Real Estate Photo Editing Using Pen Tool in Photoshop Tutorial

The pen is mightier than the sword, as other might put it. In the context of real estate photo editing, it is one of those tools that do not get the merit and attention it deserves yet delivers on the promise of accurate execution.

It is simply known as the pen tool, one of the many real estate photo editing tools available for realty editors to brandish and use. The pen tool is often an overlooked choice where people resort to the quick selection tool or the magnetic lasso tool in hopes to make quick work out of the real estate photo editing work. But notice how these tools get the job done after quite a few reviews and rework. The pen tool is one of those real estate photo editing tools realty editors will save time on by accurately creating a selection in one attempt.

What others might not know as well is the range of offerings the pen tool offers. It not simply an enclosing real estate photo editing tool that creates a selection and sets up succeeding real estate photo editing techniques, but it is also a selection tool that can capture even the thinnest lines. It can be a supplement to other tools in the process and simply become one great assistant for every realty editor.

Basic Operation of the Pen Tool

Now, let’s take a look how the pen tool works. It’s not that complicated, but it does take quite some patience to learn especially if you are a first timer. What you will need is a keen eye out for the tool and more importantly, a steady hand.

  1. Click on a starting point

Normally for objects that are polygonal in nature, a starting point is needed to enclose it so that it can be selected or inverted for whatever real estate photo editing technique that follows will be possible. Every starting point is anchored on a corner and is dragged through the sides until another corner is reached. For some realty editors who are dealing with lines they want to eliminate from the picture, the pen tool provides a great selection tool to capture that line. It can work with a spot healing brush tool which will be the basis for selection and removal later on. Realty editors who want to act fast and have deadlines to meet can definitely save time with this real estate photo editing tool.

  1. Drag the point to another anchor point

Creating a series of anchor points for this real estate photo editing tool encloses your selection. But at this point you might be asking whether this only applies for straight edges? Well, no. The pen tool can also accommodate curves and irregular sided objects which altogether make this a realty editor’s dream tool and it is because you will never always expect straight edges in objects when performing real estate photo editing. Let’s take for instance virtual staging. Furniture come in all shapes and sizes, they even come with curves and irregularities. Using the pen tool to create an interior design in real estate photo editing will make the cuts more accurate and therefore, more realistic.

  1. Create a line or a closed path

As mentioned earlier, either a closed path or a line can be created after anchoring down several points. The sequence of actions that needs to happen is clicking the mouse button to signify you are putting a point on this particular point in the image, and once you are done, you simply need to double click or to hit enter. A line will not have a closure, nor will it ever meet its starting point, but all the same, this real estate photo editing tool allows you to define a distinct length or closed object altogether.

  1. Activate the selection

The last thing you want do at this point is to make the closed loop you drew active. Hit the right click button over the area, hit make selection then click ‘ok’. This now allows you to perform further real estate photo editing techniques over the selection or even invert it such that the area which is not part of the enclosure is now the area that can be enhanced further.

Uses of the Pen Tool

  1. Object Removal

First and foremost, the reason why any realty editor would grab the pen tool is because there is an object that needs removal. Some would argue that a spot healing brush or a clone stamp tool would be easier but imagine if the object that needs to be removed is humongous! It would take forever to brush it out. The pen tool easily encloses objects in a selection, and then it can be take out completely or covered with something to fill the void.

  1. Creating a Path or Selection

Intuitively, there is a subsequent action that comes after a selection. But the selection portion itself, well, it’s pretty relevant as it accurately defines the area that will be changed. Otherwise, the photo will have obvious breaks within the image and while we believe that yes, other real estate photo editing tools will mop that up, it isn’t the same when you are able to do it right the first time. It saves a lot of extra work and hours when put together.

  1. Drawing around curves

The pen tool is a great way to select curves. If you have two points, you can hit alt and drag the center of that line to make it smooth out into a bend. The ensuing curve could be of use to your furniture staging or even drawing around areas where the first parts of the object are straight but are then obstructed by something super imposed in the image. The pen tool, in this case, is a versatile real estate photo editing tool.


One tool to rule them all, but definitely won’t substitute for any other useful real estate photo editing technique out there. Use it to your advantage and to your efficiency, but never forget to maximize the potential that the pen tool offers for selection purposes as it is one of the most accurate and easy to use offerings from Photoshop.


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