Photoshop: Please let us change the Pen tool path color

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  • Idea
  • Updated 1 week ago
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  • (Edited)
Sometimes the whole "shades of grey" thing just doesn't cut it, and becomes very hard to follow.
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Kris Dick

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  • frustrated

Posted 5 years ago

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David Jensen

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Last time I complained about this I just got excuses about how it's Apple's fault (why CS5 path visibility is worse than all previous versions). This is a good way to improve it if we are stuck with the poor blending modes of Cocoa.
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Hi David. I think that what you got was an honest explanation, not excuses: from what I gathered, the blending mode used in the carbon versions of Photoshop was not available in Cocoa when CS5 was written... So do we need to wait for Apple to add that blending mode in their Cocoa API's in order to get the previous useful behavior (as I guess Photoshop engineers have filed the absence of said blending mode as a bug). There was a new release from XCode, let's hope that it will brought it...
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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Yes, that is the correct explanation -- also OpenGL is lacking similar blend modes. We've been trying to figure out ways around that lack, but none have been satisfactory yet.
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cindy toman

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I came looking for a way to change the path color also. I take product pictures and sometimes it's very difficult to see where the path line is in order to adjust a curve especially. Seems it would be a simple thing to be able to choose the (path) pen tool, right click (as it brush, clone or many other tools) and instead of a size or shape option, choose a different color. Problem solved.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Chief Customer Advocate

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Kris, good request. I think this is something we should investigate improving. The ability to change the color could also help users who have trouble seeing certain colors (color blindness) as well.

I would look at this at this topic to improve the visibility of Paths and Guides in Photoshop CS5:

It's hard to see the paths/lines that are drawn using the pen tool in Photoshop CS5.
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Jeffrey, while similar to that topic, this one might open other possibilities: having a color attribute for each path might be useful in some cases. I could see Bert Monroy using it a lot to differentiate picture elements.
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Jim Kahnweiler

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If you draw a path on a channel, having the ability to toggle between black and white would be a big help.
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edward.caruso

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even with antialias paths off it is still really hard to see paths and brush cursers too. please get it back like it was before in CS3. the way the path would alternate depending on the bkgd was great.
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Chris Cox, Sr. Computer Scientist

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As explained above, we cannot go back to the way it was in CS3 because the blend modes we used are not available in OpenGL, or in the Cocoa API for MacOS.
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roman weiser

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An excellent suggestion Kris!
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Edwin Mease

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For many years now we have had the ability to change the color of layers in Illustrator, this is very helpful when make a new path or editing an old one to be able to change the color of the path. Many times I am battling the color of the image with the color of the path in photoshop because gray just blends in with the image. The solution right now is to add an adjustment layer to the image and put and extreme adjustment on it so that the path is more easily viewable. Please make the paths color an adjustable option like Illustrator in photoshop this would be greatly appreciated.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Changing path color adjustably options.
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Gregg Cavagnaro

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Amen! I have been wishing for this function for years! In a commercial photography environment, much of what we shoot is a silo, so the subject is photographed on gray. I have a difficult time seeing the pen tool at a 50% gray tone. I would think that if we can change the transparency checker-board color that with a newer release would allow the tool color to change. When using the healing brush this occurs too, but then I turn my brush into a "precise brush" (cross-hair) by setting the caps lock.
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Edwin Mease

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Why is this such a difficult thing for the programers to do? We have layers in Indesign and you can change the layer color. We have layers in Illustrator and you can change the color. Then we have photoshop it has layers channels paths but none of it has a option to assign a color choice but you can assign a color identifier for actions. I can only hope that one day the light goes on for the adobe gurus that this is a valid and important need.
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roman weiser

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I agree 100%! It is virtually impossible to see the path line drawn on top of 50% neutral gray and similar shades since CS4 introduction of the thinner, finer path line indicator.
The option to change the color or thickness of the path line seems the right thing to do. Adobe?
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Suzette Resting

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I just came up with a workaround that helps me. Make a duplicate of the layer you are working on clipping, apply a gradient color overlay using light gray, set the opacity to be able to see the item being clipped. The light gray overlay helps the path to pop out.
Suzette
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john hughes

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I like the cut of your Jib Suzette!
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Ben Van Heel

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I use work paths a lot in Photoshop at my job. Unfortunately, in CS5, the color of the work path is 50% gray. The problem is that the background is the same color in the photos I take. It would be great if you could adjust the color of the work path much as you control the color of paths on different layers in illustrator. The work path is very hard to see against a background that is nearly the same color. Thanks.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Can you change the color of a work path in Photoshop?.
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Mark Levesque

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Absolutely agree. Letting us change the work path to a color would make life so much easier when cutting out gray products on a neutral background.
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Scott Mahn

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Please do this, guys.

