October 17, 2008

Where did Extract & others features go?

We’ve been doing a great deal of architectural rework in Photoshop to make good things possible now and in the future (64-bit, a new GPU architecture, better localization support, etc.).  That means we have to comb through older features and determine whether it’s worth investing in modernizing them, or whether the time would be better spent elsewhere.


In CS4 we made some hard calls and retired a number of features.  Some of these can be added back into CS4 (see Mac & Windows downloads) while others are gone for good.


  • Our plan is to replace the Extract plug-in with improved versions of its constituent pieces, built directly into Photoshop.  Some of these pieces (e.g. Refine Edge) are in place now while others are still in development.  In the meantime Extract remains available as an optional download.
  • Picture Package, Contact Sheet, Web Photo Gallery, and PDF Presentation have been replaced by the new Output module in Bridge CS4.  Of these the first three are in the optional download package, while PDF Presentation no longer works in CS4.
  • Photomerge remains part of PSCS4, but the interactive dialog (where you can drag photos around instead of just letting Photoshop do the work automatically) has been moved to the optional downloads package.  (Thanks for the feedback on that subject.)
  • The Mac TWAIN plug-in is quite long in the tooth and has been moved into the optional downloads, as has the Pattern Maker plug-in.
  • The download also contains optional plug-ins (Bigger Tiles) and content (Textures for Texturizer, WPG presets) that used to ship on the product disc.


As noted earlier, it’s never fun removing/retiring functionality lest we break an existing workflow.  Having said that, we need to prune the app to reduce redundancy and to make sure effort goes into the most valuable tools.  Hopefully we’re striking a good balance.

Posted by John Nack at 3:55 PM on October 17, 2008


  • Freddywang — 4:33 PM on October 17, 2008

    Fortunately Adobe doesn’t remove Photoshop Scripting. And Glad to see there are some improvement though not so much.
    [The huge improvement is being able to control scripts via SWF panels. Reading/writing layer-based metadata is also bound to be a sleeper hit. –J.]

  • Stephan Bollinger — 5:39 PM on October 17, 2008

    Very glad to hear that the EXTRACT filter gets some work. At its current state, its simply one of those tools you try once and never use again.
    In every beginners photoshop class, even before people have the slightest understanding of channels, colour modes, layers or masks, they ask “how can i get my girl off the ugly background and place her on the beach”! Today’s answer is a combination of 3rd party plugins, channels, masks & brushes, and I can’t wait for a “All photoshop OneClick” solution… smile!
    The new output option in Bridge is a huge step into the right direction. We got CS4 only two days ago and the bridge PDF export for contact sheets has already become part of our daily routine.

  • Rich — 7:17 AM on October 18, 2008

    Will layers support arbitrary metadata?
    [Yep. And there’s now better support for reading/writing XMP. –J.]
    I know you have a lot to report on, but can’t wait to learn more.
    [Cool; coming up soon. –J.]

  • John — 9:30 AM on October 18, 2008

    I rarely used extract (did not know how to use if correctly).
    I appreciate Adobe’s transparency regarding “take outs” and “put ins”.
    Ken in KY

  • Danya — 4:27 PM on October 18, 2008

    I’m surprised that PDF Presentation is a goner. I use it all the time as an office tool — I scan a bunch of document pages, then use Create PDF Presentation to quickly turn them all into a single doc for “faxing” or emailing. Just curious as to why it was taken out. Or is it still available in Bridge?
    [We felt that you’d get a better experience from Bridge, where you can see multiple images, lay them out in whatever order you’d like, preview the output, etc. It therefore wasn’t worth investing additional resources in porting PDF Presentation to 64-bit and making other architectural changes that are now underway. –J.]

  • Ginny — 8:02 PM on October 18, 2008

    Not sure where to ask this – just curious why photoshop cs4 keeps accessing activate.adobe.com even when I have fully licensed copy of the software?
    [I don’t know the details, but I’ve sent out a query for more info. –J.]

  • Steve — 8:28 AM on October 19, 2008

    My wife uses Picture package to print thre 4×6’s on a page. You indicate that Picture Package is in the optional download, but I don’t see it. Can you help?
    [I believe the ContactSheetII plug-in covers both Picture Package and Contact Sheet. Let me know if installing it doesn’t do the trick. –J.]
    Is there a way to do this with the new Bridge Output module? Thanks. Steve
    [The Bridge module doesn’t presently allow the same level of N-up flexibility you get in Picture Package. –J.]

  • Rosemary — 6:46 PM on October 19, 2008

    Without “PDF Presentation” is there a way to create multi-page PDFs? This is part of our printing workflow and we would hate to lose this function.
    [As noted, Bridge now includes an Output module that enables creation of multi-page PDFs. –J.]

