Any closed path that you create with the Pen tools, as well as any combination of shapes that you create with the vector shape tools, can be converted into a custom shape and saved with the other presets or a new preset group that you create with the Presets Manager. No special techniques or skills are required beyond the ability to work effectively with those. To create a new custom shape, follow these steps:
Using the Pen tools or vector shape tools, create a new closed path in the shape that you would like to use. It is often helpful to place an image layer containing the shape of your path into your document at a low opacity so that you can effectively trace its shape by using the vector tools. Then when you have finished closing the path or shape layer, you can discard the image you traced from.
Place your cursor over the new path or shape area, and Ctrl+click or right-click.
From the context menu that appears, choose Define Custom Shape, shown in Figure 12.13.
In the dialog box that opens, name your new shape and click OK.
Select the Custom Shape tool and then click the Custom Shape Picker.
If needed, scroll to the bottom of the current Preset list. Your new shape should appear as the last item in the group.
You can now select the new shape and apply it to your document as you would any other preset shape. To delete it, highlight your shape and choose Delete from the Custom Shape Picker's fly-out menu (refer to Figure 12.11).