by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (18)


May 16, 2012

• There is a new badge for shape layers in the Layers panel (Shape layers are no longer represented by a Fill layer with a vector mask).

• Although the Shape Layer icon (badge) has changed, you can still double-click the shape layer icon to change the color of the shape’s fill.

• Because shapes are often very small in relation to the entire image, the Layers panel displays the contents of shape layers as large as possible in the Layer thumbnail – ignoring the relationship of the shape to the entire document (as other layers appear by default).

• Selecting a Shape layer in the Layers panel automatically displays the path in the image area (making it easier to quickly edit the shape).

• Command + H (Mac) | Control + H (Win) hides the path.

• Clicking on a shape in the image area with the Path Selection tool will automatically select that layer in the Layers panel.

• If you delete all of the paths on a shape layer, the layer will automaticallly be deleted.


  • By Jennifer Quick - 9:10 AM on May 16, 2012  

    When I open a CS5 file in CS6, the new Shape Layer badge shows up for my existing shape layers, but most of them have no preview of the actual shape, or of the color. Not very helpful when using existing files. The file becomes practically unreadable in the layers panel. Is there any way to force Photoshop to create the correct layer display?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:41 AM on May 17, 2012  

      Can you try making your icons larger (By selecting the Layers panel flyout and choosing the Panel Option item?

    • By Karen Bryant - 11:35 PM on June 5, 2012  

      Ahhh, I was just trying to find a solution to this problem too. I’ve tried making the icons larger but they don’t redraw the old layer icons. If I draw a new shape exactly the same size higher on the canvas than the shape originally created in CS5 then the new layer’s icon is fine. HOWEVER, if I draw a new shape DIRECTLY over the original shape on the canvas there is NO LAYER PREVIEW created (I wish I could send you a screenshot)! There is hardly anything to been seen of the shape layer icon created in CS5 no matter what size is selected. I’ve also tried quitting and restarting CS6. Do you know if this is a known bug?

  • By Dan - 9:32 AM on May 25, 2012  

    when i hit command H, photoshop goes into hiding. Any other quick key to hide the path?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 5:59 PM on May 28, 2012  

      The first time that you use this shortcut, Photoshop asks what you want to hide – “Would you like to use Cmd-H to hide Photoshop (Mac standard), or to hide/show selections, guides, etc. (Photoshop traditional)? At some point you chose to hide Photoshop.You can change this behavior by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Choose Shortcuts For: Application Menus and click the disclosure triangle to reveal all of the options under the View menu.Change the shortcut for View Extras back to Command + H (or whatever custom shortcuts you prefer).
      (I’m assuming that you are on a mac)

  • By Almir - 9:10 AM on July 17, 2012  

    “• Selecting a Shape layer in the Layers panel automatically displays the path in the image area (making it easier to quickly edit the shape).”

    This is absolutely horrible. When it outlines the shape, I can’t see how my layer styles (such as drop shadow) are being applied. I apply very subtle layer styles and the shape outline keeps getting in the way! I have to click apply the style, then click off to another layer. This is beyond annoying…. PLEASE, for the love of God, fix this!

    • By Julieanne Kost - 9:29 AM on July 17, 2012  

      You can use the shortcut Command + H on Mac, Control + H on Windows to hide the path.

  • By mathias - 7:39 AM on July 20, 2012  

    I’m terrified by the new Layers Panel’s vector layers icon “improvements”!

    Take an existing, complicated web design file with various layer types, including vector layers and try to scan it for certain layers that now lack a color swatch icon.

    And yes, how the path being highlighted all the time, when the layer is selected, is extremely unintuitive.

    I cannot believe this. It’s simply demoralizing.

    Yes, all the performance improvements are great, but honestly I’d trade them all just to fix the UI quirks. This is because the UI quirks have a constant affect on one’s workflow.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 5:30 PM on July 25, 2012  

      Does the new Layer Search help to find your vector layers?

  • By Rick Reyes - 8:47 AM on July 24, 2012  

    This is beyond annoying. Why fix something if it isn’t broken in the first place? At the very least make it a setting in the preferences.

    I work extensively with shape layers in my layouts and most often need to make “non-path” related modifications to these layers. Having the path selected by default is really killing my workflow as I cannot see my modifications properly with the path selected.

    I will have to “hide” the path before making the majority of my modifications every time I select one of the many (50-100) shape layers I have in my documents? Ridiculous!!!

  • By Arthur Taylor - 4:29 PM on August 1, 2012  

    Is there any way of deleting reference to effects that have been changed.
    Currently if I put in a drop shadow and then remove it the drop shadow reference remains in the layers panel but without the eye

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:14 AM on August 6, 2012  

      On the Layers panel, drag the Drop Shadow effect to the trash icon.

  • By Davi Elia - 11:45 AM on August 20, 2012  

    The old way is far too better… Since photoshop CS3 many things are getting worse… like remove “change layer content” submenu from layer menu…

  • By Andy Face - 4:56 AM on October 2, 2012  

    Across the board I think CS6 is far better than it’s predecessors, it’s a fantastic update.

    My only issue which is a big one, is why show the outlines of a shape layer when editing styles? It makes no sense at all, it is impossible to see subtle effects being applied. This doesn’t happen not with type, rasters or smart objects so why for shapes, it really is not needed. Hiding extras every time is not an ideal solution, as it is useful to have one when not editing layer styles.

    Please, reconsider the use of this function. I do not know anyone who finds it beneficial.

    • By Pete Green - 11:55 AM on October 3, 2012  

      Make sure you’ve updated your Photoshop to Choose Help > Updates to install the update.
      We have made changes regarding the shape layer outline behavior in this update.

  • By Grant - 11:17 AM on May 17, 2013  

    CS6 seems cool for the most part, but this path layer issue is pretty stupid. It’s important to easily be able to toggle the layer path on/off without using a shortcut (for checking layer styles, applying guides, etc…). I don’t really understand why Adobe would do away with the color and path separation on the layer display – please bring it back!