  • howard — 1:55 PM on October 20, 2008

    Regarding contact sheet.
    Does the revision to Bridge allow for the creation of a contact sheet from currently open, but not yet saved documents?
    This has been an essential part of our workflow for proofing prints for such a long time that I would consider it a major obstacle to upgrading. I do like the contact sheet printing available in Lightroom and presume that the Bridge printing will be similar, but the open docs. option is important.

  • Craig Amey — 3:44 PM on October 20, 2008

    As you’ve mentioned, Bridge Output doesn’t really offer the same functionality as Picture Package. Is there any plan to add this in the future. There must be other photographers like myself who sell picture packages and want to build custom layouts for them to optimize print area. What software/plug-ins are they using?

  • Adam Betts — 6:30 PM on October 20, 2008

    It’s sad to to see Pattern Maker go (it was useful for most simple patterns for me), I’m glad to see them go so Adobe have better workforce into other things and leave it to third-party plugin developers to do better job. I’m just disappointed that Adobe haven’t paid much attention to improving the startup load time and reducing number of plug-ins won’t really help much with that.
    For the record, I’m happy with the direction Photoshop is going with CS4, I’m just stating what I feel Adobe needs to focus on more and also whining always seem to make us feel better somehow :) I really like the new window mode in CS4 and I’ve been using it for several months. As others said, I appreciated the transparency on this too.

  • Michael Imperial — 8:01 PM on October 20, 2008

    How about adding a glyph palette to PS?

  • Craig Amey — 1:55 PM on October 21, 2008

    On doing some further searching it appears that ImagePrint does a very good job of the Picture Package implementation. The latest version of Lightroom goes close but misses the very important issue of being able to create a picture package with more than one photo. If Lightroom had the (photo) Groups feature from ImagePrint it would make it a serious contender for this function. As is, not being able to use more than one pose/photo for the package is a bit of a deal breaker as even when I’m printing a single package for one customer they often request mix and match from more than one photo.

  • Jovic — 12:15 AM on October 30, 2008

    is there available plug-ins where i can download over the net, especially picture package and extract? thanks!
    [Here they are for Mac and Win. –J.]

  • Dave Gill — 1:09 PM on October 30, 2008

    I hope the extract filter will be further improved and returned to the starting line up. I use it with great success regularly and find it one of the most important tools in Photoshop.

  • john s webb — 2:55 AM on November 04, 2008

    After installing CS4 I was trying to open an old Kodak pcd file, no go. Then I remembered the optional Kodak PhotoCD plug-ins that I had with CS3. Couldn’t find them on the extra CS4 disks or at Adobe, apart from a link to Kodak, where you can download the old 1997 “Aquire” module. I dug out my PS CS3 disk and installed it from there instead – works fine. The Kodak PhotoCD plug in and profiles might be something to include in the legacy plug-in download? greetings
    [Unfortunately Kodak stopped supporting the plug-in a long, long time ago, so it doesn’t work on Intel-based Macs, in 64-bit mode, and maybe under other circumstances. There’s not much we can do about it, so we’ve stopped shipping the plug-in. –J.]

  • Richard Earney — 7:15 AM on November 10, 2008

    Ach PDF Presentation was so useful. Now I have to use Acrobat to merge all the PDFs that Layer Comps to Files creates. A bit of a backward step.

  • Jeffrey Tranberry — 5:51 AM on November 12, 2008

    Kodak’s official page for PhotoCD:
    You can still download their software from this page, however:
    “This product is discontinued. Kodak no longer offers technical support by telephone or e-mail.”
    I’ve converted all the PhotoCD images I shot in college to TIFF so I can catalog and edit the images in Lightroom.

  • Ann Shelbourne — 9:21 AM on November 21, 2008

    The loss of the CS3 version of “PDF Presentations” is causing problems for many Users of CS4 — as witnessed by numerous postings on this topic in the User to user Forums.
    The Bridge CS4/Output version of PDF Presentations needs considerable refinement to make it usable — including many more User-customizable settings and also the ability to save Style sheets/templates.
    It should also open the normal “Save for PDF” dialog so that user settings for compression and resolution etc. can be entered.
    At the moment, its capabilities are not yet of “Professional User” strength.
    Likewise the CS4 Web Gallery module in Bridge CS4 Output.
    Users need the ability to customize these Galleries to a far greater extent than they currently can.
    We need to be able to choose titling for thumbnails as well as the main image; and that titling should include options to create the text from either File Name or from metadata (such as Title or Keywords).
    The use of custom background images should be made possible; and Image Framing also need to be User definable — both for color and thickness.
    And it also essential that it becomes possible to save Customized formats as Styles for re-use.
    Is there any way that this issue can be addressed reasonably quickly with either a Plug-in or with a dot release because the need for these features is obviously of daily importance to many people?

  • Melissa Piccone — 10:15 AM on November 21, 2008

    PDF presentation is essential to my workflow. Bridge can’t handle my files and I can’t control the output – the quality is too low for digital printing. Do you recommend an alternative?

