Normally when you click on the Brush tool, a palette appears somewhere on the screen and one of the many palette options is Brush Tip Shape. But I've seen a Photoshop tutorial on Pluralsight where the person who was painting opened the Brush Tip Shape right at the brush position on canvas, probably after pressing some hotkey. This way it's very close to the brush and you can adjust the brush tip direction quickly. But I can't find any information about such hotkey. So, how to open this palette on the fly?

enter image description here


This is a screenshot from my computer after right clicking on canvas (there is no square with arrow to adjust the brush direction): enter image description here


2 Answers 2

  • Mac: Control Click.
  • Windows: Right Click.

This should work with any painting tool. The cursor needs to be over the canvas though.

NOTE: Photoshop CS6 does not have the direction arrow in the popup panel. You have to use the Brush Panel for direction. I'm not certain which version of Photoshop CC introduced the direction indicator in the pop up. CC2017 has it.... and I'm unable to launch CC2014 to check that version (and don't want to spend time figuring out why I can't launch CC2014).

  • It's right click on macOS/OS X too (ctrl+click is just the shortcut for right-click since they decided to ditch the right mouse button. It's also a two-finger tap on a trackpad usually).
    – Cai
    Jan 23, 2017 at 20:49
  • Unless you use a Wacom tablet.. there there's no direct right click. I realize some mice and trackpads offer alternatives on the Mac to Control-click (I'm a lifelong Mac user). but Control-click still works.
    – Scott
    Jan 23, 2017 at 20:51
  • Oh yeh of course. I'm not disagreeing with you, just pointing out that ctrl+click essentially is a right-click.
    – Cai
    Jan 23, 2017 at 20:54
  • @Cai probably right there ... edited. I think my fingers didn't type what I was thinking (or vice versa)
    – Scott
    Jan 23, 2017 at 20:56
  • When I right click on canvas, on the palette that appears there is no arrow with brush direction in a square, only size and hardness sliders and a list of brushes below (see second screenshot in my post). Maybe it's only in CC version? (I have CS6).
    – camcam
    Jan 23, 2017 at 21:20

Right Click or Ctrl Click will open the panel. However the direction arrow doesn't exist before CC.

While on the subject of speeding up your brush work especially with mouse you may find it helpful to use Alt + Right Click on Mouse and then up/down does size while left right does softness. Unfortunately there's no implementation for rotation in this either. I don't remember if this existed before CC.

Photoshop CS6 workaround:

What some do is save their brush at a variety of angles and then use , and . to cycle between them. If you're mostly using one brush its not bad of course you'd still only be able to get close unless you want to make 359 different rotations to cycle through. I'd probably do degrees of 15 if I needed to do this. Here's a blog post on the subject if you need step by step instructions: Chris Oatley: Rotate Brushes Photoshop

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