by Julieanne Kost
The video below includes several of the path creation and selection improvements in Photoshop CC including Isolation Mode, anchor point repositioning, anchor point and path selection behavior, and path operation shortcuts.
Following is additional (and in some cases, updated) information about the features:
As was explained in the video, to use Isolation mode, select the desired layers in the Layers panel, and choose Select > Isolate Layers or toggle the Filter switch at the top right of the Layers panel. Only the layers that are selected will be displayed in the Layers panel.
However, when Isolation mode was first introduced, “toggling off” or exiting Isolation mode, simply turned off the filter in the Layers panel, instead of resetting the Layer Filter. Now, in the 2014 release of Photoshop, toggling Isolation mode “off”, resets the Layer Filter to default values.
Note: Isolation Mode is inactive when using the Direct/Path Selection tools in Active Layers mode.
Path Operation Shortcuts in Photoshop CC
To apply path operations to shape layers after they are created, select the desired path(s) and use the following shortcuts:
• Tap the + (plus) key to Combine Shapes (set the path operation in the Option bar to Combine Shapes).
• Tap the – (minus) key to Subtract the front shape (set the path operation in the Option bar to Subtract Front Shape).
• Tap the / (Forward slash key) to set the path operation to Intersect Shape Areas. Note: this shortcut was added to Photoshop CC.
• Tap the * (multiply) key to set the path operation to Exclude Overlapping Shapes. Note: this shortcut requires input from an extended keyboard (shift + 8 for * does not work). This shortcut was also added to Photoshop CC.
You might also find the following shortcuts helpful when drawing multiple shapes (even though they are not new to Photoshop CC) to apply path operations. Note: path operations change the way that shapes in Photoshop can interact with each other.
• Shift -drag adds a newly drawn shape to the current shape layer and combines it if the two paths overlap (and the path selection operation in the Option bar toggles to Combine Shapes).
• Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) -drag adds a newly drawn shape to the current shape layer and subtracts the new path if the two paths overlap (and the path selection operation in the Option bar toggles to Subtract Front Shape). Note: after you start drawing the second path using this shortcut keyboard modifier, you can release to drag the shape from the corner instead of the center.
• Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) -drag adds a newly drawn shape to the current shape layer and displays the intersection of the shapes if the two paths overlap (and the path selection operation in the Option bar toggles to Intersect Shape Areas).
• I do not know of a shortcut to access the Exclude Overlapping Shapes path operation.