  • Austin Cawlishaw — 12:29 PM on November 25, 2008

    What I’d like to know is who the person is who decides to eliminate Picture Packages and Web Gallery? Do they live in a vacuum? Why is it that the consumer has to buy all these upgrades because we upgrade our camera equipment only to find we have to relearn Photoshop because “someone” “out there” makes a decision for ME?! There’s a saying…..”if it ain’t broke”…….

  • Stuart Barry — 2:25 PM on December 11, 2008

    I agree with Austin’s comments. I feel I have been blackmailed into upgrading. My new camera requires camera raw 5.2 and to get this in Bridge I am forced to upgrade.
    [That’s not the case. You can download the DNG Converter, which is free, and use it to make your proprietary raw images compatible with Camera Raw all the way back to CS1. –J.]
    I then find (and I did not see any warning of this in advance) that some features key to my workflow are not there. Web gallery is linked into my e-commerce as it is for hundreds of people who use EOS. Granted I have got it back, but I have had to do extra work. And where is the help file? I don’t want to connect to the web every time I have a question. The package that was delivered had no manual, no help file, and the help pdf will not complete a download from the web. This is 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

  • Evan Burrows — 8:53 AM on December 15, 2008

    Bring back the ‘PDF Presentation’ script. Your Bridge Output module is for entry level users, not for production level processing, and to add InDesign as a step in the ‘recipe’ to modify compression, Acrobat version compatibility, security, etc. is a true pain in the ass.

  • Ennis Van Flanders — 11:53 AM on December 16, 2008

    I’m using Photoshop and Bridge CS3 extended and the PDF Presentation
    tool for creating a slideshow doesn’t contain a “Fade” transition. It has
    many other goofy transitions that I would be embarrassed to use professionally.
    Am I missing something? Is there a plugin some where?

  • Willard Poindexter — 3:50 PM on December 16, 2008

    With CS3–Windows version, I regularly used CTRL-A (select all) and Select–>Modify–>Contract to create a stroke inside an image. With CS4, Contract is not available if I used CTRL-A. If I used one of the select tools (lasso, marquee, etc.), then all the functions under Modify are enabled. WHY was the function removed from CS4? I have an action in CS3 that puts the stroke inside the image as part of a frame action. Now that action errors out “Contract not available”. Any suggestions??
    [Let me see what I can find out about this one. –J.]

  • Jamster Mason — 12:06 PM on December 18, 2008

    Hi all, after reading thru for support concerning the now defunct “Contact sheet II” option in and with the newer PS version CS4, and after a couple a days of different suggested tryouts, after downloading and then installing the suggested “Output module” into Bridge CS4 it is finally showing up in the menu area of Bridge under Tools/Photoshop/contact sheet II…, it is showing up there but trying to enable what is now a new plug-in it naturally wants to opens up in PS-CS4 and winds up looking for it there! Were it is not located… so it does not open, enable or work, to my ever lasting frustration!
    Please someone help me! I have way too much time invested here but put in too much effort as well! So I have come to wits end! I am slow sometimes too, too many car accidents, or something!
    Can anyone help me out here? I have try a couple a different suggested options but non that i can get to work!
    Thank you, Jim

  • tim gartside — 7:33 AM on December 22, 2008

    what happens if I take my computer where I cannot get internet or it goes offline and want to look something up in help? point made I think.
    [Not that I can see. You simply download and install the plug-in & go on your way–no further connection required. –J.]
    I use contact sheet all the time to send photo wants to magazine editors. It WAS quick and easy. I could select images on a page in bridge and go photoshop>contact sheet. Really good and easy and quick. This new pdf thing is rubbish. I cannot select images or if I do it shows different ones. It is soooo slow. Rubbish, rubbish and yet more rubbish.
    Why do you keep changing the design? I have only just gotten used to CS3 and wham a new design. Change it every 3 or 4 upgrades please.
    [Contact Sheet hasn’t been changed since 1998 or so. I hate that we get ripped simultaneously for changing too slowly and too quickly, for being bloated and for retiring outdated functionality. –J.]
    I think most of my upgrade money is wasted on cosmetic changes and removing things I need. Of course I want to put CS3 on my old computer but now cannot because of your stupid activation program and the fact I need to use it still on my main computer.
    [You can install & activate CS3 (and 4 and 2) on up to two machines simultaneously. –J.]

  • Brian Kuehn — 7:25 AM on December 26, 2008

    I apparently was one of a few who regularly used the EXTRACT filter. For those few of us, it would be helpful to have a link to the download on this page.

  • gary o — 12:56 AM on December 27, 2008

    There is no way to activate 2 copies of any adobe program. Like windows, they mean dual cpu machines, not two machines.
    [You’re mistaken. It’s always been possible to activate the app on two physically separate machines. Where did you get your information, and why do you feel comfortable repeating it here as fact? –J.]
    But I was considering upgrading to get rid of the CS3 bugs but it seems this won’t do it. More of a downgrade rather than an upgrade.
    [Why do you say so? –J.]

