View Full Version : Dashed Lines - Photoshop

03-30-2013, 08:51 AM
i found some ways to do a simple Dashed line, but still dont know how to do this Line in photoshop. Someone help me?


03-31-2013, 12:14 PM
That kind of line is not terribly straightforward in Photoshop. In my opinion, you're better off going to Illustrator, or perhaps Inkscape, for that kind of thing. I know it's fairly easy to set it up in Illustrator, but I've only used the very basics of Inkscape, so I couldn't give you any guidance there.

That said, it is possible in PS: Start by using the Pen tool or Freeform Pen tool to draw a path for your line. Then stroke it with a solid brush in the color you desire for your line on an empty layer. Make a new brush that is two vertical lines at the width of the smaller dot you desire in your line. Go to the Eraser tool and load up your new brush. Adjust the spacing so that it will hit at the frequency you desire, set the angle jitter to direction, and stroke the path with the eraser.

In case you're not familiar with the Paths feature in Photoshop: Before you draw your path go to the Paths palette, which should be behind the Layers and Channels palettes, and click the New button. This will ensure that you do not accidentally replace or add to any existing path when you make a new line. If there is already a work path there, drag that one to the New button first so you can save it for later if you need it. I suggest you keep a separate path for each line in case you want to adjust things later on or use slightly different settings for a given line. A path can be edited with the Direct Selection tool, but any strokes you've made will have to be erased and re-done if you decide to move or reshape the path. To perform the stroke, set up your brush with the brush tool selected, then go back to the Pen tool and right-click your path. Choose Stroke Path... from the context-menu, and you'll get a window with a drop-down box where you can select which tool you want to stroke it with. The tool you use will use the brush you most recently set up when you had that tool selected.

03-31-2013, 01:07 PM
In custom brushes you can pick a square brush, and with scatter to 0% you can set spacing to a fitting distance and paint a line or stroke a path in PS.

It is easier however to make the path in illustrator, copy it and paste it in PS afterwards... That of course require that you know how the path should be.

Easier then to import the map into illustrator and draw the lines there :)

03-31-2013, 01:43 PM
Yes i know tilt, i saw some tutos talking about it in ilustrator, just set the type of line that you want and done... but i dont have ilustrator :(

Thanks, i did using what Midgar said and is easy and cool :D


03-31-2013, 01:46 PM
No, the first "hint" was for Photoshop - the other two for Illustrator :) ... So you can make a dotted line in photoshop without having to delete.

03-31-2013, 02:04 PM
but how i can get the same distance btw the points? the spaces looks kinda randon

04-01-2013, 01:15 AM
Glad it's working for you. If you want to get really picky with it, you can make the edges rounded by sculpting the eraser brush a bit. Obviously, its shape will be a negative of the shape you want the line to have.

04-01-2013, 05:51 AM
pick a square brush, then under "brush tip shape" set the spacing to 200%. Then just draw a line. If you want the squares to follow the line instead of all being a 0 degrees, you need to click "shape dynamics" on and under "angel jitter", set control to "direction" and jitter to 0%.

05-01-2013, 04:27 AM
never thought of doing this with PS. good idea havin the 'negative' stroke on top of a solid stroke to get the effect. will need to try this out.

05-01-2013, 05:06 AM
Fantastik idea. Have to give it a try too.

05-01-2013, 10:16 AM
You don't really need the eraser as a separate application. Just use your choice of brush and pick a dual brush setting to suit. Save it as a tool preset for future use. You should be able to stroke a path with that without any issues, or you could just free-hand it.

05-01-2013, 08:18 PM
I tried the dual brush several times to see if I could get this effect, but I couldn't get it to work. If you could share a step-by-step, I'd very much like to see.

You can also approximate the look with a brush that has the dash and dot, but angle jitter won't bend the brush, only rotate it, so you wind up with a sort of faceted line. At least, that was the behavior last time I tried it, but that may have been as far back as version 7.0. In any case, I'd still rather do this kind of thing in Illustrator than PS.

05-02-2013, 11:08 AM
Here are some effects you can get with a simple round brush by adjusting these settings.


Edit: This isn't a dash & dot, just dash or dot. But I'm pretty sure you could get a dash & dot by creating a brush like what you did with the eraser technique above... two vertical lines but vary the width... then set the dual brush settings to refine.

05-02-2013, 11:34 AM
Here's a makeshift dot dash line using a dual brush on top of a circle-in-circle brush. I stroked a path with it, then removed the dual brush setting in the panel so you can see how the brush spacing is set on the base brush. Probably not as nice as Illustrator, but it works in a pinch.


05-02-2013, 06:12 PM
Ah! Now that's and interesting approach! I'll have to try to find some time to experiment with it sometime soon. I really do need to delve into the brush settings a bit more, anyway.