BTW, Adobe, good work on implementing so many other feature requests thus far.
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Claudia Howe

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I am sure someone already mentioned but why not bring those features from Illustrator to Photoshop. Make the color of the guides and path the same color as the layer property.

It sounds easy to bring that functionality since it already exists in AI, but I am probably wrong and it's a huge issue.

I would love that!
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Aly Schneider

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In Photoshop CS6, you should be able to change the color and width of the pen tool, because it is so hard to see the path line when making clipping paths around a light gray object.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Changing color of the path.
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Simon Potter

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Ok, I understand the blending modes issue. But that's still assuming the path should be grey. If the user was allowed to set the color of the path to any HSL value, the blending mode wouldn't be as much of a barrier. If I could set my path color to 100% black, I'm guessing it would be much more visible.
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joshua withers

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I can't believe there was so little improvement on the Pen tool and Paths panel with the JDI initiative in CS6. It has been almost a decade since I have seen any change with the Pen tool. I have been asking for Path improvements with every Beta testing session.

I have figured out dozens of work arounds but it is frustrating and time consuming. For example, i have been making Vector masks so i can see what i am doing, and so i can organize all my paths into folders, and transform them together, etc...

I should be able to do that stuff in the Paths Panel.

Additionally, when you have so many paths that you can't expand your paths panel anymore, and you click on a path, it is very hard to de-activiate it (there is nowhere to click off the path).

Please please please Adobe... realize that nearly every professional retoucher (especially car retouchers) will create a path before using some of the selections tools. The pen tool needs to grow up!
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Mike Lippeth

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I use the pen tool a lot and this is a great feature request!
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Frank J Benz

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I am sure this is not a new idea and may have been requested in the past and it has to do with the Pen Tool. I have been using Photoshop for years and currently and using CS6 Extended and just love the program and the only gripe, if you will, I have is with the line/path that the Pen Tool creates when used. It has become increasingly difficult to see this line/path as it has become so very fine and almost blends in with the colors I am trying to work around. I would love to see the ability to either change the color of the line/path being created or the ability to increase the size of the line/path. The size of the Pen Tool cursor is and never has been an issue but the line/path is. On the newer high resolution screens, such as the Retina Displays, this problem seems to be even more pronounced. Do not know how difficult it would be to make something like this happen but I would really like to see you folks at Adobe look into it and I am sure that many others besides myself would be extremely happy. Thanks

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Pen Tool Line/Path Needs To Be Adjustable In Size/Color.
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cindy toman

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I came looking for a way to change the path color also. I take product pictures and sometimes it's very difficult to see where the path line is in order to adjust a curve especially. Seems it would be a simple thing to be able to choose the (path) pen tool, right click (as it brush, clone or many other tools) and instead of a size or shape option, choose a different color. Problem solved.
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Claudina Bravo

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I can't believe why they don't give you choice to change the path color in PS. So close to be the perfect software. What a pity.
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way phat

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Please Adobe, the sooner the better.
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Matthew Willis

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I use Photoshop almost every day and not having control over the color of the pen tool path is a source of constant frustration. I'm slowed down because so often they grey color become invisible over the color of the thing I'm traciing.

With every new version that comes out, this is the thing I most hope they've fixed and I'm always, always, always disappointed.
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RENÉ SIMMEN

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4 years and no solution for paying professional users besides clumsy workarounds!
maybe professionals should start donating "licencing fees" to opensource projects..
more competition will probably be a healty thing here.
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D g

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This isn't a solution as such but might help. Add a black layer below the target image and set the image opacity to around 30% to make it darker or however else you want to do it. Then it's easier to see the light-coloured path. To speed things up set it as an action