  • Jeff Foster — 6:58 PM on January 02, 2009

    John – I’m glad you’ve posted this and the links to get the Extract plug-in as well!
    Something needs to be done with the limp-wristed, anemic Animation panel though!! All you guys seemed to do was put ImageReady on a timeline.
    And… Why can’t we change Scale, Rotation and Transform over time? Why is layer animation so jerky (even at 30fps) and why can’t we have at least a preset Keyframe Interpolation (Ease-in/out)? It doesn’t have to be adjustable even.
    I’m not asking for After Effects features built in – I can live without Motion Blur and other advanced features (actually not – I just use AE) but still… I find the current state of animation features a bit pathetic.

  • Daniel Hershman — 6:29 PM on January 05, 2009

    I for one do miss the PDF presentation feature in automate. Why get rid of this feature? It certainly worked well in previous versions.

  • Andy Chisholm — 6:28 AM on January 07, 2009

    I have downloaded the Help PDF file – How can I make CS4 look to this file and not try to go on-line for context sensitive help?
    [You need to open the PDF directly. I don’t think there’s a way to have the Help menu take you to it. –J.]

  • Scott Graham — 7:58 PM on January 07, 2009

    Actually there is a way. You have to delete or rename a certain file. But I don’t remember which—hell of a lot of help I am :(
    It is however working for me now. I B&M’d about only online help until someone helped me out.
    Pretty sure that it was mentioned here last fall. You might try a search for help.
    But John can find out :) Knowing that it is possible is the major hurdle.

  • Andy Chisholm — 12:25 AM on January 09, 2009

    Thanks Scott – found the following on support.
    Selecting the “offline” option forces CS4 to look to local .html files installed from the DVD. Unfortunately they are dated 2008/09/19 and the support link implies that they can’t be updated. It advises that you download the latest Help PDF and refer to that for up-to-date help.
    In our neck of the woods, slow/poor internet connections means that online help can be very tedious.

  • Susan Neves — 11:29 AM on January 09, 2009

    After downloading the plugins for picture package into the “automate” folder in photoshop, I only see the contact sheet option in Bridge. How do I see the option for picture package?

  • Scott Graham — 3:28 PM on January 09, 2009

    Hi Andy
    To me the whole concept of online help stinks. For ex, my main system cannot even get internet.
    And the complaint that the DVDs or our hard drives are getting ‘full’ isn’t very helpful either. It could be an option…
    And thank you for finding the link. My pdf’s are Nov 08, but either date is about when PS went gold so maybe not so bad?

  • Ramón G Castañeda — 11:23 PM on January 09, 2009

    [After downloading the plugins for picture package into the “automate” folder in photoshop…]
    …look in the File menu > Automate > Picture Package in Photoshop.
    Thus type of question belongs in the Adobe Photoshop forum for your platform, Macintosh or Windows.

  • Scott Graham — 7:40 AM on January 10, 2009

    Hi Andy,
    I actually read the link that you found :)
    and see that with no internet Adobe still takes care of us. Didn’t know that; and have been in China too long on my laptop to notice my desktop working.

  • G Powell — 7:43 PM on January 19, 2009

    I really miss EXTRACT. I used it all the time. I downloaded it and put it in the adobe PS CS4 plugins/filters as indicated by the readme file. The file is there but it is still not showing up in my photoshop filter menu. What am I doing wrong? Is anyone else having the same problem?

  • Ken Latman — 7:35 AM on January 21, 2009

    I beg to differ as to the PDF presentation being the same in Bridge CS4 as it was in Photoshop CS3. In the later I could run a lot more automated. I could have my scanner process a bunch of images, load them into photoshop as I went and then build a PDF based on open documents.
    I could also build a PDF presentations from a variety of files from different sources. So if I had 5 images in photoshop open and I wanted to add a cover page to my presentation that I store in another location, I could due this quite easily.
    It was really quite remarkable add in from the CS2 days.
    Now this all requires several steps that slow down the workflow and confuse users who didn’t even realize what was going on behind the scenes.
    There has to be a way to bring it back in some .xxx update. PLEASE.

  • Steve — 9:21 PM on February 05, 2009

    “Hopefully we’re striking a good balance.”
    Sorry, you aren’t. The loss of the PDF Presentation function from PS is huge. I understand that IN THEORY this makes some sense to have the functionality in Bridge, but in practice, it’s a royal PITA, and doesn’t adequately replace the old functionality. PLEASE bring it back.

  • Gilbert — 4:32 PM on February 16, 2009

    I like the Bridge handling of pdf creation in cs4. Is there a way to add a music overlay to pdf presentation?
    [You may be able to do so via Acrobat, but I’m afraid that Bridge can’t do it on its own. –J.]

