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How To Use Place Along Path Patterns In Photoshop For Beginners


Create amazing Photoshop patterns using the place along path (which can be any line or curve)

Initial preset Creation

Start with the preset, you need a design and it is probably going to be best to create on with transparency as the script just applies them as dabs and if there is no transparency, the result will be just square blocks. Go to a new document and create with transparency. You can create it with selections, gradients, images, brush strokes or shapes etc. Use the rectangular marquee tool and select that image and then use the edit menu and define pattern command.

Vector design

Once you have done that, go to the custom shapes tool (or use the pen tool to create a vector or use one of the other vector such as ellipse or rectangle etc) found in the tools bar. Go to the top left and set the options to 'path'. Select a custom shape to use for the place along command. Apply the shape (or the pen tool such adding points) to the current art board / document.

Transform / curvature

You can also use a variety of tools such as transformations as well as the curvature tool to manipulate the vector design.

Paths Panel

You can also apply the design multiple times and if you look in the panel (found in the window menu) then you will see them all combined (as long as the combine option is ON in the options section along the top bar) so you can create quite complex vectors from a very basic custom shape


You can also create some text / type and use that as a design to be used with the tile. Select the type tool and set the font and size etc and then apply it as normal. Go to the type menu and select the create work command and you can now use that design with the presets. To apply it, you must select a layer that can be edited, you can't just try and apply it to the type layer so perhaps select the background layer or create a new layer to use.

Edit menu and fill

To actually generate the artwork, go to the edit menu and fill command and select the required tile as the content (it can be any of the presets in the current presets panel) and then set the script to ON and set the script to place along command. Click the OK button and that will take you to another panel (this is a weird feature, it really should all be one single panel).

Settings for the script

You have the following options : Scale, adjust spacing to fit, angle from, distance from, alternate, scale progression, color randomness, brightness randomness. You can set the scale which will reduce the size or increase the size of the displayed tile in the preview.


Spacing rarely makes any sense and is a trial and error as you can set the spacing to be a minus value and sometimes the tiles will be very close together and then a single change in value (such as one or two) and then you will have huge gaps. Again, the end result rarely matches the preview. Adjust spacing to fit adds a few to the end of the line.


Angle just turns the tile (as the preview is never accurate, it is often hard to see the result of subtle changes of angle.


Distance from results in a split with the tiles added a certain distance from the preview line (if alternate is turned on) or just a single line and a certain distance if alternate is not turned on.

Scale progression

Scale progression can be dramatic if you set it slightly off from 100% in either direction. Skip symbol rotation is an odd one as it just disables the angle entry (and it is position well away from that entry).

Color randomness

Color randomness will result in random colors being displayed unless the initial color of the tile was black. Brightness random does what it says on the tin and results in darker or lighter tiles.


You can always reset it back to the factory default by holding down the alt / option key to see the reset command.