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Is it possible to draw a precise angle with the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop CS6?

By using Shift key it is easy to draw 45° or 90° but I need for example 37.45°.

2 Answers 2

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It would be far easier to draw in Illustrator and then copy paste into Photoshop. More on this later.

How to do this in Photoshop

Unfortunately theres no direct way of doing this in Photoshop. Don't let that discourage you it is still possible to this. We just need to fish slightly further.

  1. Draw a line on horizontal or vertical.
  2. Select the line.
  3. Enter free transform for the path and type in a angle in the top toolbar.
    • Important: Make sure you draw a closed path or the transform tool wont work. Don't worry you can delete the extra segment later. Or use line tool.
  4. Done.

 

  • Tip: you can move the rotation handle for precise work

image capture

Image 1: How to do this in PS.

Illustrator

Now in illustrator this is very straightforward:

  1. enable the line tool.
  2. Alt click on the point where you want the line to start
  3. Type in line lenth and direction
  4. Done, now copy paste the path to Photoshop.

Could this be done better.

Yes, we could make a script that does more or less what illustrator does. I dont have time right now but maybe somebody else does.

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You may consider, if no real solution arrives, using "Rotate Canvas" option.

  1. Draw one side
  2. Rotate the image (not the canvas as I originally wrote by mistake) by the desired angle, Image/Image Rotation/Arbitrary
  3. Draw the other side of the angle
  4. Rotate the image back by the same amount

This is awkward, I know, but that's the only thing I can think of.

UPDATE

It was in front of me all along! The simplest and totally non destructive way of working at any angle on any PS document is to use the "Rotate View" command, the shortcut being the letter R. Once in this view, the "view" can be rotated at precise angles by entering numeric values, or rotated freehand by click-and-drag. Since only the view is rotated, there is no image degradation at all. This should alleviate the worry that "image rotation" may degrade quality.

I wanted to add this to close the loop and present a very effective way of working on any image at any angle we want for various reasons. For the rotate view to work you may need to have graphic acceleration enabled in preferences.

Try it!

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  • Unfortunately the constrain directions atleast on my rotate with the canvas :( So if you need to be precise its not really doing it. You can still do this, with precision, its much more convoluted though.
    – joojaa
    Dec 24, 2015 at 15:01
  • I meant to say, "Image Rotate" which allows "Arbitrary" rotation. I will also correct in the answer.
    – user45605
    Dec 24, 2015 at 16:56
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    Ah yes that works +1. But it is destructive for the data. Instead, you could circumvent this by drawing in another document and copy paste over, in which case you could also dispense of one rotation.
    – joojaa
    Dec 24, 2015 at 17:09
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    It is "destructive" in the way it expands the canvas which can be trimmed after the work is done. But, doing it in another document and transferring to the original is a good idea.
    – user45605
    Dec 24, 2015 at 17:37
  • Here is a demo image showing the degradation, I've rotated back and forth by 23,47 degrees. So definitely destructive unless all your data is in a smart object in which case the matrix concatenations cancel out.
    – joojaa
    Dec 24, 2015 at 18:28

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