Smooth curves on photoshop

Hey there,
Does anyone have a solution for drawing smooth lines in photoshop. I have been using the pen tool to draw tabs for a slinding doors css menu but the curve on the corners looks blocky even with quite a minimal zoom. I have found tutorials which tell you to use to polygonal lasso tool but I cannot see any way to draw curves with this tool. Any advice?



Hi Will

The pen tool will get you closer to a smooth edge than anything else in Photoshop.

The rasterization effect (vector -> pixel) will always result in some form of pixelated edge on your curves.

Stick with the pen tool or a shape layer and you should get a pretty smooth result.


Yes, The pen tool is the best option for this! At first you will find it difficult to achieve what you’re looking for but with practice it will be a lot easier. There are tons of resources and tutorials about using the pen tool! A quick google search will be enough!

I concur. Pen tool is the best option.

Hi Silver Surfer

yes, definitely the pen tool and vector shapes are the way to go for nice smooth curves. You might be interested in this short tutorial I put up on the sitepoint blog showing how to use the rounded rectangle tool and a vector mask to get smooth corners on an image. You can see it here -

all the best


That’s a nice tute, Jennifer. I missed that one. I love the simplicity of your lessons. :slight_smile:

Try putting the anti aliasing options on. This will usually give you a smooth line as possible. Also, you can turn the rasterization effect off.

Am I right in assuming that you can get a lot smoother edges if you produced it in say illustrator (ie a vector image). Are there any problems with this in terms of using the created images on your web design?

Heh heh, I was going to suggest this, but thought it was technically off topic. But yes, I always use Illustrator for this sort of thing (that is, vectors and what not. I find it much easier to use and understand than Photoshop). And no, there are no problems at all using these images on the web.

If you want, you can create the rounded parts in Illustrator, and then open these in Photoshop and add gradients, shadows etc. These are better done with Photoshop, and the two programs work together very nicely.