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How To Create a Custom Brush in Photoshop

Tips for Creating and Using Custom Brushes in Photoshop


Custom Brush

Photoshop Custom Brushes

© Liz Masoner

Custom brushes can be very useful. Use them to paint texture onto an object, create seamless tiles, and much more. Any time you find yourself using a symbol repeatedly, you can define it as a brush and you'll always have it handy. Follow these steps to define a custom brush in Photoshop.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Make a selection around the area you want to use as a brush.
  2. In Photoshop 6 or later, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. You're done!

    If you have an older version of Photoshop, continue with the steps below...
  3. Go to the brushes palette (Window > Show Brushes).
  4. Click the menu button. This is the small arrow in the top right corner of the brush palette.
  5. Choose Define Brush from the pop-up menu.
  6. The new brush will appear at the bottom of the brushes palette and will be saved with the active palette.


  1. If you create a brush from a texture, it's a good idea to feather the edges of the selection before defining the brush.
  2. Adjust the spacing of a brush by double clicking its icon on the brushes palette. Custom brushes cannot be resized in Photoshop 6 and earlier.
  3. You may find more custom brushes in the "Goodies" folder of your Photoshop installation CD. (Some Photoshop versions)
  4. To delete a custom brush hold the Ctrl (windows) or Command (Mac) key down while clicking its icon in the brushes palette or preset manager.
  5. If you have a lot of custom brushes, it's a good idea to make a backup copy of your brush set. Brush sets are saved with an .ABR extension. In recent versions of Photoshop, vou can save them using the preset manager.
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