November 05, 2007

Photoshop, as seen through Johnny Cash

In One Piece At a Time*, Johnny Cash tells the story of building a Cadillac from 20 years’ worth of evolving, mismatched parts.  I’ve gotta say, I know the feeling.

Photoshop has been accreting power & users for the better part of two decades.  The once-little app has proven almost endlessly adaptable to new needs and workflows, but all that morphing has a price.  In many cases we’ve traded simplicity for power, and not all the pieces look like part of a cohesive whole.  In fact, I sometimes joke that looking at some parts of the app is like counting the rings in a tree: you can gauge when certain features arrived by the dimensions & style of the dialog.  (Cue old-timey prospector voice: "Oh, Lighting Effects–you can see the scorch marks from the great fire of ’43…")

This isn’t exactly a news flash–far from it.  So, the question is, What exactly are we gonna do about it?  No one wants to work with–or work on–some shambling, bloated monster of a program.

The good news is that we’ve been plotting the solutions for a number of years, chipping away at the problem.  Good stuff comes to the surface in bits and pieces, but we haven’t quite turned the corner–yet.  A few thoughts:

  • We must make Photoshop "everything you need, nothing you don’t."   Presenting the same user experience to a photographer as we do to a radiologist, as to a Web designer, as to a prepress guy, is kind of absurd.  The new ability for users to choose between Photoshop & Photoshop Extended helps somewhat, but it’s just one step.
  • With this goal in mind, we must make Photoshop dramatically more configurable.  We’ve been chipping away for several cycles, enabling first workspaces, then customizable menus & shortcuts.  We need to be much bolder, though, and I’ve been dropping totally unsubtle hints about this for ages.
  • I don’t expect most users to customize the app–nor should they have to do so.  Rather, I expect the power users–authors and experts, you and I–to tune the app to taste, then share our knowledge.  Let people solve their own problems, then share the solutions.
  • With the power of customizability, we can present solutions via task-oriented workspaces.  Today if a user walks up to Photoshop and says, "What do I do?," the app kind of shrugs, stubs out a cigarette, and says, "I dunno–you tell me."  That’s not real cool, and we can do better.
  • By leading people to best practices, we can start deprecating (and later removing) outmoded functionality. ("A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left
    to add, but when there is nothing left to take away," said Antoine de Saint-Exupery.)  
  • Meanwhile we’ll put energy into simply polishing what’s already present.  (Refine Edge is a good example from CS3.)

So, why am I telling you all this, and why do I think it’s worth reading?  I’m saying it because although we can’t (and probably shouldn’t) turn the whole battleship (or Caddy, if you like) on a dime, we get the need, and we’re on the case.  We’ve been toiling away beneath the surface, setting the groundwork for change.  There are no magic bullets, but I feel that for the first time in my 5+ years working on this team, we’re within striking distance of some big things–and everyone reading this will play a role in making things better. Just thought you should know. :-)

In the meantime, as we fight for each little gain, I’m reminded of a quote from Edmund Burke: "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."

[Update: I’ve posted some clarifications & responses here.]

*Lyrics, plus Johnny in a kind of Benny Hill-esque video for the song.  Thanks to our friend George Reis for drawing the comparison.

Posted by John Nack at 12:21 PM on November 05, 2007

Comments

  • Syndee — 2:30 PM on November 05, 2007

    I’m REALLY hoping you can help me. I am trying to upgrade CS2 to CS3 extended. Currently I have CS2 on a win platform. I recently bought a mac, and would like to change over. Whenever I call the toll free # to discuss cross platforming, no one can give me a 100% answer on which upgrade platform to buy. Do I get the windows one and then call to get a cross platform serial # or do I upgrade in mac and then call?
    What doesnt make sense to me is that when I called the rep said they dont give cross platform serial #s for CS2 anymore. So if i buy in mac, then how do I get the CS2 portion from win to mac?? I’m so confused! Please help
    [Did you call Customer Service? Here’s more info. They should be able to sort you out. Let me know if not. –J.]

  • Eric — 3:46 PM on November 05, 2007

    One direction to take it might be to have some sort of exportable XML file for Workspaces. So I can export my customization and share it with others. Or, more likely, I sample others’ tweaks.
    I really like the idea of not having so many things available in the menus (says the guy who bought Extended).
    [Out of curiosity, did you know that it’s possible to turn off menu items now? Essentially no one knows that or uses the feature, which is actually fine as I didn’t expect they would. Rather, this is just one of those pieces of plumbing that we could have either withheld until everything was lined up, or which we could have released on its own. We chose the latter, and I’ll expect that we’ll leverage the functionality in a more mainstream way later. –J.]

  • jimhere — 6:03 PM on November 05, 2007

    Sure, something old like “calculations” (or anything under the Image>Adjustments menu) is now mostly covered in misc adjustment layers. If there’s a usable replacement, fine. Deprecate away.
    Hopefully the option to install everything will still be there in your Flash-based app of the future. Personally I’ll need the following modules: print functions, web functions, vector functions, retouch functions, compositing functions, color-correction functions, animation functions, video functions, Flash functions, catalog functions. I guess I won’t need audio functions, but who knows?
    [I think we’ll always make it possible to install everything. I’m emphatically *not* advocating that we Balkanize Photoshop, breaking it into a million little pieces (so that it’s no longer an industry standard that can be counted on for interoperability). Part of what’s helped the app thrive for years is the fact that one can pick up tools that s/he has never used in years, if ever, and get things going. That’s helped people keep pace with various large shifts in the industry (the rise of the Web, digital photography, etc.). We’ll continue to work on ways to let people extend their existing skills to new media & new tasks. –J.]

  • Photoshop user — 2:33 AM on November 06, 2007

    everything you need, nothing you don’t – that is probably a quite hard task in itself.
    [Y’think? ;-) At this point it’s much easier for PS to be the former, much harder to be the latter. –J.]

  • Jim Cureton — 6:14 AM on November 06, 2007

    While implementing customization, don’t forget to customize help and tutorials so that you don’t have to read “Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS)” every time you mention a key sequence.
    [Hah! True dat. –J.]

  • Klaus Nordby — 7:33 AM on November 06, 2007

    Almost a decade ago now, Adobe began building the InDesign program architecture: one core executable which, for all its functionality, calls on a lot of plug-ins — and the user can easily disable those he doesn’t nee. It seems like such a “obvious,” great approach to making all kinds of complex software and I’ve patiently waited for other apps to follow in those footsteps — but, so far, it has hardly happened at all: we have only have monolithic, complex applications, with no modularity. May I ask if, perhaps, Adobe will soon be starting to follow in, well, its own great footsteps, on the InDesign model?
    [The InDesign model actually proved to be *too* open, I believe, at least initially. I remember reading all those stories about how modern, flexible, and responsive the codebase was going to be. Turns out that in reality it was complex, hard to debug, and hard to make run fast. I believe the ID team ended up turning off lots of those “30,000 APIs” and focusing on just the parts that really matter to developers. The result is the ID we have today–much faster and more solid than it started, yet still highly extensible.
    Photoshop set a high early bar with its plug-in API, but over time it has lagged on that front. Again, this isn’t a news flash to us or to anyone else, and we’re cranking away at opening up the right things. (Simply opening up everything, even if possible, often sounds better than it ends up being, as you end up building in a lot of legacy that’s hard to move forward without breaking critical extensions. –J.]

  • Ted — 9:10 AM on November 06, 2007

    The Photoshop user interface is definitely due for an overhaul. Your competitors have you beat in “prettiness” and usability areas, if not in power and debugging. But there may be more compelling arguments against an overhaul.
    I was assimilated into the Photoshop Collective two years ago, after using Paint Shop Pro for nearly seven years. While waiting for my copy of CS2 to arrive, I took down from my bookshelf a copy of a “Using Photoshop” book that I had bought years before in anticipation of possibly joining the Adobe Borg. The book covered version 5. When I got CS2 up and running, I couldn’t help noticing that the tools palette and many of the menu options were just as described in the old book. And compared with PSP, the “user experience” seemed very clunky and primitive.
    Then I realized why it was that way– and why it had to be that way. The Photoshop Collective has an enormous number of drones… uhh, users, who have been assimilated into the Hive Mind for many years. A significant percentage of them depend on Photoshop for their livelihoods, and their efficient workflow relies on a deeply-implanted knowledge of Photoshop’s current user interface. If you thought the brouhaha over CS3’s “improvements” to Windows printing was noisy, imagine the explosive din you’d hear if an updated user interface threw a spanner in long-time users’ workflows! So it’s understandable if “legacy” carries greater weight for Photoshop’s developers than it does for other software.
    The “evolutionary not revolutionary” approach you’ve been taking seems the most sensible one. CS3 is noticeably more usable than CS2, but the basic interface remains. Maybe one way forward is to make Photoshop “skinnable,” with a select set of preset customizations geared toward novice photographers, advanced photographers, or graphic designers (for example). Newly-assimilated drones could use a slick skin reminiscent of the latest versions of Paint Shop Pro, while long-time Borg could use the familiar “legacy” interface that they can customize if they wish.

  • Eric — 9:20 AM on November 06, 2007

    Actually, yes I was aware that I can remove menu items. I just haven’t gotten around to do it. I’m so busy using the program.
    Glad to hear that’s a direction you’re taking.
    Of course the “nothing you don’t” only goes so far. How many things would we not know about Photoshop if there weren’t people who asked themselves, “Hmmm, I wonder what that does?”
    [Yes, that’s certainly true. Are we just enabling people to settle into their same old ways? I hope not, and I don’t think so. I think we’ll be setting up an architecture whereby it’s easy for anyone with a little motivation (e.g. any of the people who reference PS in hundreds of blog posts a day, according to Technorati) to put a gloss on the user interface, saying “Here’s how I string things together” They can also say, “And here’s some stuff you might not have used before, plus some background on what it does & how to use it.” The whole thing will be a work in progress, to be sure, but at least we’ll be opening the door. –J.]