  • Amanda Scott — 10:55 AM on February 20, 2009

    I agree, I like the Bridge handling of pdf creation. Sometimes change is better!

  • Debi — 7:17 AM on February 23, 2009

    Why, why, why, did they take away the option to dock tabs at the top of the screen on CS4? Now I’m stuck with these floating tabs that require me to constantly move them or else I have to constantly hit the tab button to temp. clear them from my monitor while I work? There is still plenty of unused space up there and as a photographer, I used that top bar for everything.
    [The palette well was retired in CS3. You can drag panels in various ways to create your own sort of palette well (e.g. here’s a screenshot. –J.]

  • Sally Turner — 10:42 AM on February 27, 2009

    I loved the Extract tool and used it in my work all the time. It was great on animals hair although I had my own methods of using it rather than those normally taught. If it has gone or if I have to buy it as an optional extra then I don’t think I’ll bother upgrading. If I’ve got to spend a lot of time refining a new technique before I can create any more portraits then it simply isn’t viable.
    [Did you see the link in this post where I said you could download the plug-in for CS4? –J.]

  • Charles Cleveland — 10:03 AM on March 05, 2009

    I’m trying to learn scripting for Photoshop and other Adobe apps. It’s been a rocky road so far.
    I made my first attempt at scripting with CS3, and found that neither my simple scripts nor the samples from Adobe would run on my Windows XP computer. With CS4, my scripts ran,but Photoshop would slow to a crawl if I had a document open that had been created with a script. Scripts for Illustrator and Indesign didn’t exhibit this problem.
    The 11.0.1 update to Photoshop appears to have fixed at least some of the problems. Creating new Photoshop documents with either Javascript or VBScript is still slow, but no longer so slow that scripting becomes impractical. Again, the slow performance has so far appeared only with Photoshop, not Illustrator or InDesign.
    What has been frustrating about all of this is that I haven’t found a way to report these problems to Adobe. With the feedback form on the Adobe Website, I am required to select a product, and there are no choices related to scripting. Selecting Photoshop doesn’t appear to be the answer, since a Photoshop support rep told me on the phone that they wouldn’t know what to do with a report involving scripting. I don’t expect Adobe to teach me scripting, but when the tools they provide don’t work as advertised, there needs to be a way to report the problem.

  • Ade Rowbotham — 11:24 AM on March 08, 2009

    The fact you removed PDF Presentation REALLY sucks. The Bridge implementation is hopeless as it does not give me proper controls over the PDF output. A PDF I usually get down to about 2MB just came out at 29.5 MB, on the low quality setting. No good for email.
    I’m now going to reinstall CS3. Great move guys. Maybe you should listen to your users. Or maybe you just don’t care now you’ve got a monopoly on the market.

  • John Hertia — 1:39 PM on March 15, 2009

    Do not understand WHY the Tranfer function was grayed out in STD CS4. It was a valuable tool in CS3 when using standard Ink Jet Printers & Vista.
    [We’ve been quietly rewriting the printing code in Photoshop. In order to move to Cocoa (as required by Apple in order to deliver a 64-bit Mac application), we need to move from QuickDraw to Quartz, and that means leaving certain things behind.
    For what it’s worth, in six months of shipping CS4 yours is only the second complaint I’ve heard about the removal of this option for non-PostScript printers. Sometimes the cost of maintaining an old feature overwhelms the benefit gained by keeping it around. (Put another way, we have to focus on things used by more people.) –J.]

  • Anke Turco — 1:32 PM on March 19, 2009

    I too installed extract in my filters, but can’t get it when I open PS. Is there another step?
    [Are you using a 64-bit Windows OS? I believe Extract is 32-bit only. That means that if you’re running Vista64 or XP64, you need to install Extract inside the plug-ins folder of the 32-bit version of the app. –J.]

  • Anke Turco — 2:07 PM on March 19, 2009

    I am running Vista64 and my CD has both the 64 and 32 bit versions of the Extract filter. My CS4 version is 64 bit only, so what goes where? :)

  • Emilio López — 3:09 PM on April 01, 2009

    i use extract almost every day, what i am going to do now!!!???.
    [Are you kidding? Did you read the post on which you’re commenting? The post includes links to the downloads. –J.]

  • Sara — 8:11 AM on April 02, 2009

    Lots of great new features in CS4. In general an improvement, however, I REALLY miss the multiple page contact sheets from Photoshop CS3. I often shoot hundreds of images and want the ability to print all in a folder as multiple contact sheets before editing. The Bridge version isn’t good enough.
    [Can you provide some specifics so that we can improve it? –J.]
    I teach photoshop and most of my students feel the same way.
    Also please, please get a script to turn off the “virtual” rotate and zoom features!! I have a new touch/gesture sensitive trackpad and the image in photoshop tends will zoom and rotate uncontrolablly. Would LOVE the option to turn it off.
    [Already done: check this out. –J.]

