Believe I have a bug here:

After using Pen tool to make paths on a file, Pen tool will just give-up and ignore requests to 'Make Selection,' 'Stroke' the new path or 'Fill' the path. I've checked the circumstances where this problem goes away and they involve:

  1. Saving the file as another iteration, Naming_convention_02.psd to Naming_convention_03.psd. Exiting from Photoshop and coming back into working on the project jiggles the right bits loose and it starts working as advertised.
  2. Saving then exiting Photoshop and resetting the computer.

If I am toggling something in Photoshop, this shouldn't work to fix the tool. Pen tool seems to have an arbitrarily numbered amount of uses before it 'breaks' and I have to jump out and jump back into Photoshop to keep working. If there is a faster work around or something I toggle that 'breaks' the tool, please help me to quit doing that!

  • maybe deleting your preferences file will help. did you try that already? Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


Depending on your version of Photoshop, with the Pen Tool selected you should see these options in the top left:

Pen tool options

Here you've got the Selection... option, but if you click the drop down and switch from Path to Shape it gives you the fill and outline options.

If for whatever reason they're greyed out, the only other way I could think to get around this is to switch from the pen tool (P) to the select tool (A) once you have finished the path. Right clicking with Select tool should bring up the options you're looking for.

Hope this helps.


What fixed the problem for me was putting the pen path on its own layer. For some reason it doesn’t have a fill or stroke option if there is text or anything else on that layer.


Another way that worked for me was to select the paths tab in the right hand pane next to the layers and channels tabs

Then right click the "work path" that appears and select Make Selection.

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