March 18th, 2008

Tutorial: Creating Dotted Lines Using Photoshop

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to customize a brush in Adobe┬« Photoshop┬« to create dotted lines.

Going Dotty

There are a total of 8 images (about 150kb), not including the masthead, in this tutorial.

Step 1

Select the Brush tool from your tools palette, alternatively, just type “B” on your keyboard.
If the tools palette is not visible, go to the menubar and click Window > Tools.
Creating a dotted line brush - step 1

Step 2

With your Brush tool selected, click the “Brush Palette” icon on your Brush Options bar.
Alternatively if you have Brushes in your Dock, you can click on that too.
If your Brush Options bar is not visible, click Window > Options.
The shortcut to bring up your Brush Palette on a PC — simply press F5. Creating a dotted line brush - step 2

Step 3

On the Brush Palette box, click on Brush Tip Shape (Giant Cursor 1)
In this example, we’re using a 5-point brush, so click that in the Brush type on the right. (Giant Cursor 2)

Creating a dotted line brush - step 3

Step 4

Adjust the spacing by moving the indicator arrow (typically the default is set to 25%). Alternatively, you can type in a number, up to 1000%, directly into the input box. We are using 200% in this example.
The pane below shows you a preview of how your brush stroke will look like.
Creating a dotted line brush - step 4

That’s it! *Applause*

You can now proceed to use your new, fancy spot-drawing brush but if you want to save this style for future use (without going through these steps again and again) follow these additional steps:

Additional Step 1
Click the “Tool Set Picker” on the Brush Options bar.

Saving your custom brush - Step 1

Additional Step 2

Click on “Create New Tool Preset” icon.
A dialog box will prompt you to enter a new name for your brush.
Enter a meaningful name like, “My Brush 5pt, 200% Space” and click OK.
The next time you want to reuse this brush, just click on the “Tool Set Picker” and click your brush name.

Saving your custom brush - Step 2

That’s the end of the tutorial.
Now go nuts with dots!

Dotted lines

Day 18


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Thanks for this. I was just trying to figure out how to do this the other day. Do you know how I can draw a dotted or dashed line border around a shape?
Lady S  at 12:40 pm on March 24, 2008
I'm planning to do a tutorial on that so watch out for it!
Ginger M  at 10:33 pm on March 24, 2008
[...] Previously, we learnt how to customise a brush to create dotted lines in Adobe Photoshop. Today I’ll show you a how to customise your brush further to create multi-coloured dotted lines. [...]
Tutorial: Colourful Dotted Lines in Photoshop | Growing Happiness  at 1:34 am on March 26, 2008
[...] a dotted circle. Before that… Have you created a dotted brush? If not, please follow the Creating Dotted Lines Using Photoshop tutorial. Additionally, you may want to learn how to create Colourful Dotted Lines. Have the correct [...]
Tutorial: Creating Dotted Shapes Using Photoshop | Growing Happiness  at 1:00 pm on April 2, 2008
I'm so frustrated!!! I want to do this desperately, but I can't seem to find that window you are using in step 3. There is o define brush shape anywhere in any of my windows. I'm using CS3 on Mac. Help!!
Stacey  at 6:32 pm on March 12, 2009
Have you tried pressing the F5 key? It should toggle the window.
Ginger M  at 11:21 pm on March 22, 2009
[...] doing a quick search of the internet. I actually have been wanting to find this so now I know too! Tutorial: Creating Dotted Lines Using Photoshop | Growing Happiness __________________ Julie DeGuia Kennewick, [...]
Anyone know how to make straight diagonal solid and/or dotted lines? - Digital Scrapbooking Community - DesignerDigitals  at 8:42 pm on May 28, 2009
Great tutorial!!! Thanks! :)
Tiffany  at 3:43 pm on June 17, 2011
Thanks for this really helpful tutorial! :)
Ces  at 1:51 am on November 24, 2011
Thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
Alanna  at 8:51 am on February 17, 2012

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