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Here's something that can create a lot of confusion. Because we have these three different behaviors, two of which are very useful, there is a good chance that you get the one that you don't want. And so how do we convert a shape layer to a path or how do we convert a path to a shape layer? So let's start out with a shape layer. I'll draw myself a shape and let's say I now realize actually I didn't want to a shape, after all I wanted a pen path. Well, if we come to the Paths panel, on the Paths panel the vector mask of that shape layer is listed right there, Shape 1 vector mask.
If I double-click on that I can save it as Path 1. I can now come to my Layers panel and I can delete the shape layer, but we still have Path 1 left. So that's how we go from a shape layer to a path. Let's now say we drew this as a path and we realized actually I want a shape layer. So we have the path active and if it's not active, come to the Paths panel, click on it, and now come to your Layers panel, and come down to your adjustments layer, and choose Solid Color, whatever color you want, and then that solid filled layer uses your vector mask, just as if you had drawn the shape layer to begin with.
So that's how we go from a shape layer to a path and vice versa.
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