I'm following this guide because I want to learn some icon design in PS, and I have the CS6 beta.

I believe the author is using Photoshop CS5, while I'm on CS6 beta right now.

At this part in a guide I'm following:

Screenshot image

I don't see these options in CS6. How do I replicate them? This is my toolbar for the shape tool:

PS6 toolbar image

4 Answers 4


In CS6 one of the more exciting changes for designers is the fact that the shape layer functionality has been replaced by Vector Layers, which allow for true fill and stroke and a number of other functions that were never possible with the old Shape Layers. It caused a small sensation in the early beta, and a lot of what you see now in the new tool is the result of feedback and interaction with the engineering team (true of almost everything new in CS6 -- very few features get to final release unchanged from their original prototypes).

See this video by Julianne Kost which explains the new functionality.

  • You should bold that "true fill and stroke." :) So many just aren't aware of how different Photoshop CS6 is in regards to this. Shape layers were nothing compared to vector layers :)
    – Scott
    Apr 30, 2012 at 14:52
  • Done! There's so much that's been radically improved in CS6 it's hard to know where to start, but you're right: true vector layers is huge. Apr 30, 2012 at 19:19

All the shape and boolean operations are still there.

The shape options are now under a single dropdown menu.

Photoshop CS6 shapes

And, boolean operations are now under a single icon. They still function the same though.

Photoshop CS6 boolean

So the only big difference is that you'll have to select the ellipse tool from the tools panel, rather than the options bar. It's also worth noting that some of the options have moved, like snap to pixels (this is now a global preferences setting).

Additional Tips

When using the vector tools to draw a shape, you can hold shift (then click and start drawing) to add the shape to the current layer. The same works with option to subtract and shift-option to intersect.

Command-shift-H hides the Target Path, making it far easier to edit effects like inner shadow, that are near the edge of a vector shape. Hiding the Target Path works almost all of the time, even when the Color Picker or Gradient Fill window is open (but surprisingly, not when the Gradient Editor window is open).

Making a vector layer visible or clicking on the canvas with the Path Selection or Direct Selection tool will bring back the path outline, as will hitting Command-shift-H a second time. Being able to hide the path outline was possible in Photoshop CS5, but it’s so handy it deserves to be mentioned again here.

More tips on CS6 and vector shapes: Vector shapes in Photoshop CS6


The first option you've circled is the drop-down menu that says "Shape" in your CS6 screenshot.


Click the dropdown at the top right and select new workspace, this will bring it back :). I was stressed when I could not figure this out lol.

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