How to Make a Triangle in Photoshop

Making a triangle used to be a bit of a workaround in Photoshop. It wasn’t difficult, but the technique wasn’t overtly obvious either. After the October 2020 update, there is a triangle tool in Photoshop but it doesn’t pop up automatically for everyone.

Hey there, I’m Cara. I’m here once again to demystify the exciting world of Photoshop. Let’s take a quick look at how to make a triangle in Photoshop and get you on the way to your next project!

Note: I use the Windows version of Photoshop. If you are using a Mac, the workspace will look slightly different from the screenshots displayed here.

Method 1: Using the Triangle Tool

With the new(ish) triangle tool, it’s simpler than ever to create a triangle in Photoshop. Simply head over to the toolbar on the left to find your shape tool. By default, the Rectangle is on top, but whichever shape you used last will be on top for you.

Right-click to access the tools hidden behind and select the Triangle tool from the list. While the triangle is on top, you can press U at any time to activate the triangle tool.

From here, just click and drag to create a triangle in your workspace. If you want the triangle to be equilateral (the same length on all sides) hold the Shift key while dragging. 

If your triangle isn’t appearing the way you expect, check to make sure the mode is set to Shape in the Options panel. 

Fill Your Triangle 

You can fill your triangle with a solid color, a gradient, a pattern, or nothing. Click on the color swatch next to the Fill button in the Options bar. The four boxes across the top allow you to make your triangle transparent, or fill it with a solid color, a gradient, or a pattern. 

Click whichever type of fill you want and everything below it will change to the tools and settings for that fill type.

To choose a color, you can pick from the recently used colors or click the color swatch in the top right corner. Then you can choose whatever color you please from the color picker. 

Outline Your Triangle

If you just want the outline of a triangle, set the Fill to transparent. Then move to the Stroke box to the right. Here you have the same four options for stroke type. 

To make a solid line, choose solid color. Directly to the right of the Stroke box, you can choose the thickness of the line in pixels. 

In the next box to the right, you can choose to use a solid, dashed, or dotted line. At the bottom of this panel, the Align function lets you put the stroke on the outside, inside, or straddling the triangle edges. You can also square off or round off the corners with the Corners function.

Can’t Find the Triangle Tool in Photoshop?

When the exciting triangle update rolled out back in 2020, it didn’t automatically appear in custom workspaces. Since most people use custom workspaces, they had to add the new tool manually. 

At this point, most people should have had the triangle tool pop up in their workspace at some point. But if you don’t see it in yours, here’s how to find it. 

Near the bottom of your toolbar on the left, you’ll see three dots. Right-click to make the Edit Toolbar function appear. 

In the window that opens, you’ll see the list of tools that are on your toolbar on the left and any extra tools on the right. 

Scroll down to the shapes section on the left. Then drag the Triangle Tool over to add it to the section.

Click Done. When you end up back in the workspace, you should find the Triangle tool nestled amongst the other shape tools.

Method 2: Making a Triangle with the Polygonal Tool

The old way of making a triangle is still available in Photoshop, which was to use the Polygonal tool. The benefit of using this method is that you can use it to make not only triangles but lots of other interesting shapes as well. 

Choose the Polygonal Tool from the shape tools on the toolbar.

You’ll get all the same settings in the Options bar for choosing the fill, stroke, etc. But there’s another box a little farther to the right. It has a hexagon with the number sign inside. This is where you choose the number of sides your polygon will have. 

To create a triangle, obviously, we want three sides. Put 3 in the box and then you can use the polygonal tool exactly as you used the triangle tool earlier. Click and drag to create a triangle, and hold Shift to make it equilateral.

The difference is that with this tool if you wanted a 10-sided shape, you could make that too!

Pretty cool, right? Photoshop has so many fun little tricks to create virtually endless design possibilities. Curious to learn more about making other shapes in Photoshop. Check out how to make a heart here or a star here.

About Cara Koch
Cara fell in love with photography circa 2014 and has been exploring all corners of the imagery world ever since. When she felt limited by Lightroom, she dove headfirst into Photoshop to learn how to create the images she wanted.

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