, use pen tool and click on the end path of one path and snap it to another path and join it. Photoshop does not have a separate join path by selecting anchor nodes like illustrator which has a join path option.

Hope this helps.


Select all of your paths by using the Path's Selection Tool.

Then, when all paths are selected, go to the top hot bar in Photoshop. Next to the buttons indicating [Shoe Bounding Box], you'll see a few selections next to it on the right such as Add to SHape Area, ect. Next to these there will be a button which says COMBINE. Click on that, and all of your lines with the Pen tool will combine into one giant line thing.

I don't know if that's what you were looking for, but I hope it helps!


You can also import them automatically merged by using GIMP and Inkscape when it comes to SVGs. Save the paths in Inkscape as an inkscape SVG file. Open the SVG file in Gimp, and check "Import Paths" and "Merge Imported Paths". Save as a TIFF file, then open the TIFF with Photoshop.

If you DON'T check "Merge Imported Paths" in GIMP, Photoshop will separate them (which can be a pain, as many as 400 separate paths some time).


If you are like me, you have annoying closed lines that you can't "weld" and remove. Here is my work around!

Have your two shapes together, and merge them into one layer like everyone else is saying. Even though they are one, you can still select them as individual paths with the "select path" solid arrow thingy. Do the whole shift-select to get them both highlighted (no marching ants) and then right-click and "Define Custom Shape". When you go back to your custom shape tool and form the new piece, the closed anchors should be resolved.

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