  • KS — 10:13 AM on November 06, 2007

    See, I look at the ability to run Flash-based content inside of Adobe apps as well as IMHO, the under-utilized extensibility of actions and the ExtendScript toolkit. Or, say something as robust, but yet somehow minimal as Flex 3 as far as UI goes. Perhaps Flex based UIs for PS are the answer. I don’t know ([Oh, but I do. ;-) –J.], just putting all this out there!
    Also, too I look at Piknik and all the other online photo editing spring-ups (a la Photoshop Express) that have elegantly and simply adapted their UIs by NOT being an end-all, be-all. Maybe take a look at GIMP or Picasa and see why “everyday” users like them.
    [I’m not sure that everyday users use GIMP, or that it offers usability breakthroughs worth emulating. I’d be happy to be enlightened if I’m wrong, though. –J.]
    And as far as deprecating menu items, for the time being, we can just hide the ones we don’t use or make friends with the Preset Manager, but there has got be a way to find out what people are really using PS for and what features they would really miss without being able to do the same thing through a combined UI or new dialog.
    As far as personal requests, I can’t believe that the layers pallete is still the same as it was in PS7. Let me explain. I think that double-clicking a layer should present a universal layer properties box including, channels, paths, the TYPE of layer (i.e. different icons for placed files, smart objects, shapes), the name of the layer, and the ususal assortment of blending modes and layer effects.
    [FWIW, one of the biggest hits in PS7 (right behind the Healing Brush, actually) was the new abilty to rename a layer right in the palette, without going into a dialog. Still, I wholeheartedly agree that there should be an easy, obvious place to manage & control the parameters of a layer. This is becoming all the more important as Smart Objects (quietly, so far) blow the doors open in terms of what a layer can be & thus what parameters can be exposed. –J.]
    And for the love of all that is sacred, when I have a vector shape layer that is locked, I should NOT be able to select the path! Locked should be locked. K.I.S.S., ya know?
    Either way, I love Adobe for continuing to be progressive and give users the voice. It’s awesome and is one of the biggest reasons they’re on top.
    [Cool, thanks. The fact that Adobe encourages people like me to engage in these conversations is a big part of why I work here & not somewhere more, um, constrained. –J.]

  • Mark — 12:14 PM on November 06, 2007

    Completely unrelated, but figured you and your readers may enjoy the mention in last week’s funny pages:
    http://www.comicspage.com/comicspage/main.jsp?catid=1160&custid=69&file=20071104cssho-s-p.jpg&code=cssho&dir=/shoe

  • d — 1:04 PM on November 06, 2007

    I think Adobe apps need an epithany similar to the MS Office 2007 UI. Granted it’s not perfect, but it is a huge step towards letting people make the most of the features that are there.
    Ideally, PS shouldn’t need the user to customise it at all, and this just leads to problems. What if someone wants to add more features later on? They’ll still have to look them up on a huge list I presume…
    The current suggestions seem to miss the point. There shouldn’t be any need for a note having to explain what a feature does. On the other hand, having a note system which allows users record what settings worked best for a filter say seems like a really good idea. At best, these notes will be like those ‘super tooltips in Office 2007′ – at worst, the notes will add further clutter to a bloated system.
    It seems to me that some of the thinking – task oriented approaches, notes system, allowing users to customise UI via Flash running inside PS – are great for those who have the time and expertise to get it right. But how many people will have a competent UI designer to do that for them?
    [Everyone. First, we can ship good presets in the box, based on lots of research and experience. Second, if we make it sufficiently easy to create & share customizations, we can make it easy for people to capitalize on the knowledge of others. –J.]
    How can Adobe prevent task oriented design be as stupid as that damned clip was in Office? (Actually, I’m sure that travesty will never be repeated :P)
    [We joke about creating Brushy the Talking Airbrush. “Hey, pardner, looks you’re tryin’ to retouch a photo!” Wouldn’t that be a nice use of Flash extensibility? ;-) –J.]
    I’ve always wondered what CS3 would be like if it had the Office 2007 UI. That is what I think the UI needs – that sort of ‘let’s see what we can really do if we build it again from the ground up’ attitude. I think you get that. But your current suggestions don’t really seem all that radical to me.
    [Maybe they’re not, in that we’re seeking an evolutionary approach that doesn’t wreck what that works today (the generality & flexibility of the app). But I think it’ll be a bigger deal than you may think. –J.]

  • gav — 4:12 PM on November 06, 2007

    You’ve probably already mentioned/addressed this but I was wondering if you were going to make the workspaces sharable across mac/pc. The reason I ask is that Corel Painter X has a similar function not on the scale being discussed here. But I could imagine that people that use the program could share their workspaces for inspiration/education.
    Whilst we on the subject is it possible to made the brushes pallet easier to customise? Some sort of drag and drop/ mix and match system would be great.
    Thanks.

  • jimhere — 6:31 PM on November 06, 2007

    J.Nack: we can ship good presets in the box, based on lots of research and experience
    As you admitted to Eirc (above), you shouldn’t break the users down into 12 pre-set types. The fact that Adobe has a “web” and a “design” collection of CS3 apps is non-pro enough without helpful presets coloring all retouch commands orange.
    Save the presets for Photoshop Elements and keep your guys on the big picture. Since PS Elements and PS Express are, er, “catering” to regular folks, let their teams come up with the, how-you-say, research.
    And since it’s PhotoShop, the tool palette should not change too much over versions (as observed above). We’ve got work to do. For ultra-groovy UIs, see Poser and video games. That kind of thinking lost us the Palette Well.

  • Marky — 6:58 PM on November 06, 2007

    “I’ve always wondered what CS3 would be like if it had the Office 2007 UI” – ! Thats a terrifying thought
    “By leading people to best practices, we can start deprecating (and later removing) outmoded functionality.”
    In my experience everything in Photoshop has a use. Lighting Effects (used as an example here) may have an old interface but as a texture mapping tool has been used many times by me to great success. Where else does ray tracing exist in Photoshop? Its useful in many subtle ways. Certainly isn’t substituted by Layer Effects. Please don’t take anything out. Most of the filters still have a use somewhere, to someone.
    I am worried by the idea of going into a freelance job one day and having to re-customise to get back certain things that we all take for granted.

  • Nathaniel — 10:42 PM on November 06, 2007

    While I appreciate the sentiment, this is all stuff we were bitching about fifteen years ago. The idea that Adobe is just now finishing laying the groundwork for some UI customization “right around the corner” is ridiculous. This is definitely a case of some internal politics gone haywire, or the perfect being the enemy of the good.
    Both Apple and Microsoft and most other major software companies have allowed customizable toolbars and, to a lesser extent, menus, for many many years. The idea that some elaborate Flash(tm) interface builder is required just to provide functionality that has been obviously needed since the days of the LaserWriter II is an insult to your customers, who’ve been telling you this over and over and over.
    Yes, you can turn off menu items. Great. Of course, you still wind up with menu items that are used 300 times a day being nested in submenus, even if they’re the only item left in that hierarchy that hasn’t been hidden. Brilliant design, and it’s been that way for what, 5+ years now? The reason most people don’t know about the existing menu customization is that it’s a joke, and I should sincerely hope everyone at Adobe is aware of it. Being able to make an item pink is not a solution to any problem I’ve heard of in training thousands of users in many different fields over the years.
    Indeed, you’ve only made it worse — now we have Photoshop Extended, which is bundled with all the premium suites, even though 99% of the users have no need for that functionality. Most designers don’t need 3D forensic options for their newspaper layouts. Would it kill you to make an installer option for the suite installers to just install Photoshop standard instead of adding even more useless menus to an already crowded menu bar you have nobody to blame for but your own stubbonness? That doesn’t require any architecture or groundwork, it just requires listening to your customers rather than your salespeople. You don’t need to sell software by the kilo.
    Sigh. I hate to sound like an jerk, but I sometimes wonder if you guys aren’t just missing the point a lot of the time. Like, you see feature requests show up 100 times and decide to implement them, but do it in such a way that you don’t actually solve the problem people were talking about.
    It’s somewhere between tragic and pathetic that the palettes have received so much loving attention and a variety of real reorganizations and improvements over the years, and yet something as basic as the “filters” menu structure has literally not changed since Photoshop 2.0. Is there any user, anywhere on earth, who needs “twirl” to be just as easy to access as unsharp mask? You don’t need some elaborate GUI toolkit to fix absurdity like that. Just check your feature requests from the Windows 3.1 era.
    Again, I’m not trying to be a jerk but I hope nobody at Adobe is expecting a pat on the back for announcing that someday, maybe, in some future version, we’ll be able to do things that should have been happening back in Photoshop 7.

  • imajes — 4:05 AM on November 07, 2007

    I had a look through your previous musings on this point and again and again it struck me, this is exactly the same problem MS had with Office and they bit the bullet and radically changed the [menu+button based] interface to the Ribbon. Which to my mind is a surprisingly big improvement. Even my Girlfriend, who knows how to use Office properly and is one of the 2% of Office users [like me] who will customise the interface to get access to the tools she needed, seems very impressed with the the Ribbon. She is looking forward to 2012 when her firm starts to use it!!
    PS has a bigger problem than Office as it is more pallette centric than Office’s old menu and button interface. I rarely use menus in PS, but the context sensitive toolbar, that Corel Draw had used for years before was a massive step forward in making what you need depending on what you are doing much more accessible. CD also used docking palletes too many editions ago and I’m still waiting for you to add Corel Draw’s customisation of tool buttons. That way I get the exact interface I want, with the few specific menu tools I need a lot more accessible with just a single click and even better so does everyone else. I use about 4 filters an awful lot and the others very, very rarely. So I’d like those 4 as buttons. Never understood why Adobe drag their heels over this so much. It seems to be a very Apple like attitude, we know far better than you, so no customisation to your individual needs.

  • mono — 5:14 AM on November 07, 2007

    First things first! Just forget this MDI (Multiple Document Interface) model for Photoshop (and other CS apps). I can’t find the windows with alt-tab / Flip3D. On Mac OS X you can use Exposé, and that’s great but i’ll never switch to Mac only because of Adobe.