  • Mate Dobray — 4:27 AM on April 14, 2009

    I can’t believe the Extract command was removed. It’s a big disappointment to me, as I use it ALL the time. I don’t know what you mean by saying that it didn’t work properly. It was just old and destructive, so all you have to do is duplicate the layer, extract it, then make a mask out of it and apply the mask to the original layer. It was PERFECT, it was intelligent and was able to “see” the edges. The new techniques, however, such as Quick Select, are just sloppy and not precise. Furthermore, Refine Edge and the Masks panel is NOT “intelligent”. They allow you to feather the OVERALL selection mask without precise control. You cannot use that to automatically feather hair while keeping the contour of a hand sharp in the same selection. You could do that with Extract, while correcting it with a brush.
    I think it was just too old and should have been improved instead of removed. It was really a useful tool and people who didn’t use it were wasting a lot of time. I hope Adobe will be making a tool that will intelligently “see” the edges and not just offer an overall “blur” option.
    [We certainly intend to improve Refine Edge. In the meantime, note that you can download Extract & keep working with it in CS4. –J.]

  • photo retouching — 7:29 AM on April 23, 2009

    I agree that the extract is a big loss to the utilities. Feather does not have exactly the same results as extract used to. I am thinking of loading an earlier version as well to work alongside the current cs4.
    [Please, please… people need to read the post before commenting on it. The download link you seek is right above this text. –J.]

  • photo retouching — 8:31 PM on May 15, 2009

    Apologies for not reading the tut properly and missing the info on the extract tool. My mistake as your blog is really clear and easy to follow!

  • Jeff Oliphant — 11:37 AM on June 06, 2009

    Am I to understand that Extract is not available for the 64 bit version of Photoshop?
    [That’s correct. It’ll run just fine under the 32-bit version, which you can opt to install (alongside the 64-bit version if you wish) using the same installer. –J.]

  • Andrea Massalski — 4:35 PM on June 12, 2009

    I’m very disappointed to find the PDF Presentation gone. I really like to make PDF Presentations for my class. And most of the time Bridge and Photoshop are not available, so all I needed was the Adobe Reader. Boo.
    Also why would you remove the Web Gallery feature but have it as a plugin? You must indent to eliminate it all together.
    [Eventually, yes. –J.]
    I feel pushed into Lightroom for features that I could enjoy in one product.
    [You know you can make PDFs from Bridge, right? –J.]

  • Dave DB — 6:45 PM on June 16, 2009

    I am using CS4 for the first time. When you go to the online help and as for help with “Extract” it takes you to tutorials and help that doesn’t match the CS4 Image or Filter options. Not in the habbit of bashing anyone making software, but having seen the emotion associated with the need to “piece-patch” a pretty expensive software suite I must say I’m frustrated. BTW – where is the link in the above thread to download the Extract Plug In…My install disks are at the office…

  • Luis Suarez — 5:10 AM on July 07, 2009

    Hi jhon.
    I agree with you that many of the tools may be redundant, but i still dont get why the features got the optional “axe” since all of them help streamline the workflow. to be honest im not completely happy about those changes, but still im giving you guys the benefit of the doubt as i believe we will meet them again in future releases. Photoshop cs5 anyone? ;)
    Luis S.

  • Mike Hedge — 6:51 PM on July 08, 2009

    um….. the missing automate to PDF thing? gone….. how do I do this in Bridge?

  • Angel — 4:39 PM on July 13, 2009

    I need assintance with Bridge & ps. I have attempted the drop & drag thing with to get pic pkg. back & it’s not working for me at all. I have win vista home version on my hp. Every time i try to take an image & turn it into a pic pkg. it automatically tranfers it into ps & says it cannot open the unkown file. Please help. I’ve tried forums & i must be completely ignorant because i’m getting nowhere. Thank you so much….a mom

  • Rene Box — 3:36 AM on July 21, 2009

    Quote: Willard Poindexter — 3:50 PM on December 16, 2008
    With CS3–Windows version, I regularly used CTRL-A (select all) and Select–>Modify–>Contract to create a stroke inside an image. With CS4, Contract is not available if I used CTRL-A. If I used one of the select tools (lasso, marquee, etc.), then all the functions under Modify are enabled. WHY was the function removed from CS4? I have an action in CS3 that puts the stroke inside the image as part of a frame action. Now that action errors out “Contract not available”. Any suggestions??
    [Let me see what I can find out about this one. –J.]
    Hi, I also have an action I used to use a lot for my photographic website but can’t anymore due to the problem described above.
    Is there any news on as to why this is not possible anymore in CS4?
    I’ve got a workaround but that is very tedious to say the least and cannot be automated.
    Please get this fixed a.s.a.p.

