Change Default Options for Shapes in Photoshop CS6

New Photoshop CS6 have many new features including new options for Shape Layers. This is one of great improvements in new version. As everything else shapes have their defaults like color, stroke color, stroke width, stroke type… One thing that is noticeable is that Stroke have no color by default and Width of 3pt. Surprised? I am not at all. Although default Stroke weight in Illustrator and InDesign is 1pt, in Photoshop is 3. Good news is that you can change this defaults and reset them at any time you want, and here is (exactly) how that works in new Photoshop CS6.
Comparison default 3pt vs custom 1pt stroke

Start Photoshop
First you need to start Photoshop as you usually do without to open or create any document. By the way you can start Photoshop using keyboard shortcut, at list on Windows computers.

Select any shape tool and choose Shape for tool mode
When Photoshop window open select any shape tool (or press U keyboard shortcut).
Start Photoshop and choose any shape tool without any document open
Start Photoshop and choose any shape tool without any document open

Ensure that Shape option is active for Pick tool mode in options bar in order to see default options for shape layers.
Ensure Shape option is active for tool mode
Ensure Shape option is active for tool mode

Change any default setting
At this point you can change any default setting for Shape tool mode including Fill, Stroke fill, Stroke width and type (line, dashed, dotted). To change shape Fill first click triangle in bottom right corner of Set shape fill type. New pop-up window will open where you need first to select type of fill  at top of dialog. Last thing to do is to choose color, gradient or pattern by clicking on its thumbnail preview. Exactly same options are available and for Stroke through Set shape stroke type which is next option in the row.

Here is Julieanne Kost video on Adobe TV (if you haven't see it yet) with more details.

Change default Stroke width
To change Stroke width simply select number in Set shape stroke width text field and type new number. Press Enter to confirm or Tab to confirm and move to the next field. By the way you can type width in any measurement unit like 5mm, or 10px just do not forget to type measurement unit after number.
Change Stroke width, select number then type new one
Change Stroke width, select number then type new one

Create new Stroke type
Click arrow on the right side of Stroke type to open pop-up window where you can change more settings or even create new type by clicking More Options button.
Steps to create new Stroke type
Steps to create new Stroke type

Note: this changes are valid as defaults and after restarting Photoshop until you change them in the very same way without any document open or until you reset tool/tools what is next tip. One more information: default settings will be applied to every new shape including Custom Shapes and shapes which you can draw with Pen or Freeform Pen Tool.

Reset options for shapes to defaults
If you want to go back to defaults you can reset tool (s) at any time with or without document open. To reset tool to default options first select any Shape or Pen/Freeform Pen Tool from Toolbox. Right click on shape icon on the left side of Options bar and choose Reset Tool. Chosing Rest Tools will reset options for all tools located in Toolbox to their defaults. If you have any problem to reset options to defaults (you do not see default settings after right clicking and choosing Reset Tool), then you are probably working on XP. To solve this problem just save your document and restart Photoshop.
Reset tool to default options
Reset tool to default options

New options for shapes are really great improvements in Photoshop CS6 and this is was only one of tips you can change and manipulate new options. I will keep posting tips for new options in CS6 so stay tuned.

Photoshop Help / Drawing shapes
Photoshop Help / What's new in CS6

Product used in this tutorial: Adobe Photoshop CS6


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