  • Pedro Estarque — 6:36 AM on November 07, 2007

    The thing with PS is that even the smallest change generates a shock wave that spreads throughout your workflow. When “Match Color” was introduced I was very annoyed just because it shifted “Replace Color” down in the adjustments menu and I kept mistakenly hitting it.
    But people get over these things quickly if the net result is positive. Feather has been around since what, PS 2 ? Well, effectively forever. But “Refine Edges” is a much nicer solution that current machines allowed us to have ( it’s even named is better ). So why keep them both ? I’m all for customization but if something is better altogether and its only downside is that it’s new, than it’s time to upgrade our muscle memory.
    It’s a brave move and I think it’s great that it’s being taken.

  • Wade — 6:52 AM on November 07, 2007

    Rethinking abstraction and modularity sounds like the perfect time to rethink the cross-platform aspect as well.

  • Demian — 7:12 AM on November 07, 2007

    Why not a Linux version? Are you going to go the MS Office way?
    The computing world’s changing and the Photoshop development in the last years looks to me somewhat stuck in the past…

  • Greg — 7:24 AM on November 07, 2007

    Please for the love of all that is holy, don’t do anything like Office 2007, or make it all Task Oriented, or mucked up with Wizards or shit like “Brushy” (don’t even joke!). I am fine, and I bet a lot of Users are as well, with Photoshop and it’s cigarette. The way I see it, launching Photoshop is like stepping through the door into a workshop, or a studio (or a darkroom) and all the tools are there, waiting for you. That way if a tool or feature might be the right way to go the idea can come to you by seeing there waiting, rather than having to know it and think it first. (that’s why I got frustrated with the “Show all Menu Items” stuff until I realized I could customize it. I want to see the length, breadth and depth) In an app like PS, complexity is fine, it is good. After all, it is an advanced Power App.
    MHO, anyway.

  • Demian — 7:33 AM on November 07, 2007

    Sorry, I made a mistake in my question and it may confuse things a bit.
    I just wanted to ask: Why not a UBUNTU version?
    I favor the Ubuntu distribution over the rest. I would not use another distro and I believe it’s the only Linux distro that’s getting a reasonable user base (and attention) in the desktop segment.
    Thanks.
    [The trick would be to demonstrate that porting Photoshop to Linux would grow the Photoshop market, not just transfer Windows seats to Linux seats. Any time I’ve looked, mainstream Linux usage has been in the (very) low single digits. That makes the business case a tough one. –J.]

  • Ted — 8:22 AM on November 07, 2007

    I didn’t think of this yesterday, but here’s an example of what not to do when “deprecating” features.
    Paint Shop Pro X inexplicably deprecated a number of rather useful features that were added in the previous two versions. They didn’t delete them, but moved them to a “customization” menu under the helpfully descriptive name “Unused Commands.” Of course, neither the minimal “getting started” pamphlet nor the (alpha-incomplete) help system included any mention of either the “unused commands” or their hiding place.
    I suppose Corel’s intent was to conceal the deprecated features from newbies, but still have them available to authorized “legacy” users on a strictly “need-to-know” basis. Presumably when a user complained about missing a specific command, the tech support people would reveal the undisclosed location and the secret process for installing the unused command on a toolbar.
    Such an approach to deprecation would surely please Dick Cheney, but it’s no way to treat paying customers.

  • Dirck Van Lieu — 8:39 AM on November 07, 2007

    Being able to toggle flame visibility on the Flavawagon would be useful.
    I would hope that menu items not selected would be removed (and recoverable), not simply greyed out, a point made by a previous poster. A customizable menu bar with tools or processes selected by the user would be a great feature for me, one that would eliminate the need to wade through a line-up of dropdown menus and skimming through never-used options.

  • Kevin — 8:53 AM on November 07, 2007

    As a Web designer, I’ve used Fireworks since version 1 and am glad that Adobe has kept it around. Interested to see what customizations could be made for PS to make serve up the tools of the Web designer. I’d love if the vector goodness that is seen in FW could be ported to PS. But I’d be happy if PS could just open FW PNG files with layers preserved.
    Photoshop user since… 1994. What a great application it has become!

  • A. Dias — 9:03 AM on November 07, 2007

    If you keep the program intact and offer its user a choice of GUIs, maybe. But if you cut and dice and offer flavor1, flavor2, etc. and if I buy flavor2 I may not be able to access features available in flavor5, I would say no. Photoshop is the Swiss Army Knife of pixel editors, please do not limit its functionality.
    [Yep–we definitely can’t compromise what’s there. –J.]

  • Scott Graham — 9:25 AM on November 07, 2007

    Thank you for the info on the future of PS. Way to go I say.
    Even things like “levels” (adj layer etc) could go away now that curves is upgraded. Which brings up someone’s comment about “shockwave” thru users with any change: it might be time now to start giving seminars, like at PS World, etc, about the future of PS in general terms and what it might mean AND “how to” use new features (curves) for old things (levels). The “how to” could also include why it is neater (fewer steps?, or flexibility? or??) so that acceptance would be easier.
    I do not mean that these “seminars” would promise anything, too early for that probably. Just sort of provide a smoother user base adjustment to the future. And you would probably get a ton of suggestions that might not come up on forums, etc.
    The point of this being helping the users’ mental adjustment way ahead of time, cuz it takes a long time.
    And when you get spare time :), you could also start having common modules (printing for ex) across CS apps. Probably also a ton of work, but would save Adobe money in the long run and make the user interface more similar across the apps.
    Scott

  • kolo — 9:33 AM on November 07, 2007

    Pleas add linux version also.

  • Greg — 9:41 AM on November 07, 2007

    @imajes:
    ” I use about 4 filters an awful lot and the others very, very rarely. So I’d like those 4 as buttons.”
    This has been around for a long time, actually. Make applying the filter of your choice into an Action. The display Actions as Buttons. Beautiful.
    @several others above:
    Personally, I like seeing all those other options that I *never* use. It makes me think “I should find out what that is all about sometime”. That pushes me to learn more.

  • Seb — 9:53 AM on November 07, 2007

    > The trick would be to
    > demonstrate that porting
    > Photoshop to Linux would
    > grow the Photoshop market
    Isn’t this also a question about future planing? Linux is growing and to wait to long may leave not enough space to reach any market-position on that platform. Competitors like Gimp and Krita arn’t sleeping.

  • Tim Van Damme — 12:44 PM on November 07, 2007

    Loose the different profiles (shortcuts and menu’s and stuff). A user only uses 1 profile. When you make changes to shortcuts and/or menu’s, that’s the only profile you need.
    [Maybe that’s true given what workspaces can do today, but in general I disagree. I think there can be a lot of power in presenting different configurations on the fly, task-by-task. Nothing would force you to work in this way, but the app would easily show relevant functionality (while getting the rest out of your way) depending on what you’re doing at that moment. –J.]

  • TLL — 1:14 PM on November 07, 2007

    It would be wonderful if the Photoshop “user experience” would be limited to fixing what’s broke in the current version and just leave everything else be for awhile. User interface-schminterface, I could give a rip if the newest thingy is docking, sticky, clicky mini menus.
    Keep the basics working well (like printing for gosh sake) and leave us with the confidence that we don’t need to relearn everything every year. I need the time to learn some of Adobe’s other great tools like Dreamweaver or Premiere. Or even do more photography
    Oh, (in deference to my aching right wrist) long live hot keys!

  • Sean Safreed — 3:10 PM on November 07, 2007

    I have to say that I am with the folks that would dislike this kind of task-based change. There are already sub-tasks already that clutter the workflow and slow down the usability.
    Look at Tools like Extract or liquify. Both of these “filters” run as separate modal dialogs within the Photoshop User experience. Rather than integrate these tools natively into the Photoshop Tools palette they are bolted into the Filters menu. I presume this was done because these tool function best from a performance or usability perspective on a single layer or collapsed document.
    Both of these tools would make MUCH more sense as standard tools with Tool options that replicate their current capabilities in the Tool Options bar. The deficiency in Photoshop’s engine that doesn’t allow these tools to work on multiple layers or need a single isolated layer could be accomplished by extensions of the Layer palettes control and mode-like commit buttons in the Options bar (similar to Type options).
    [Check out 3D in PSCS3 Extended. It works much as you describe. –J.]
    This is just one example of how these type of tools could be non-modal. Non-modal tools allow users to work in context without having to enter a dialog and then return to the main interface.
    [Generally I’m a fan of making things non-modal. It’s not a magic bullet, though.
    Consider Save for Web. We’ve sometimes debated whether it would be useful to break S4W (as we abbreviate it) out if its modal box, integrating it into Photoshop as the core features were in ImageReady–multiple optimized views, an optimization palette, etc. The thing is, though, that S4W right now gives you everything you need (and nothing you don’t) for the task it addresses, putting you essentially into a workspace that’s tailored to the task. The fact that it runs in a dialog is kind of incidental.
    Therefore we’ve concluded that it’s actually better to leave the code modal & self contained, rather than risk cluttering up the rest of PS with stuff you don’t need all the time.
    Having said that, finding a way to integrate the tools of Liquify more organically into Photoshop could be cool. It’s kind of case-by-case decision about what should be modal & what shouldn’t. –J.]
    Ultimately modality is slower than non-modality. I think that is what users are afraid of and I tend to agree with them. I love the processing in Lightroom (I am a committed user) but the task-based UI approach separating sorting from developing and then both suffer. Why waste the space on the quick-develop functions when more than half the time I want all the tools at my disposal? I end up playing the dance with the d and g keys between these two modes. Ugh!
    Well, this is going on long-enough but I hope you see my point that making the whole system less modal and more-focused on tool and action approach that worked so well early on is really the preferred approach for most tasks. Putting in partially functional areas that assist the new user by speeding discovery and learning will ultimately slow down the seasoned Photoshop professional.
    Thanks for listening.
    [Thanks for the feedback. –J.]

