How to Create a Dotted Line in Photoshop

By Tata Rossi 8 days ago, Photoshop Tips

It may seem ridiculous, but even advanced Photoshop users may wonder how to create a dotted line in Photoshop. This is because Photoshop doesn’t offer any direct method that allows you to draw a dotted line, so you will need to be a bit inventive.

Dashed lines may serve as an excellent design element if you properly use them. Moreover, it is relatively easy to draw them.

Method 1. Make a Dotted Line with Brush Tool

This method is suitable for drawing arbitrary, curved dashed lines and straight lines. I think that this is the easiest and really convenient way to make a dotted line in Photoshop.

1. Open Brush Tool Settings

Click on the Brush tool (B) and set its hardness and opacity to the maximum. Go to the brush settings by clicking on the brush folder icon or just press F5 (Fn + F5).

make a dotted line brush tool setting

2. Customize A Brush

All you need is to check the box next to “Spacing” and set the desired distance between the points.

3. Done! Use a Dotted Line

That's all! If you try to use the Brush tool now, you will see that it now draws with a dotted line. You can change its color and even apply different texture brushes if you have them installed.

draw dotted line in photoshop

In case you need to draw an ideally straight dashed line, hold down Shift, select the starting point and the endpoint.

Method 2. Create a Straight Dotted Line with the Pen Tool

This is one of the most popular methods for drawing straight dashed lines. However, I don’t consider it to be convenient, since it requires using two tools. The result isn’t inferior to the previous method.

1. Adjust the Brush Tool Like in Method 1

Start with adjusting the Brush Tool as you did in Method 1.

adjusting the brush tool

2. Adjust the Pen Tool

Now select the Pen Tool (P) and proceed to the Paths mode at the top menu.

dotted line in photoshop with the pen tool

3. Draw a Straight Line

Create a new layer, set start and endpoints. If you want to draw a straight horizontal line, just hold Shift.

draw a straight line with the pen tool

4. Add a Dotted Line

To add a dotted line in Photoshop, right-click on the path you’ve just drawn and choose the Stroke path. In the pop-up window, select Brush.

add a dotted line in photoshop

5. Done! You Have Created a Dotted Line with the Pen Tool

Once you’ve made a simple and straight dotted line, you can adjust its color by choosing the Color Tool before creating a stroke path. However, a path line will be still visible. You can remove it by selecting the Paths panel and deleting the Work Path layer. As soon as you remove it, the path line will disappear.

make a dotted line with the pen tool

Method 3. Draw a Curved Dotted Line with Pen Tool

If you aren’t sure that the curved line drawn by hand with the Brush tool in Method 1 will be straight enough and your hand won’t slide while drawing, then use this method.

1. Adjust the Pen Tool

To draw a dotted line in Photoshop, use Method 2 and adjust the Pen Tool.

2. Draw a Curve with the Pen Tool

If in the first case you need to set only two points, now you need to set several points, based on the shape of the line you want to make. Drag the points and shape the line as needed.

draw a curved dotted line

3. Add a Dotted Line

Right-click on the line you’ve just drawn and select the Stroke path. In the pop-up window, select Brush.

draw a curved dotted line with pen tool

Method 4. Create a Dotted Shape

It is possible to make dotted lines in Photoshop for any shape and form.

1. Use the Shape Tool

To create a dotted line, you will need to use the Shape Tool instead of the Pen Tool. To draw a circle, use the Ellipse Tool. In case you want to create rectangles and squares, select the Rectangle Tool. For creating complex and custom dotted shapes, choose the Custom Shape Tool, etc.

create a dotted shape

2. Draw the Shape

Select one of the shapes, such as the Ellipse Tool, and draw it on the canvas.

3. Change the Stroke Options

Click on the Stroke icon in the shape settings at the top. Then, select the dotted line.

create a dotted shape in photoshop

If you need to adjust the dotted line in more detail, increase the gaps or the lines, select More Options.

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