PS 02 - Photoshop - How to Create Rounded Corners with Circles

20 September, 2012

You might be thinking why the heck you want to use circles to create rounded corners when you have a 'Rounded Rectangle Tool' inside photoshop.

To create square or rectangle you can use rounded rectangle tool, but what if you need a rounded corners on different shapes and what if you need to tweak only one side of the square.

Rounded rectangle tool has its limitations. And the only way to solve this is to use basic circles to achieve the same effects, and also we can have individual controls on corners.

01. To get more control on the corners and to increase and reduce the size smoothly, we need to use shape tools (rectangle and ellipse), shortcut is 'U'.

I've just created a simple square with the rectangle shape tool.

02. Then to make the corners rounded, lets select 'Ellipse Tool'.

03. Create a perfect circle with the ellipse tool and place it inside the square.

04. Make sure the circle is on the same layer.  If you do not select 'Add to Shape Area (+)' option from the top, then you will end up creating a circle in a new layer. You can then cut and paste it into the same square layer.

05. You can then duplicate the same circle and place it on all four sides of the square.

06. Again duplicate the same circle and place it outside the square.

07. Make it on all four sides.

08. Click the 'Subtract from shape area (-)' option from the top (make sure the outside four circles are selected before you switch to subtract.)

09. Now select the inside four circles.

10. Go to Edit > Cut (Ctrl X / Cmd X).

11. Go to Edit and Paste (Ctrl V / Cmd V).

12. Why do we need this cut and paste is, we have selected the subtract option for the outer circle, which end up cutting the inner circle.

The inner circle is our rounded corner. So, we just cut the inner circle and paste it on top, which overlaps the outer circle.

13. Now we have perfect rounded corners.

14. You can even create the rounded corner inside the square.

15. Now we have rounded corners on outside and inside.

16. You can also use get the same effect on shapes too.

17. Here's the option of creating a rounded corners on only two sides.

18. Lets create a simple search bar, notice the size of two circles.

19. Here's a little more complex shapes, using only squares and circles.

20. Creating a simple cup with square, circles and ovals.

21. This is one of the design i made, for game icon, notice here i have used simple shapes to achieve this complicated output.

You can see i have also used rounded rectangle in some places, but 90% of the design is created with ellipse tool.

The disadvantage to this option is, if you have adjusted a size or position on one side of the square, then you have to repeat the same on the other side, or you have copy and paste the shapes. You cannot use smart objects on shapes, it doesn't work.

You can make rounded corners with even marquee tools, but you have to use mask to subtract the circles and squares.

But by using only primitive tools you can get greater control on even the smaller areas.

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