  • Iain — 3:33 PM on November 07, 2007

    We’ve felt here that the last truly innovative release of Photoshop was version 6 – still a fine vintage. Subsequent versions have been smaller updates that keep up with the times but it feels like great features that could have been integrated from other Adobe apps have been left out so more software can be sold as different packages. In some ways it is a shame that ImageReady and Photoshop are two different programs which doesn’t make a lot of sense.
    [They’re not: most of the ImageReady functionality was brought into PS, after which IR was discontinued. –J.]
    Factor into this that Photoshop has become a piece of bloatware (it is too heavy) which is a problem for designers running Flash, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop all at the same time.
    [The weird thing is that you’re saying that we haven’t added enough to PS, and yet we’ve added too much. –J.]
    Looking forward to seeing more innovation, better integration (with Flash and Illustrator etc) and a lighter framework.
    Regards and despite the feedback above we love Photoshop :)
    [I’ll take that. :-) –J.]

  • RobertC — 6:08 PM on November 07, 2007

    First of all, I recognise the fact that Photoshop is used by many power users who are able to take advantage of the complex UI.
    However, it is an inescapable fact that people who are new to content creation and photography would have not one clue as to how to manipulate and benefit from this impenetrably difficult UI. Now, you could say that amateurs use Elements instead, but why can’t Adobe think outside the box on this issue?
    [Isn’t that just what we’re talking about doing? But a couple of points:
    One, I wouldn’t agree that the Photoshop UI is “impenetrably difficult.” Put it up next to Maya, or anything from SAP for that matter. The perception of difficultly often isn’t from people not being able to get something done, but rather from their sense that “there’s probably a better way I just don’t know about,” which leads to frustration.
    Two, in the process of making things more discoverable & usable, we absolutely can’t make the interface feel dumbed-down & condescending. It’ll be an interesting line to walk. –J.]
    Offer a task-oriented UI like Office 2007’s ribbon. People love to criticise the new Office UI, but it is demonstrably better. I now understand styles a lot better, I can make all my documents look more professional because all the features are there, not hidden in miles of sub-menus and dialogue boxes. And that’s only the beginning.
    Now, there’s no reason why such a UI has to be the default option. But Adobe has the capacity to offer a classic interface (to cater for legacy users) as well as something newer and easier to decipher for people wanting to extend upon their limited knowledge of the application.
    After all, Photoshop is supposed to be the program that allows people to be creative. Except, one of its main problems is that the complex interface does not invite creativity and is emblematic of something out of the early 1990s. No one is arguing that the application is not powerful, but like Office, most of the features are hidden or not immediately obvious.
    So, all in all, my only recommendation for the Adobe team is to bring the power of PS to the surface. You’re talking about building the community around PS such that its easier to share “solutions” and interface customisations. It’s interesting, but it sounds like a lazy way of approaching the interface issue, by relying on users to create workarounds for problems that have plagued the UI for years.
    [Let me clarify, then: I’m not saying–at all–that Adobe wouldn’t ship the product with the best possible set of configurations we can think of. I *am* saying, however, that we don’t just want to hard-code a bunch of things and say, “Well, that’s it; Father knows best.” Rather, we want to enable the people in the trenches to sculpt the app into exactly what they need, and that’s going to differ user by user. –J.]
    So while it appears that you’ve made noises, I wonder whether there’s a commitment to do something radical and really take PS to the next level.
    [“Radical” is debatable. I should try to set expectations properly by saying that I don’t expect everything to look and behave radically differently overnight. In fact, I’d question whether that would be good idea. There’s much to be said for evolution, not just revolution. –J.]

  • Nat Brown — 6:48 PM on November 07, 2007

    And yet — some of my most productive evenings are spent wandering around the battleship, finding and fussing with functions designed for someone else. Then improvising them to my artistic use.
    [Yep. I’d just like to make it possible to wander with a friend (or several), if and when you want to. –J.]
    I arrived here for the first time this evening trying to better understand what the h–l kurtosis is doing.
    [Heh; when you find a use for that one, let me know. (It’s one of the functions designed for scientific use, but as with so many things, it could probably be applied in creative ways as well.) –J.]
    Your blog is now on a yellow sticky on my lamp. I’d love to have it stashed in that PS annotation function you envision. You’ve got my vote.
    [Right on; thx. –J.]

  • Andre Da Costa — 9:57 PM on November 07, 2007

    Photoshop is difficult, I did a review of it (CS3) for ActiveWin.com and I was so overwhelmed I cried. This is just Photoshop btw, I have other components to finish up.
    For the next release, work on having a plug in for your brain that simply brings your imagination to life. Please!

  • David Goemans — 10:27 PM on November 07, 2007

    I think the studies done on viability of photoshop on linux are very misleading. I think that if it were to happen, it would port, not just windows users, but gimp users too. as much as I love and use gimp, I would buy a copy of photoshop, and use it hand in hand with free software such as InkScape.

  • pfaffenbichler — 12:13 AM on November 08, 2007

    I was frankly to lazy to read all the numerous posts, so please forgive me if I cover already well trodden ground. Even though laziness makes a poor excuse.
    I think the already implemented customizing options are good and adding more preconfigured workspaces for new usergroups surely wouldn’t hurt old users.
    But when I think about the appearance-changes that were implemented in Adobe Acrobat 8 (including the toolbars into every single opened window) I grow fearful of irritating surface-changes without discernable (for me that is) benefit.
    As concerns old filters: Yes, Radial Blur, Displace etc. could definitely do with some improvement like a preview or savable settings.
    But I would especially dislike to see the Displacement-filter go in a a cleanup, because unlike liquify it is Smart Filter-able, which I consider a great benefit.
    With regard to the charge that Photoshop doesn’t offer help to newcomers (and where did the image of it stubbing out a cigarette come from anyway?)
    [Oh, that’s just me trying to be wry and amusing. –J.]
    I think an expanded chapter on »First Steps« or something the like in the Help might well suffice.
    Unlike some colleagues I hold that every new version of Photoshop so far has offered significant improvements – at least since version 5, when I started working with Photoshop professionally in prepress and photo manipulation. (Smart Objects especially have been a favorite of mine.)
    But one of the benefits of having all the many capabilities of Photoshop at hand, even when one doesn’t need them immediately, appears to be that one can expand and experiment no matter from which field one enters into using the program.
    [We certainly won’t take away anyone’s ability to explore & to play. If anything, we’ll try to enhance it, presenting not just commands but also some context on how & when to use them. –J.]
    Anyway, hope the next release will prove a worthy successor in a long line of improved versions.

  • mono — 2:00 AM on November 08, 2007

    I think Photoshop really needs an exposé-like documentswitcher on Windows because it’s very hard to search and find documents the user is working on.

  • Marky — 5:51 AM on November 08, 2007

    What we want in future upgrades is functional improvements. Like the following…
    PS4 Actions – FUNCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT
    PS6 Vectors – FUNCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT
    PS6 Type- FUNCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT
    PS6 LIquify – FUNCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT, not possible before
    PS6 Layer styles – Ease of use FUNCTIONAL improvement
    PS7 Brush engine
    CS2 Smart Objects/filters – FUNCTIONAL improvement
    I really agree that PS6 was the last major move forward, since then there have been small things on each release, Smart objects being far and away the most important
    As an experienced user who has devoted much time to learning Photoshop’s full tool set, I find that all the interface changes, basically “window dressing”. To draw a comparison, its like bad journalism where there is no real hard news every time, just waffle.
    It looks like appealing to the lowest common denominator all the time, to make it easier for people just learning to do things quickly _ I also find that I use practically everything with the exception of certain older filters. Its not so important to make the enormous power at the heart of Photoshop obvious to people who are frankly too careless and lazy to take the time to learn it properly.Its there for everyone.
    – I do high end retouching – I need
    web functionality,(mourned the loss of IR),
    I need to be able to open all legacy files!
    I need to be able to use the type engine even if its just to make notes once in a while.
    I need that one time in 100 to be able to apply Lighting effects with a texture map! And I dont want to have to run some kind of upgrade to get it

  • PeterK — 7:39 AM on November 08, 2007

    Posted in the Adobe Forums, repeating it here.
    >Don’t expect faster performance along with a cleaner design, though, Nack said. “I think the benefit will be more in users’ perception than in saved clock cycles,” he said.
    Sounds silly to me. Once again, they’re more worried about the marketing, glossy feel rather than the function.
    [If we were, you’d see a bunch of glossy crap flying around your UI today. We’re not, and you don’t. Our interest is in making Photoshop fundamentally more usable, and that means proceeding along a number of fronts. –J.]
    Give us software that actually makes a difference. 64-bit. Fix the bugs that have been around for the past few versions. Give us features that we’ve been requesting for the past few versions. Things like that are way more important than a nicer looking GUI.
    [How about some specifics? –J.]
    Really who cared about the whole collapsible palettes feature they just introduced? And they removed the palette well at the top, now making a strip of screen real estate sitting there useless. Who the hell is deciding that these stupid little things are more important than the things the USERS have been shouting about for years? Fire that guy.
    [You can’t yet see the whole picture. –J.]

  • jimHere — 7:56 AM on November 08, 2007

    I don’t think PS is bloat-ware. One wants a pro app to have a lot of stuff. You never know what tomorrow’s gig will be.
    John Nack: …I think there can be a lot of power in presenting different configurations on the fly, task-by-task…
    Well, personally I think all this Presets and Tasks stuff is marketing for new-comer photographers etc (see RobertC, above). But if it’s ignorable, fine. Although you really should keep the guys working on Photo Manipulation tools rather than a brave new world of human/application interfacing for which you won’t get a Nobel Prize.

