Beginner here. I am trying to create a shape in Photoshop (CS4) which is like a right arrow but with the 'arrow' part laterally opposite (i.e. instead of ---> I want ---<). After trying many other things, I tried using the Pen tool. I did the following, remember the paths are closed (I believe).

enter image description here

However, when I save it as a PDF/JPEG, the pen-ed shape does not show up. What could be the reason and a possible solution?

1 Answer 1


When you draw with the Pen Tool in Photoshop, especially in older versions, you draw mere paths. Window > Paths will show your paths. Paths have no inherent appearance -- no stroke, no fill, nothing.

You must either stroke the paths (Edit > Stroke) on a new layer, or create a shape from the paths (Layer > New Fill Layer) and apply fills.

Unlike more recent versions of Photoshop, CS4 has no fill or stroke options directly related to paths. Were you using a newer version of Photoshop, you could merely alter settings for the paths.

I'd love to give you a quick link to how things work in CS4, unfortunately that version is so old, it's difficult to find anything directly relatable.

  • I selected the path using Ctrl+Shift+tap, and did the Edit > Stroke, but it said - 'Could not stroke the layer because there is nothing to stroke'. What could be going on? Also, for the simple shape I am trying to achieve here, is there a simpler solution? I am finding the Pen tool a bit difficult as you have to place anchors manually, and the resultant line is not always horizontal etc.
    – user1995
    Apr 24, 2017 at 17:36
  • 1
    To stroke a path, you have to have -- the path selected AND the brush tool active AND a raster layer highlighted which allows painting on it. To be honest, it's been 5+ years since I did this.. so I'm really going from memory here. Other than drawing the path directly with the pen tool, the only other options would be to A) paint it with a brush or B) see if you can find a downloadable custom shape somewhere to use (possible, but needle in a haystack).
    – Scott
    Apr 24, 2017 at 17:48

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