Menu Close

What does vector mean in Photoshop?

In the context of Adobe Photoshop, “vector” typically refers to a vector shape or a layer containing vector graphics. Photoshop is primarily a raster graphics editing software, which means it works with images made up of pixels. However, Photoshop also includes vector capabilities for creating and working with vector shapes.


Here’s what “vector” means in the context of Photoshop:


  1. Vector Shapes: Photoshop allows users to create vector shapes such as rectangles, circles, polygons, and custom paths. These vector shapes are resolution-independent, meaning they can be resized without a loss of quality. You can find the vector shape tools in the toolbar, and you can draw or modify vector shapes using the Path Selection and Direct Selection tools.


  1. Shape Layers: When you draw a vector shape in Photoshop, it is typically created on a shape layer. Shape layers are special layers that contain vector information. You can edit the properties of the shape, including its fill color, stroke, and other attributes. The vector information allows for precise editing and scaling of the shape.


  1. Text Layers: Text layers in Photoshop are also vector-based. When you add text to an image, it is added as a text layer, and the text remains editable as long as the layer is not rasterized. This means you can scale, transform, and modify the text without losing quality.


  1. Smart Objects: Smart Objects in Photoshop can also be considered as a form of vector-like elements. When you convert a layer to a Smart Object, it retains its original quality and can be transformed without degradation. Smart Objects can contain vector or raster data, and they provide a non-destructive way to work with layers.


It’s important to note that while Photoshop has some vector capabilities, it is primarily a raster-based program. If you need advanced vector editing or if your primary focus is on vector graphics, you might want to use a dedicated vector graphics editor like Adobe Illustrator or other vector software. These programs are designed specifically for working with scalable, resolution-independent graphics.