  • imajes — 8:46 AM on November 08, 2007

    @imajes:
    ” I use about 4 filters an awful lot and the others very, very rarely. So I’d like those 4 as buttons.”
    @ Greg – “This has been around for a long time, actually. Make applying the filter of your choice into an Action. The display Actions as Buttons. Beautiful.”
    Ta for suggestion, but not what I want or need. I don’t use the Button mode of Actions as I prefer to use the nested sets. Button mode is unwieldy if you have a lot of actions. In Button Mode, my actions take up nearly 3/4 of one monitor and even with colours, finding specific actions is not easy. And is far worse than looking for filters in a cascading menu as at present. Nor is it like I requested, where I can place a few frequently used menu hidden tasks where I want them on the tool bar.
    I’ve always welcomed the tweaks to the PS interface. Until this version. Dual monitor usage on a PC is very annoying, not so on a Mac as that seems to be the same as CS2. As for pallettes that sometimes collapse to the bottom of where they were and sometimes to the top, duh! Who thought of that daft idea?
    And the dock which ignores the second monitor is a dock that is never used. What’s with Adobe and 2 monitor clunkyness these days. A wide screen monitor is great, but 2 monitors are better for many programmes.
    If it wasn’t for the incompatibility of ACR/LR with CS2, I don’t think giving up CS3 whould be a problem as it’s UI is slower, clunkier and more annoying to use. Printing anyone!? It was simple and easy, now very easy to make expensive and time consuming mistakes.
    I gather there’s a fix on route. Hopefully it’ll also make the Mac version act like the CS2 and prior PC versions as then we’ll both be better off than the current mess.

  • Clay — 10:41 AM on November 08, 2007

    I guess I don’t quite see the point in making Photoshop more newcomer-friendly. The tools are all out there and you can’t break anything by trying them out — where’s the need?
    Actually, I think the biggest thing Adobe needs to change in Photoshop’s UI is just the opposite: all the little things that could make individual tasks a little more intuitive such as having paths on locked layers not get in the way, sorting out a few confusing quasi-redundant context menus on various palettes, and the like.
    Honestly, the CS3 change to a docked-palette paradigm has been excellent — nothing annoyed me more than a bunch of free-floating palettes that didn’t really need to move around, and it’s very refreshing to have the interface this efficiently structured.
    I think the big questions have been taken care of for this generation of Adobe software. The real big question is just all of the small ones.

  • George Mann — 4:10 PM on November 08, 2007

    Great post John, I just read through all the comments and have to say that there seem to be about as many opinions on the subject as there are functions in Photoshop.
    Before I give my own thoughts I should make clear that I am not a new user, I was actually given a copy of Photoshop by Russell Brown when it was still in Version 1 Beta (on a hand labeled floppy) at the very first Seybold Desktop Publishing Conference (in Santa Clara, 198?).
    In my opinion, Photoshop needs to be divided into several (new) versions.
    1. Photoshop Classic (fully extended) – for all the guys who have invested 10,000 hours into learning how to use it and all the guys who have made a career out of teaching others how to use it. This is a great application and should continue on it’s natural evolutionary path.
    2. Photoshop Basic – Elements, Express, Light, whatever you want to call it. This is the version that Adobe can continue to sell for very little money and give away free with digital cameras and scanners.
    3. Photoshop Professional – split up into specific professional categories and based on the now well proven and universally accepted Photoshop Lightroom user interface. I have some opinions on how to improve Lightroom but that is another discussion. It is the user interface of Lightroom that Adobe should (and I am guessing probably will)use for developing new profession specific versions of Photoshop.
    [Thanks for the feedback, George. –J.]

  • CrackedButter — 1:09 AM on November 09, 2007

    Allow photoshop to multitask. I cannot believe that still in 2007, with my Macbook Core 2duo with 3GB of RAM, I cannot edit images while I am using my scanner. Why can’t photoshop scan negatives in the background while I work on other images in the foreground?

  • Jerome Dahdah — 1:23 AM on November 09, 2007

    Hey John, just letting you know you’ve been slashdotted:
    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/09/0226215
    [Ah, thanks for the info! I wondered why I’d had more visitors by 7am today than I usually get all day. –J.]

  • Sanford — 2:25 AM on November 09, 2007

    If you could blow away photoshop and recast it as something new, here’s my feature list:
    *) Allow the user to do everything from the right mouse button. Users should never have to touch a keyboard unless they’re typing text. Take a look at Alias/Maya for ideas. Being tethered to the keyboard is so 1990 and the current right mouse support is anemic. (Copy/Paste/Undo should be available in the right click menu everywhere).
    *) Make the shapes palette extensible (why is there no tab shape like imageready?)
    *) Upgrade gradients to be first class objects. Make a special gradient palette with longer swatches. Make a simpler gradient editor that you can call up from the palette to create new swatches. Make all the palette features available right in the gradient editor without having to open a new window or switch context.
    *) Make Color Mixing a top of line feature. A user would be able to have a ‘palette sandbox’ with all the tools to mix, create gradients and keep a list of working colors to test all in one window.
    *) A real workflow for digital photographers – handle 1000’s of images at a time. Allow a photographer to take 1000’s of raw files from source to applying custom filters and actions in _one_ interface. Right now you can sort of do it with ACR + Photoshop but it’s dreadfully painful over 1000’s of files (yes, we shoot 1000’s of photos per session). The lightroom UI is better but it’s still clunky and slow. Please have someone sit down with a bunch of wedding photographers.
    I have more but I’ll save them for a blog post sometime.

  • cobalt — 2:37 AM on November 09, 2007

    Something you guys can do, for me at least, is fix the brushes. They haven’t worked properly since version six, and I won’t be upgrading past version six, until I can get a tool that works.
    The new brushes system introduced in version seven provides brushes which are way too soft, and if you draw too lightly, they go transparent, no matter how opaque the ink is supposed to be.
    In six, opaque ink stays opaque, no matter how light you press. it may be down to a single pixel, but it’s an opaque pixel, and I can work with that.
    Seriously, If I want transparent ink, I’ll set transparent ink. If I set opaque, it better stay opaque all the time, and no excuses.
    All the UI hacks in the world won’t matter, if the tools themselves are still borked.
    [I haven’t heard others complain about problems in this area. I’ll follow up with QE, as maybe there’s something weird happening on your system (or maybe a setting you’re overlooking). –J.]

  • Willem — 3:01 AM on November 09, 2007

    Ahh excellent, I commend your bravery in tackling this problem. As you probably realise what ever you do will be panned at first. There are several brilliant examples of doing nothing, just adding to menus just look at Maya, there are so many menus it has a dedicated search box for them all.
    perhaps one way to change the interface is to take a similar approach to light room by separating the menu system into diffrent stages of production. (this has down sides as ofcourse not everyone does things in the same way, and there is a temptation to have duplicated tools in different stages)
    another approach could be using a schematic map, similar to maya/shake/FFI. which would allow you to seperate the fine tuning (as in painting mask and selections and such) from the gross movements (such as adding and array of filters)
    the advantage of the schematic method is that you can continually tweak each node independently of any other object, something impossible in photoshop today

  • Stephen Martindale — 3:22 AM on November 09, 2007

    More customizability is great, but the biggest barrier to customizability is the threat of loosing your settings.
    Look at two successful applications: eclipse and Firefox. Both of them allow you to create a “profile” (or “workspace”) that stores all your custom settings, macros, scripts, plugins, addons, tweaks, hacks, haks, hax, etc. The profile can be stored anywhere and moved from machine to machine.
    [Absolutely. Check out my idea for letting users exchange info right through the app, storing the info on the network. It’s a place to start. –J.]
    In my opinion, Photoshop already provides many customization options, such as presets for curves layers, custom brushes, custom swatch-sets and actions, but I’m reluctant to use these because I have to dig through application folders to take them to another machine or back them up.
    [Pulling some or all of your settings onto a machine should be as simple as typing “stephenm” or whatever into any copy of Photoshop, then synching. –J.]

  • imajes — 3:23 AM on November 09, 2007

    A very simple little tweak to the UI that I think may go down very well is having a larger gap between the new layer button and rubbish bin button on the layers pallette. The no. of times I’ve accidentally binned something when I want to copy/dupe. Thank God for undos. Except there is no undo on the Actions [or Styles, History..] palette which has the exact same issue. I don’t think I’ve binned an action I want to duplicate, that I’ve not yet saved. But it’s only a matter of time.
    Even with the palettes at their smallest there is the perfect amount of space to have a bigger gap between these two very different buttons, than between the other buttons. Though it seems that all the gaps may be a tad bigger than before, but that’s just because the line between the icons is now missing it appears.
    This particular niggle is not helped by the way the layers in CS3, now do not follow the mouse movement when being dragged. The layer stays in a vertical track instead. This dichotomy between visual indication and mouse movement is a little disconcerting and I cannot think of any reason for this particular ‘improvement’.
    The old way seemed to work no problem. What’s the reasoning for this John?
    [I’m not aware of the behavior changing, but let me mention it to our UI designer to see what she says. –J.]

  • Yakumo — 3:23 AM on November 09, 2007

    no one care to mention that the CS3 interface is actually utterly fantastic and a gigantic leap forward from all previous efforts?
    [Thanks for saying so. It’s our job to be kind of hard on ourselves, always looking for the Next-Next Thing. The downside is that sometimes all I can see are the flaws, the things we haven’t yet gotten done. –J.]
    and ‘Ted’ exactly what competitors have them beat for prettiness? what does prettiness matter over functionality in such an app? and in fact, what competitors period.

  • Patrick Callahan — 3:54 AM on November 09, 2007

    >[The trick would be to demonstrate that porting Photoshop to Linux would grow the Photoshop market, not just transfer Windows seats to Linux seats. Any time I’ve looked, mainstream Linux usage has been in the (very) low single digits. That makes the business case a tough one. –J.]
    This is the kind of thinking that killed the dinosaurs ;-) Tell the marketing people to shut the hell up and let the engineers have a turn at the helm. For most people, operating systems are defined entirely by killer apps. YOU have to take the risk and do the porting work on speculation. If you build it, they will come. I stopped buying Windows at XP. Vista and its stupid DRM is a bloated abomination that I will NEVER own. There are countless others like me and the numbers are growing daily. I’m done with Windows and I have always loathed Apple’s entire approach to everything, so that leaves trying to get my two main apps (PS and Vegas) working on RHE/CentOS Linux. If you don’t facilitate those of us trying to move to the superior environment of Unix, you won’t even retain the lateral movers. You’ll just lose those customer completely. If ANY kind of important creative app gets ported to Linux, the platform will enter double-digits rapidly among the kind of users that make up your professional demographic. If you guys take 10 years to get on board because you don’t think it’s “cost effective”, someone else is going to eat your lunch in the graphics applications genre on Unix. Corel already has a long history in the Unix world, remember? ;-) Grow a pair and break some new ground, otherwise PS is simply not going to maintain its domination among graphics professional as the world wakes up and realizes that Windows is now a dead-end street.
    Considering that the obscene prices MS now charges for Vista would buy an extra copy of PS (an upgrade anyway) if the user didn’t have to pay for the OS, you’re actually LOSING potential sales by not porting to Linux.

