Maybe this question seems easily but I don't know why it doesn't obvious in my current Photoshop settings.

  1. I select shape tool and draw somethings (such as circle, rectangle ...). I see at this step, I see properties panel for change shape attributes:

toolbar toolbar

  1. I select another layers (for doing some work, so I lost focus current shape). And then I choose again new created shape layer. After that I choose Move Tool to select shape. I cannot see shape toolbar again for editing. I just see this toolbar:

toolbar enter image description here

And here is my screen after I select Shape tool enter image description here

My question is: How can I select again shape and show shape toolbar for editing purpose ?

Thanks :)


1 Answer 1


Initially when you draw a primitive (rectangle, ellipse) you get the properties for that primitive. These are called "live shapes" in Adobe terms.

If you transform the shape, via free transform, it get's "baked in" and it is no longer a primitive or "Live Shape". It gets expanded, for lack of a better term, into a standard shape which is no longer "live". Customarily there is a warning telling you that the shape will no longer be a live shape. Are you missing that warning?

Once the live shape is expanded, there is no way to revert it to a primitive other than to redraw the shape with the Shape Tool so it is a primitive again.

Important Additional: Shape editing tools are only seen when a Shape Tool is the active tool. Switching to the Shape Tool will show the properties for live shapes again.

  • ah. thanks for your post. live shapes term I haven't heard before :D This will help me a lot for future learning. Here is two points: 1. I try to transform and meet the warning as you see. thanks for your post, I understand why. 2. Yes. Now, if I choose again Shape Tool for that layer, I can see shape toolbar again :D But about Live Shape Properties` (my second image), I still don't see it. Do you know why ? Thanks :)
    – hqt
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 18:20
  • If you don't see the shape properties with the Shape Tool active, then the shape is not a live shape. With the Move Tool active you never see any shape properties.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 18:22
  • I don't edit anything yet, just draw and select other layers and select again shape layer. Does this action will lost live shape attribute ? I have added 4th image to my question. This image is show when I select again shape layer. Please review it. Do I do something wrong ? Thanks :)
    – hqt
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 18:27
  • I think you may be missing you can not use the Move Tool. You must use a Shape Tool.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 18:31
  • Can you recheck again in my 5th image I have uploaded. As you see in this image, I have a shape layer is a pink rectangle. I also selected Shape tool as you see in left toolbar. You can see Shape Tool on top screen also, but at properties, it just appears mask rather than live shape attribute. Thanks :)
    – hqt
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 18:38

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