Please consider this image below : enter image description here

This is happened when I have a circular shape (marquee tool selection). THen after that I converted to Work Path (by right click of that selection). And I add 2.0 as its Tolerance Pixel.

After applying it. The shape become not perfect, could you see the difference? I make it with a black background so everyone could see it from the image no.2.

I realized this is a problem, because If i use that path for placing a text. the text wont follow the correct path as circular (selection), instead ... the shape a bit changed (i think it's ugly shape :: see the detail of the arrow).

How to solve this case ? I'm using Photoshop CS3.

  • 2
    Is there a reason you just don't use the Shape tools to create a circle path to begin with?
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 1:16
  • because for later use, I want to make a smaller circle the same shape... only make it smaller by using SELECT| MODIFY | CONTRACT... it's easier isn't?
    – gumuruh
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 2:13
  • 3
    No it's not easier. You can duplicate and transform paths.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 2:48
  • You could use a vector smart object
    – KJP
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 9:14

3 Answers 3


Convert to work path is simply the wrong tool here. Pixel data to path data conversion is not a perfect process. Its a image trace which is also known as a curve fitting. Expecting it to be perfect is the problem here. Use shape tools instead of converting from selections.


When shrinking raster shapes (or pixel-based selections), Photoshop makes its best guess with what to do with the parts of the selection that are straddling 2 pixels. Unfortunately there's no data in a raster selection that says, "Hey, I'm an ellipse, keep me a perfectly smooth ellipse."

If instead you used vector shapes, duplicated them and then scaled them down, you wouldn't see this issue.


It is possible that the screen is running at a non optimal resolution. Pay attention to its native resolution and switch to that and see what happens.


I presumed you were using a standard still image file and keeping the Shift key pressed when dragging the Elliptical Marquee tool. I noticed that your selection marquee is not circular. The file you are using may have been created with "Pixel Aspect Ratio" set to something other than 1:1. To see if that is the case, go to "View/Pixel Aspect Ratio Correction" on the menu and see if it has a ratio other than 1:1. If so, change it to 1:1 and see what happens.

  • unfortunately it's not resolution case. I tried with a different laptop using different resolution but the case same.... :(
    – gumuruh
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 2:11
  • The document may not be using 1:1 pixel aspect ratio, or the correction for that may be turned on by accident, see my edited answer.
    – user45605
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 13:37

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