  • KaOS — 4:02 AM on November 09, 2007

    Customizable UI would be great. Ever seen the blender UI?
    [I haven’t, but I’ll check it out; thanks. –J.]
    It has custom UI’s for all your self-defined tasks, and you can swith back and forth without reloading or opening, all with keyboard shortcuts. Say switch from Modeling to Animation or Sculpt mode, back to UV-painting with a hide UI/full screen key available. This let’s you concentrate on the real work instead of dragging UI-windows out of the way…
    -K

  • Steve — 4:31 AM on November 09, 2007

    Speaking of S4W:
    It is mind-boggling to me that as of CS3 you *still* can’t paste or eyedropper a color GIF matte. I mean, c’mon.
    As for a UI overhaul, I’m all for it, but perhaps the first thing to conquer is realtime filters on the Mac using Core Image that quite frankly, Adobe is being spanked on by all these up-and-comers (Acorn, eg).

  • Steve — 4:31 AM on November 09, 2007

    Speaking of S4W:
    It is mind-boggling to me that as of CS3 you *still* can’t paste or eyedropper a color into GIF matte. I mean, c’mon.
    As for a UI overhaul, I’m all for it, but perhaps the first thing to conquer is realtime filters on the Mac using Core Image that quite frankly, Adobe is being spanked on by all these up-and-comers (Acorn, eg).

  • Jarett — 4:42 AM on November 09, 2007

    I would like to add another vote for Linux support. I have been waiting for it for years now. Using VMware just to run up PS (and formerly IR) is a pain.
    You state single digit linux numbers… though lack of software like this is a key point holding people back from switching.
    Websites are primarily hosted on linux server. My development cycle would be much easier if I could run linux, develop my app, and do my graphics all on the same platform. MAC is not an option.
    Please don’t do with Photoshop, what AutoDesk did with AutoCAD… theres now a dozen specially tuned releases of AC for every market sector, but no one version fills the need of the average user.
    In terms of value, I feel like I am getting less for my money with PS CS3, since many of the features of ImageReady were removed. Ease of creation of rollovers, ease of creation of animated gifs, etc. I know you all want to force people to buy dreamweaver and other apps in addition, but the extent that features were removed was extreme.
    Additionally, I need ot buy lightroom on top of PS CS3 to get suitable raw conversion workflow. More money wasted in features and UI enhancements that should be in PS CS3.
    Lightroom should come with PS CS3/CS4.
    It’s almost enough to make me switch to using Fuji StudioMaster all the time.

  • Gaspy — 4:52 AM on November 09, 2007

    I’ve been waiting for a long time for the UI to change in PS.
    Like others have said, Corel Draw’s UI is a good example of customizable environment (Photo-Paint too). Actually, for a few years Corel was ahead of Adobe in terms of both UI and functionality. However, in the last 4 years Corel simply stopped innovating.
    Lightroom is a good example of modern environment: it’s highly customizable, the interface doesn’t get in your way, it’s intuitive and it’s easy to work with presets. It’s even helpful in the way it uses the healing brush or in the way the Curves adjustments are done.

  • Gerald R. Everett — 5:05 AM on November 09, 2007

    How about an adaptive interface, that learns from your use to prioritize and reorganize itself.

  • Gerald R. Everett — 5:05 AM on November 09, 2007

    How about an adaptive interface, that learns from your use to prioritize and reorganize itself.
    [This could theoretically work, but Microsoft has thrown a lot of time and effort at the problem & I still hate the way Office hides & shows menu items. It has a mind of its own, like the paper towel-dispensing robots in the Adobe bathrooms. I hate those things… –J.]

  • Chris — 5:35 AM on November 09, 2007

    I don’t think you should discount GIMP entirely. I’ve been using Photoshop since version 4 and there are several simple design functions that I perform in GIMP for the simple reason that it’s a two step process.
    That said, the UI changes in CS3 are definitely a step in the right direction (docked palettes!)

  • Chris PAge — 6:43 AM on November 09, 2007

    I truely believe that PS does not take advantage of multiple screens as well as it can.
    I am a Mac and Win User, it can be rather anoying to have the ‘grey Background in PS when using Windows.
    my gripe with the new CS3 tool pallets is that they do not work on other monitors. Why force people to use one monitor?
    All that energy spent on improving the interface and they forgot Why people have a second monitor in the first place.
    Looking So foward to CS4 (or 3.5 or what ever it may be)

  • SC Norman — 6:57 AM on November 09, 2007

    we already have three versions of Photoshop – do not let this turn into a bunch of different Photoshops at various price levels – the whole cs3 buddles were a nightmare – this is not helping.

  • Gez — 7:07 AM on November 09, 2007

    I was a photoshop user, now I’m using only gimp.
    The problem with complex programs like these is that there are lots of tools and options, and making a simple and direct UI for every user is maybe impossible.
    Gimp is going through a UI-redesign process and as far as I can see, people complains about the same: it’s bloated, hard to use, unfriendly to newcomers, some options are hard to find, etc.
    otoh, a photoshop user thinks that gimp UI is terrible, and vice-versa. But regular users of both programs use them everyday being very productive with them, although they critizice the same things of their program of choice.
    We are talking about programs with professional features. It’s ok that they aren’t “newbie who didn’t read the manual-friendly”. Most of the advanced tasks in image manipulation need to learn the basis before performing them (put, for instance, levels and curves vs. a simple brightness/contrast adjustment).
    So asking for a “intuitive” UI is mostly a stupid request.
    If you need to crop an image, remove red eyes and lighten a family photo, then you don’t need Photoshop.
    I agree that different (real) user cases should be considered for optimized interface layouts. But not just highlighting buttons, but creating a whole new layout that provides an improved workflow for each case. Of course, hidden options should be available for customization, and custom layouts should be easily exportable for ubiquity and exchange with other users.
    Imo, providing different default layouts designed with the help of professional users (photographers, designers, web designers, etc.) with the ability to add or remove elements for customization should be the best improvement towards the UI simplification and usability

  • Jared — 7:40 AM on November 09, 2007

    You might try looking at perspectives in the Eclipse IDE. I could see similar “perspectives” in Photoshop, where the choices might be “photography”, “pre-press”, etc.

  • smickworks — 7:50 AM on November 09, 2007

    I strongly DON’T agree with the multiple versions idea. Here’s why. It’s more difficult in a million little hidden ways. Including for Adobe, the support chain and the documentation chain get more clogged whenever this happens.
    The Loser Edition (LE) is always the one that mom buys for the kid. It’s always the one you pray your students didn’t only buy want when you are trying to train something. It’s always the one that the rookies have that doesn’t do the thing they need. And just like telling them their puppy died, you tell them they wasted their money and/or time. The loser edition rarely offers surprises in the app, which are more important that you realize. It’s also in the past been created by different departments, so a pro user has more difficulty with it.
    The loser edition creates this dark cloud. I wish I was joking about this.
    Turning off the interface seems like it would be easier. Don’t want curves, Levels. Just want Adjust > Color with sliders and crop. Just want B/W and Sepia options? Then use the front Dialog that pops up to configure it to Loser Edition. Then it’s not calling so much at runtime, maybe using less memory and then you can add things as your needs grow.
    But I’ll say this, the loser edition just as a free online tool is a winner because expecations, regrets, disappointments aren’t an issue there. Anyone commenting that it sucks or doesnt’ do X, the community says, No way, it’s a great free tool. Just don’t use the online one just as a nagware enticement app. i.e. don’t show me this awesome filter menu, where each one I click on says “Wouldn’t you like do do that? Well you can today for only $649 ha ha ha.”
    Plus, you can make money with the online version with a storage model, or better yet, with a book, postcard, brochure, letterhead printing model. John, if you take my idea, we split the profit 50/50 k?
    [You’re on. :-) –J.]

  • Heath — 7:53 AM on November 09, 2007

    While you’re at it, you’re not exactly on par with other apps on Windows at least. For example, why can’t Bridge save ratings info – or even read it – from the file metadata itself? JPEG supports this through one of its metadata standards (don’t remember off hand) and it’s an utter disappointment that I can’t use Bridge to manage my ratings and categories when the platform-provided tools like Windows Photo Gallery can. The benefit is that many other apps can use this information so I could, for example, sync 5-star pictures only to my portable media player. I’d rather stay in Bridge to do all this because it provides great information and advanced touch-ups, but I repeatedly find myself going back to Windows Explorer to set ratings and categories. Because of this, often times I don’t bother with Bridge.

  • Eric Knisley — 7:59 AM on November 09, 2007

    I was discussing this issue with some graphics buddies, and we came to a couple of conclusions. I should mention that most of us are “power users” to some degree, with at least ten years apiece on Photoshop.
    Most of us would like to see a “tunable” customizable UI for Photoshop, with simpler (user-defined) icons.
    For myself, I don’t use the palettes or toolbars at all, unless I have to. I learned long ago to use hotkeys instead, and have been doing so since version 3 or 4 or so. I have no idea, for instance, how to find the “gradient” tool on the tool bar, or where “select all” is. So please consider including a super-hotkey-assigner in future releases, something that would allow us to assign hotkey combos to more or less anything. I use the Gaussian Blur quite a bit, for instance, and would like a hotkey command, with an ALT- modifier that brings up the numerical entry box. And it would be nice to be able to assign Actions to hotkeys as well.
    Of course, the app may already support these functions and I just missed it–I also haven’t read the manual in about a decade. 8-) Cheers,
    –ek

  • Jim — 8:09 AM on November 09, 2007

    This video might have some relevant bits in it:
    Away with Applications: The Death of the Desktop.
    It’s a Google video by Aza Raskin. He conflates command interfaces with ZUIs, but it nevertheless gets you thinking.