  • Randy — 5:12 PM on July 28, 2009

    Okay… soooooo… New to CS4 altogether and happened to have come across a CS2 Tutorial book at a yard sale. It’s superb, but I got totally lost when it tried to teach me to use the Extract function that I couldn’t find. Doh! I can’t thank you enough for this posting. Unlike many others, I found the link easily in this posting. The 32 bit comment was especially helpful, too. Thanks again. Thank you, thank you and… thank you.

  • Web Design — 1:42 PM on August 01, 2009

    Thanks for posting this topic. I’m glad I found the plug-in for the highly-used Extract filter.
    I’m looking forward to when PS has implemented this feature completely.

  • Marco — 9:06 PM on August 04, 2009

    Quote: Willard Poindexter — 3:50 PM on December 16, 2008
    With CS3–Windows version, I regularly used CTRL-A (select all) and Select> Modify> Contract to create a stroke inside an image. With CS4, Contract is not available if I used CTRL-A. If I used one of the select tools (lasso, marquee, etc.), then all the functions under Modify are enabled. WHY was the function removed from CS4? I have an action in CS3 that puts the stroke inside the image as part of a frame action. Now that action errors out “Contract not available”. Any suggestions??
    [Let me see what I can find out about this one. –J.]
    I’m having a similar problem. In CS3 I would Select All then Alt+Ctrl+D to feather the selection. This was a very fast technique for making a vignette layer. In CS4 Feather is not available after you Select All, only Border. I have an action for this that now no longer works. The workaround is tedious.
    Is there a fix yet?

  • Sean — 10:59 AM on August 07, 2009

    This infuriating bug with not being able to select all and use the Contract, Smooth, etc. Modify commands has been around since the CS4 beta, and I’m baffled why Adobe hasn’t fixed this yet.
    I have noticed that if you do select all and then hit the down arrow once so that the top edge is 1px below the border, all the Modify commands become available, however only that top part of the selection is affected. The other three side are unchanged.
    So basically any part of a selection that is touching the border does not respond to Modify commands.

  • Matthew Range — 4:35 PM on August 26, 2009

    BRING BACK PDF PRESENTATION IN CS4. My workflow has slowed down to a crawl because it’s gone.
    PDFs at low quality are still too big. I’m putting together contact sheets of images from multiple folders… I used to open the images I wanted. Create a multi page contact sheet, and then save to pdf presentation….Can’t do that now….
    The drawbacks of CS4 seriously outweigh any benefits over CS3. I’m reinstalling CS3.
    One thing you could do to fix it would to be able to right click an image and temporarily save a copy to the “output folder”.
    That way I could go through all my folders and right click the ones that I want to create a pdf presentation with, and then go to the output module and really select the different levels of quality and order like the old pdf presentatation.
    Give an option to save the folder as well which it renames when creating the pdf otherwise it clears the copies out for the next time…

  • יחסי ציבור — 4:02 AM on August 29, 2009

    thanks for your help.
    I was struggling with CS4.

  • John Goldsmid — 8:24 AM on September 09, 2009

    The ‘Extract’ filter is much missed.
    I find it strange that a feature which had 4 pages devoted to it in Adobe’s CS3 ‘Classroom in a Book’ became an optional install in CS4.
    In our own company (with several hundred CS4 users), all software is installed by the IT department and individual users can’t load ‘optional extras’.
    It’s frustrating to have spent a considerable amount of money on an upgrade and then lost the functionality which we had before, before an alternative was ready to be rolled out :-(

  • Angela Wulf — 1:23 AM on September 20, 2009

    I really can’t believe, that I get less options, when I buy an update for 1000 Euro.
    [You don’t get fewer options. You can download and install Extract right now. –J.]
    I think it’s not very funny.

  • Joel Vallie — 1:43 PM on September 20, 2009

    Thanks for this info and a link to down load the extract brush. I have been looking all day for this.

  • qaz — 12:07 AM on September 23, 2009

    where can one download the extract tool?

  • Nina Bondarook — 8:30 PM on October 02, 2009

    I’ve followed the comments on how to open old Kodak Photo CDs in Photoshop CS4 — found the right plug-in and color profiles on CS3 discs. But apparently didn’t copy them to the right place on CS4 because I still get the same error messages about unsupported file/can’t open, etc. I’m not a techie, but if someone could send me detailed, accurate instructions on where, exactly, to install the components and how to make it work, I would be forever in your debt. I have years of B&W photos that I suddenly can no longer access. While I’m not a techie, I am pretty good at following directions. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much.

  • Nina Bondarook — 8:33 PM on October 02, 2009

    BTW, I’m on a Vista 64-bit system.

  • Steve — 8:26 AM on October 08, 2009

    Removing the Extract filter and then making those of us who use it beat our heads on the desk until we find out how to download it and install it was a bonehead move by Adobe. I used Extract a LOT. Now I can’t meet my deadline. Thanks Adobe!

