Merging Photoshop Shapes into One

This tutorial is relevant to you if you’ve got two or more overlapping shapes on separate layers and want to combine them to make the desired custom shape. You’ll find out how to merge several photoshop shapes that have already been created.

Also, you might want to define the combined shape as a photoshop custom shape and save it in CSH file format for later reuse.

Copying One Shape into Another Shapes’ Layer

If you tried to find a solution, you were probably thinking about using the “Add to shape area (+)” option. The problem is that it can only be used while creating a shape. What to do if you want to merge two already drawn photoshop shapes into one? Here is how:

  1. Step 1. Open Photoshop, create a new document and make two separate shapes, each shape on its own layer. Also, position both of them in a way you want the resulting merged shape to look:

    To merge photoshop shapes, position both of them in a way you want the resulting merged shape to look

  2. Step 2. In the layer’s palette, click on the vector mask thumbnail of one of the shape layers to select it. Selected vector mask will have a white outline and black border on the corners of the thumbnail. Press Ctrl + C (Cmd + C on a Mac) to copy the shape path:

    Copy one photoshop shape

  3. Step 3. Then click on the other shape layer’s vector mask thumbnail, and press Ctrl + V (Cmd + V on a Mac) to paste the copied shape into the selected one. Now you’ve got two shapes on one layer and can delete or hide the copied shape:

    Paste the copied photoshop shape into the selected one

  4. Step 4. Now, if you do not need to edit one or the other of the two paths on the resulting shape layer separately, you can combine them into one photoshop shape. Choose the Path Selection Tool from the Tools Palette and hold Shift while clicking on each of the shapes to select them all. You will see the square dots around each selected shape:

    Paste the copied photoshop shape into the selected one

  5. Step 5. Click the Combine button on the toolbar to merge your photoshop shapes:

    Click the combine button to merge photoshop shapes into one

The two photoshop shapes will merge together into one shape. Note – you won’t be able to separate the shapes you’ve just combined, so back up the original shapes if you need to use them.

You’ve just learned how to merge photoshop shapes into one combined shape – check out more photoshop shapes tutorials to improve your Photoshop skills!

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Author: Oksana Khristenko

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