  • Ano Nymous — 8:11 AM on November 09, 2007

    David Goemans: “I think that if it were to happen, it would port, not just windows users, but gimp users too. as much as I love and use gimp, I would buy a copy of photoshop, and use it hand in hand with free software such as InkScape.”
    And so would maybe three other people who use Linux and Gimp as part of a money-making workflow. Seriously, just because a few folks might switch, that doesn’t make it a profitable venture for Adobe. Half the reason the people using Linux and Gimp are doing so is because they’re free – and those people aren’t suddenly going to magically want to switch to software that couldn’t be much further from being free.
    As a Windows user, I’d much rather that money wasn’t put into a little-used Linux version which I’d then have to subsidise. At a minimum of $600 – $650 for CS3, and $1,000 for CS3 Extended, pricing is already ridiculously high.
    If a Linux version was made, how many hundreds more would the PC versions have to cost to foot the bill?

  • Reziac — 9:18 AM on November 09, 2007

    “By leading people to best practices, we can start deprecating (and later removing) outmoded functionality.”
    I *hate* when apps do that. 9 times out of 10 the functionality that gets removed is something I use on a daily basis. This is one reason I very seldom upgrade my major apps — because I’m tired of finding workarounds for what used to be core functionality, but are now absent.
    [Do you ever complain about applications being “bloated”? How do you think they get to feel that way? If we’re always asked to add things, yet never allowed to remove them, the math is pretty easy. That’s why, to keep the experience viable for many years to come, we have to be more aggressive & creative about moving people to the best practices. (Look at layer linking vs. multi-selection. After CS2 I had friends yell at me about the change, only to sheepishly admit months later that they were really glad to have moved.) –J.]

  • Chris Day — 9:52 AM on November 09, 2007

    I miss the old CS1 layout. to me that was just about perfect. I could hide things and actually use all of my workspace while Photoshop was maximized

  • William Johnson — 10:55 AM on November 09, 2007

    “Consider Save for Web. We’ve sometimes debated whether it would be useful to break S4W (as we abbreviate it) out if its modal box, integrating it into Photoshop as the core features were in ImageReady…. The thing is, though, that S4W right now gives you everything you need….The fact that it runs in a dialog is kind of incidental.”
    I strongly disagree with this. I still keep ImageReady around precisely for the non-modal web-graphics exports. Here’s the workflow: tweak the original, export, reload in browser; not quite right — OK, click on IR window, tweak, “Save” with *no Save dialog box appearing* (no need to specify file name and location)– it simply saves over the previous GIF or JPEG in the previous location inside your Web hierarchy. Reload in browser to check, rinse and repeat. You simply can’t do this in Ph’s S4W with even a fraction of that efficiency.

  • Chris Holmes — 10:59 AM on November 09, 2007

    This isn’t specific to Photoshop, but I’d truly appreciate identical behavior for identical tools in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.
    For example, to accept changes to a text block in Photoshop you press Enter, yet in Illustrator you press Escape. I frequently lose my changes in Photoshop because I mistakenly press Escape.
    There are many examples, such as invoking Transform, but I’ll leave the others as an exercise for the reader.
    Regardless, many many thanks for such powerful tools.

  • jtnt — 11:01 AM on November 09, 2007

    In response to the Naked Light release?
    http://www.naked.la/light/
    [I’m not familiar with Naked Light, and nothing comes up for me when I try visiting that link via Safari or Firefox. In any case, as I said above, we’ve been strategizing about Photoshop’s challenges for years. The work is incremental, but we’ve been on the case for quite a while already. –J.]

  • jimhere — 11:15 AM on November 09, 2007

    John Nack: …I think there can be a lot of power in presenting different configurations on the fly, task-by-task…
    But how would you know what “task” a user is really thinking.?
    I remember InDesign a couple years ago (CS1 maybe?) kept helpfully shoving the Character palette in my face when I clicked on a text box. I was actually clicking to change it’s color, but my personal arrangement of the palettes did not match what the InDesign team thought I really needed. They though “Oh, text -box. He must want type tools, because text is type, and type leads to typography, yay.” So the focus on went to the character palette, which happened to cover the swatches palette.
    So try to avoid the above suggestion of “a similar approach to light room by separating the menu system into diffrent stages of production”, because no one really knows what the next step in a task is until it happens.

  • Peter — 11:52 AM on November 09, 2007

    On an unrelated note, have y’all considered a GNU/Linux port of your programs? Otherwise, GIMP, Scribus, Inkscape, and others will continue to improve and chip away at the lower end of your marketshare. As a developer, I can either buy Photoshop for my platform, or improve GIMP to where it suits my needs. Releasing a port would cause many developers to do the former instead of the latter.

  • Erick — 12:22 PM on November 09, 2007

    I am a web developer and have used Paint Shop Pro for years. It meets my needs – most of the time – as I am a developer, not a designer. I’ve often considered a move to Photoshop to be able to do some more advanced things that PSP kinda stinks at, but every time I’ve looked at PS, I’ve gone back.
    One of the big reasons is the perceived complexity – PS just feels much harder to use than PSP.
    Another is shortcuts – the shortcuts that I commonly use in PSP make sense (shift-s for resize, s for select tool, e for eye-dropper, etc). They didn’t seem intuitive at all in PS and that was frustrating.
    The biggest reason is that I don’t live and die by my graphics work. Like I said, I am a developer, not a designer. I have frequent need to edit images, but not constant. Considering that, PSP is affordable, PS is not.
    PSP has also addressed many of the issues I’ve had, for example, transformation layers – adding a drop shadow to a layer and changing the drop shadow automatically when the layer changes. That something I never did find in PS. I was told you could do it, but never looked very hard and never found it – part of the lack of intuitiveness in PS.
    Anyway, make it better and make it reasonably priced so I can justify the cost of a whole new product, make the learning curve a little less steep and reduce clutter and you might have something.

  • Janet Taylor — 12:34 PM on November 09, 2007

    Someone suggested Blender, which I haven’t seen, but I would also suggest a thorough review of the 3d apps. Of necessity, those programs have to wrestle with sever complexity, and users who use the tools for very different tasks. Cinema 4D is a masterpiece of customizability. No one can complain about the interface, because you can always make it exactly what you want, from placement of menus/buttons/boxes what menus show, to the pop-up menus.
    And for the love of mike, can we please have live filters that work like adjustment layers. The “convert for…” option is a total kludge. I would cheerfully have lived with the old interface to have the programming time spent on this. And lighting effects that support 16-bit files.
    Refine edges rocks, but it can’t be applied live, so if you need to adjust it, you’re doing it all again.

  • Jaro — 1:29 PM on November 09, 2007

    hi, I just wanted to leave feedback that, although I applaud all efforts toward simplicity, please always keep in mind how changes look to existing users. To make it concrete, I REALLY liked the way you implemented refine edges in CS3… from endless hours of CS use I’m basically programmed to find “feather” by moving my cursor to that particular menu location without thinking, and so in CS3 I instantly found myself in the new (and great) refine edges dialog box without even thinking or wasting any time. I just did what I was used to and things got better in CS3. That was cool. So I hope you continue in that vein for any future interface improvements.
    What I would hate is to open a new version, do the same automatic motion to a menu I use every day, and NOT find what I’m looking for. For that reason I get scared when you talk about hiding options from menus. Hope that made sense. Thanks much! (And keep up the good work–CS3 is awesome as far as I’m concerned)

  • MEP — 1:38 PM on November 09, 2007

    “Presenting the same user experience to a photographer as we do to a radiologist, as to a Web designer, as to a prepress guy, is kind of absurd. The new ability for users to choose between Photoshop & Photoshop Extended helps somewhat, but it’s just one step.”
    Presenting different UIs (or workspaces) to different users makes sense, but I sincerely hope that the Photoshop product line isn’t going to fragment any more than it already has. I don’t fit into any of the traditional categories when it comes to how I use Photoshop. I’d hate to have to buy two different versions of the same app just to get the same functionality I already had in the older version. That PS Extended is more expensive is already a step in the wrong direction.

  • Steve — 3:37 PM on November 09, 2007

    I’ve been using and praising Photoshop for about ten years. It’s been the best for pretty well all that time. But, I do have to say, there’s alot I’ve been hoping for for years.
    There are three other apps I use that I wish could somehow fuse with Photoshop into an unholy monstrosity of awesome.
    [“Unholy Monstrosity of Awesome”–yes! ;-) –J.]
    Painter, Maya’s 2D PaintFX, and Zbrush.
    What I would most like to see is an overhaul of the brush engine. I’m an illustrator, and I far prefer Photoshop over Painter. But Painter’s brush engine can do so much more that Photoshops’. PS’s brushes seem to have barely evolved at all. I realize that the target market is more photographers, but there is a huge user base that paints in PS. The competition caters more directly to artists, and more folk are switching for good.
    An image hose would be nice, something that can either randomly apply stamps from a bank of color brushes, or distort a long image along a drawn vector, a bit like you can do in Illustrator.
    On that note – color brushes. Not just foreground/background, but RGBA brushes. Some pickup/smear from the underlying image would be awesome. A little like Painter’s artist’s oils can do.
    Another thing I’ve been crossing my fingers for, is more feature crossover between packages. I use Photoshop primarily, and I’ll hop into Illustrator for more graphic work. But I’d really love to see more of illustrator’s vector functionality within Photoshop.
    Vector morphing and/or free form point deformers: I like the liquefy tool, but often I need more control. What would be great, is either a definable grid, where you can select and move individual points, or better, draw a vector outline, and a target counterpart, and be able to distort from one to the other, much like 2D morph apps.
    One interface request: User-defined hotkeys for tool presets.
    [I’m glad to hear that someone has found & is using tool presets! One partial solution: You can record an action that switches to a particular preset, then assign a shortcut to the action. –J.]
    I love Photoshop, it’s the best app for most anything that involves pixels. But I have to admit being disappointed with most upgrades. I would much prefer to see core functionality improve, than a slicker interface. But again: Photoshop is still the best game in town, and for all my nitpicks, it’s still what I recommend to everyone.

