How do I convert a shape path to a working path in Photoshop CS5?

How I have tried: I have searched through the tools in the program and search through forums and the Adobe help site on the web.

  • 2
    Please explain what you mean by "shape borders" and why they aren't paths to begin with. Shapes (drawn with the vector tools) are created via a series of connected paths.
    – Scott
    Dec 30, 2013 at 18:06
  • @Scott: If you draw a shape with the shape tool. Then choose a border size in "Blending options". It's in pixels. Not like "vector dynamic". The border do not stay in proportion to the shape when you resize the shape. Dec 30, 2013 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


Select the shape path by using the Path Selection tool Path Selection Tool

Once selected, copy the path with Ctrl/Cmd-C.

You've now copied a path. Pasting this onto a shape layer will turn it back into a "shape", but pasting into a non-shape layer will just leave you with a path.


I don't have a "border size" anywhere in Blending options, but you are right, layer styles do not scale when transforming shape layers.

You have to scale the shape, then scale the layer styles separately.

You can't easily set any layer style aspect as vector data. If you want layer styles to scale with the layer, convert the layer to a Smart Object before scaling it.

Photoshop CS6 and newer made this easier with Vector layers as opposed to CS5s Shape layers. Vector layers allow for a stroke setting which is vector based and more easily scaled.

  • I'm so sorry.. I meant "Stroke". I thought "Border" was the name for it but was wrong. I will try Smart Object. Dec 30, 2013 at 18:40

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