What is The Difference Between a Path and a Clipping Path in Photoshop?

What is The Difference Between a Path and a Clipping Path in Photoshop?

Path and Photoshop clipping path are two essential terms used in Photoshop editing. They are both used to create paths for objects, but there is a subtle difference between them. If you are using Photoshop, you know that Photoshop has many different tools to perform complex photo editing tasks precisely.

To get the most advantage from Photoshop, you must learn the techniques before. However, the difference between path and clipping path is one of the basics you should know. If you don’t know, this article will help you to understand the difference between a path and a clipping path.

So, let’s jump right into the discussion below:

What is a Path in Photoshop?

Photoshop path is a line with two anchor points at both ends. This can be a straight or curved line, or you can create a shape or object using multiple lines with photoshop. To see what photoshop path is and how it works, you can use photoshop tools like pen tool, or you can use shape tool to create a shape and then make it selection to see the paths.

Photoshop path is very basic of photoshop. No matter what you do, you may need to work with paths and shapes in Photoshop. Understanding the use of photoshop path can help you create complex shapes and objects simply.

What is Clipping Path in Photoshop?

Clipping path refers to one of the advanced Photoshop editings which is mostly used to remove background from images in Photoshop. It is the best way to remove background from images, separate objects from the background, and in many other applications.

Clipping path is done with Photoshop pen tool. This tool provides a great way to create a path around an object. It creates a vector path with anchor points at each endpoint. You can turn an entire path into a selection and can alter anything you want in that selection.

For instance, if you want to change the hair color of any image, you need to select the hair part of that image using pen tool and then change the color as you want.

Now let’s see how path and clipping are different:

Difference Between a Path and a Clipping Path in Photoshop

So, it seems like path and clipping path are the same in Photoshop. Since both paths and clipping paths are vector lines and allow to create outlines around objects.

Let’s see how they are different in terms of meaning and use.

When we say path, it means a vector line that goes around a specific object showing the outline of the object initially. A path can be a single line with anchor points or an entire object selection. When you create a shape using Photoshop, the outline of the shape is a path.

In addition, if you want to create a path, you can do it automatically through the specific functions in Photoshop. For instance, if you want to see a path around an object in your image, just specify the object’s area using the rectangular marquee tool. Then from the layer panel, click on path panel and click on ‘Make work path from selection’ icon from the bottom of path panel.

Unlike creating path from selection automatically, clipping path allows creating path manually. It means you must select the pen tool and create a path yourself.

Pen tool is an advanced tool in Photoshop that requires a lot of practice to expertise and make the most use of it. If you aren’t familiar with pen tool, you can’t use this to create paths and selections.

Final Verdict

So, it is now clear that the terms path and clipping path are slightly similar in Photoshop, but they have different purposes to use.

Both path and clipping path provides excellent results when you use them for object selection or any other purpose. Generally, it becomes necessary in most Photoshop editing tasks, whether changing color, healing, or erasing background and objects.

To get the best result, use clipping path when you need to remove background from images and use automatic path when you just need to create a selection of lines around your object.

Hope the above discussion makes it easy to understand the differences between path and clipping path in Photoshop. However, it is important to know when to use path and when clipping path based on requirements.

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