  • Chris Cox — 4:23 PM on November 09, 2007

    > Why can’t photoshop scan negatives in the background while I work on other images in the foreground?
    In this case it is because the scanner driver APIs provided by the scanner maker and the OS vendors are all modal — they want to put a dialog up in your face, or at least take over the process while you scan. Pretty much the same goes for printing (but we’re working hard to improve that).
    Sometimes, the application authors aren’t in complete control of the situation — like when we have to work with hardware. We are constantly working with hardware vendors and OS vendors to improve the situation — but sometimes it takes years to get them to even understand that a problem exists. Then getting 8 parties to agree on what the fix should look like takes time, then getting a significant number to implement the fix takes more time, then we have to test the fix (and get them to fix bugs), then…. Deep sigh. You don’t know how frustrated we are with some of this. You really don’t.
    [I can verify that I just heard Chris deeply sigh somewhere down the hall. ;-) –J.]

  • Steve — 4:53 PM on November 09, 2007

    Johnny, I LOVE the tool presets. I use them constantly, and have amassed several banks that I switch between depending on the kind of work I’m doing. It’s saved me enough time and improved the quality of my work enough to pay for PS upgrades for years to come. Cheers on that one!
    Thanks for the tip, I hadn’t thought of doing it that way.

  • Magnus von Bromsen — 10:09 PM on November 09, 2007

    Always interesting to here the inner thought from Adobe.
    I think that because of PS big footprint and numerous features that a average(?) user never use, it’s open up for competitions. That is always a good thing. (When I go shopping for orange juice I want to choose between more then one type / brand.)
    I prepare images for the web and print, and, I think the new Pixelmator is good (not great yet) for web images. It lacks all the features of PS but have the most important one (for me at least) – except “Crop to size xyz”. The UI are nice and slick.
    I’m more disturbed that Adobe as a whole is so slow to adjust to new hardware and OS (first OS X then Intel-mac and now Leopard).
    [Yes, no matter what kind of surprises come out of Cupertino, it’s always Adobe’s fault. Good to know. (Incidentally, the fact that the vast majority of Adobe apps work well on Leopard right out of the gate didn’t just happen. It reflects a hell of a lot of coordination and hard work on the part of people at both companies. But sorry, I know that doesn’t really fit your narrative.) –J.]

  • Jaime — 10:28 PM on November 09, 2007

    I purchased CS2, installed it, and immediately went back to CS. Why? I could no longer use Extensis Phototools Photobars! Photobars is exactly what some of the people here are talking about: the ability to create your own buttons on the tool bar (and actually your own tool bars!) that include your own most-used tools. I very rarely use the menus … I just use my personal toolbar that includes some very hidden tools. I can even make buttons of installed plug-ins. ANYTHING that is on a menu can be made into a button and placed on a docked or free-floating toolbar. I’ve tried to do the “create an action then convert that to a button”, but then it has to reside within the actions palette and you have to scroll through it .. .and all the buttons look the same. I tried customizing the menus, but adding colors to an item didn’t make it “one-click” easy like Photobars did.
    If there is ANY way to recreate the functionality of Phototools Photobars, I would happily upgrade to the latest version of PS … but until then, I know my productivity would suffer if I had to give up Phototools Photobars.
    So, please please listen to the users who want customization of toolbars.

  • George Mann — 12:38 AM on November 10, 2007

    John I hope you don’t mind but this story inspired me to write a follow-up post of my own at O’Reilly Digital Media – Inside Lightroom.
    Thank you, George
    [Thanks, George; I’ll check it out. –J.]

  • Tara — 4:45 AM on November 10, 2007

    I would very much like to see a Linux version of the Adobe products, specifically Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom here. At the very least, it would be nice to see something that runs under Wine., either by verifying compatibility with Wine or helping to improve the parts of Wine that are lacking. I know it can be done now for at least Photoshop, but it involves copying an installed version of Photoshop from a Windows machine and still has some issues.
    I keep a Windows computer around simply for Adobe products now. I would much rather have that money to spend on things like lenses or software upgrades.

  • thinsoldier — 9:02 AM on November 10, 2007

    UI requests
    I’ve downloaded hundreds of brushes and it’s a pain to manage them all. Unless the author included a brush of his name and email address I can’t give credit when I use them. There needs to be some meta data added to the brush file format and rethink the way users add/remove/edit/save collections of brushes with the brush pallet and preset manager. The current way is just inefficient and underpowered.
    If you haven’t already you need to look at Alias/Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It allows you to never need to touch your keyboard and just work with your tablet quickly and easily. There needs to be a similar interface option in photoshop for digital painters.
    Every app needs tool tips as big and descriptive as the ones you get in ZBrush if you hold ctrl+hover over a button. Also Zbrush has a few 2d brush stroke types and brush tools that photoshop should have had years ago. Zbrush also has a panning feature tied to the tilde(~) key that makes seamless texture generation quick and easy. Much easier than photoshops Filter > Misc > Offset (which should be moved to Image>Offset)
    I’ve found the mel script window and Shelf in Maya to be infinitely better than photoshop’s limited actions system. You should try it.
    You need to put someone from the After Effects team in charge of photoshops non-destructive features. Smart objects+smart filters just isn’t as…”nice”.
    If you’ve been wondering how you can improve your brush settings features but without going in the direction of Painter just take a look at Maya’s 2d paint effects!
    Sure only advanced users will be making their own but EVERYONE would be using them.

  • thinsoldier — 9:38 AM on November 10, 2007

    quote
    with the few specific menu tools I need a lot more accessible with just a single click and even better so does everyone else. I use about 4 filters an awful lot and the others very, very rarely. So I’d like those 4 as buttons.
    /quote
    sounds like Maya’s Shelf Feature

  • imajes — 2:11 AM on November 11, 2007

    “sounds like Maya’s Shelf Feature” – thinsoldier
    Actually it’s exactly like what you have been able to do in Corel Draw for many years. CD also had docked palettes like PS now does, CD had customisable shorcuts like PS does now. Actually I always changed CDs shortcuts to match PSs as thankfully they were very good and got even better with customisable shortcuts. I’ve feature requested CD like attributes for 7 years+ in PS and verrrrry slowly some of them have been introduced.
    Bridge I find particulary annoying in the lack of customisation. There is a lot of blank space under the Menus which could easily be filled with a few tasks common to your workflow. I’d move the thumbnail slider and buttns from far right bottom, which is an unnecessarily long way from all the other controls on a big monitor.
    Directory Opus [the PS equivalent of file managers in power and features]is a very good example of a very powerful programme which you can customise to suit your particular workflow [and everyone has a different workflow]. Though you do need to spend 30mins at least setting Opus up the first time [but, only if you want to]. Opera is also very good in that respect, you put things where you find them most convienient and get rid of the buttons you never use.
    If you allow customisation like Opus, CorelDraw, Opera you actually solve the problem you initially posted John. You give people the standard infterface as now with good and easily saved/transfered customisation and everyone can have the interface they want.
    BTW moving the various PS settings one has at present from one PC to another is at present a complete PITA. SO a single repository that was saved everytime one closed PS would be great. Actions, Workspaces, presets…etc. Saving Actions to a back up is clumsy at present as you cannot simply save them all in one go. You have to do each set individually.

  • Don Temple — 11:28 AM on November 16, 2007

    Did Lightroom 1.3 address the issue with image capture time. When the time changed to standard time all of my capture times lost an hour.

  • Ajit — 9:06 PM on November 17, 2007

    Unified user interface across programs. Yes they do different things but it doesn’t have to be that different.
    I like photoshop’s power. I am always frustrated on how it works.

  • Ingo — 2:46 AM on February 11, 2008

    Lots of babble. The inferior point is the non-consistency of the whole thing. You can have a lot of features, as long as there is a certain logic to them, think about it!

  • handy — 6:34 AM on April 19, 2008

    if you try and show patience than iàm sure you will loose the great respect on photoshop and will be able to use it with the most of it`s features. i experienced it in this way.

  • Betty — 10:15 AM on July 01, 2009

    I used to be able to send a JPG or a Tiff to the printer by creating a EPS file in Quark and in Photoshop I could open it, and save it as JPG
    Now I get the message “one or more files missing, need to install ‘Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X tuneup’.
    Do you know how I would get that Tuneup?
    Would appreciate any Help.
    Thanks,
    Betty
    bcgraphics@sbcglobal

  • Mit Vertrag — 9:20 AM on July 24, 2009

    Another example how Photoshop’s structure is working… for my part: i like it.

  • Hochzeit — 3:52 AM on October 23, 2009

    I´ma Web designer, I’ve used Fireworks since version 3 and am glad that Adobe has kept it around. Interested to see what customizations could be made for PS to make serve up the tools of the Web designer.
    thankss

  • Yitzhak Ben Yeshi — 11:45 AM on December 13, 2009

    I think some of the comments may have somewhat true if you use a PC comparing it to Johnny Cash could be true. Moreover, I feel that there is nothing better than using Photo Shop 7 on a MAC. There is so much that you do can
    , be creative be expert in Repairing old Photos be an expert in creating a painting that would make Venango look like a Kenta Gardner’s drawing.
    Yet again I thought I had the best before I came from Israel to the United States. Then I discovered CS4 and now with my MAC I no longer drive Lincoln. But I commander of Enterprise Space Ship, with mission to discover Great Photo shop now and results produce better than Venango. Adobe You best.
    Yitzhak AKA Isaac

  • Handys — 4:16 AM on December 26, 2009

    I tried gimp some months ago, but wasn’t very happy with it. I am learning photoshop für 2 months now. I am still a beginner, but my first projects are looking good. It is easier I ever thought.

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