  • Ricardo Galvão , ACE PS CS3 — 2:38 PM on October 25, 2009

    Well, thanks to replace Extract and Pattern maker, cause, I’ve just used them for design only…
    Extract for grunge effects (not to extract anything)
    And So on pattern Maker for design things…(see corey barker examples)

  • Chris G. — 10:16 AM on November 05, 2009

    I agree that Bridge is the obvious place for PDF Presentation, and we’re glad that in still exists within the Output module. However, there’s no option to compress the PDF as there was before. We create PDF proof sheets to email to clients, and the PDFs created in Output are HUGE. The only solution is to then open them in Acrobat Pro and use “Reduce File Size”, an unnecessary 2-step process.
    Seems it would have been much better if Adobe had retained the compression option, or am I missing something here?

  • Mark — 4:35 PM on November 05, 2009

    try vertus fluid mask, or the new mask pro 4.1 at ononesoftware.com, both have 1mth trials. or for a more basic masking extraction software, topaz remask..but I find mask pro the best, followed by fluid mask…in saying this if you wait I feel adobe has some great things planned with extraction since it is a key compositing tool for all 2d magazine artists, the refine edge tool is very much an extraction tool but you`ll need to invest time into understanding it together with the masking palette..

  • Wim Wenner — 3:49 AM on November 29, 2009

    Same here. Reinstalled CS3 to use PDF Presentation. A step back in history!

  • David — 12:03 PM on January 18, 2010

    In the implementation of Contact Sheet II on CS4 we are not able to have the file name wrap to multiple lines as we were able to do in CS2. I’ve tried both in the Output module and in Contact Sheet II plug in. Any thoughts on how to do this? Wife likes long file names….

  • Nick — 5:15 AM on February 24, 2010

    i couldnt agree more !!! exactly. thats one of those things that swap productivity out of the window for you. And adobe and MS have plenty of such frustrating examples to show lately. Killing your workflow, going backwards, living in their own world since themselves are not out there in the market making a living out of the tools they program, They build mostly on marketing type speculations “thats what the average user should do it” or “how is wanting it to be”

  • Claudia Abbott — 5:35 AM on March 20, 2010

    I have the same problem; did you ever solve it?

  • Zach Stern — 8:18 PM on July 04, 2010

    I jumped from CS3 to CS5 and I was very disappointed to learn that the manual arrangement feature within Photomerge was omitted from CS5. This feature is essential when merging a vertical panorama because it allows you to set the proper perspective (i.e., usually the image closest to the ground is selected as the “perspective” image). Without this manual selection, there does not seem to be a way to control that feature.

    Will the “optional download” from CS4 work with CS5?

    [It may work in 32-bit mode, but I’m afraid I haven’t checked it, and as people are out on vacation this week, I can’t ask for confirmation. –J.]

  • Lorrieanne Carnes — 8:38 AM on July 11, 2010

    I loved the extract feature. Although I make masks all day, Extract went about it in a unique way. Could extract be brought back with an option of making cleaner edges than the previous extract?

    • jeffrey Tranberry — 3:04 AM on July 12, 2010

      Lorrianne, no. We’ve replaced the old extract technology with the new, non-destructive refine edge technology:


  • לימודי הנדסת מכונות — 6:46 AM on August 13, 2010

    CS5 is much easier to work with

  • farah — 3:00 PM on November 06, 2010


    i cant find the extract filter in my photoshop CS4
    for windows 7

    what can i do to get it back?

    thank you

  • User_for_16_years — 2:16 PM on February 24, 2011

    What a scam. Also, the Change Layer Content is gone, too. Why?

    [Because, when we surveyed thousands of prerelease customers, no one reported using it. Inevitably *someone* is using every feature in PS, but to make for the new sometimes we have to prune the old. –J.]

    Amazingly, the useless Lens Flare filter is still there. And the Paint Bucket. What gives?

    [In recent usage data, Paint Bucket usage ranks #31 out of the ~10,000 Photoshop operations reported. Clearly, though, we should pull it based on the hunch of a guy hiding behind a pseudonym. –J.]

  • L. de Ruijter — 3:26 PM on April 04, 2011

    Well, I have upgraded from CS3 to CS5, missed the extract tool (as the ‘refine edge’ tool is way less sophisticated), downloaded the plugin, installed it the way Jan Kabili showed in a tutorial but it won’t show up. Did some homework and launched PS in 32 bits mode. Nothing. Then I installed the whole ‘additional plug-ins folder’ outside of the Photoshop/plugin folder. All the plugins show up in Photoshop. Except the Extract filter. I’m at a loss here. Any ideas? I’m on a Mac.

  • steve M. — 8:57 PM on May 07, 2011

    How can you scroll thru the layer blend modes? In previous versions, you select the select tool and hightlight the blend mode and use the up and down arrow keys to scroll thru the blend modes, now this doesn’t work!

    [I don’t know why anything would have changed in this regard, but in any event you can select the Move tool, then hit Shift-plus/minus to cycle through blending modes (or use the various shortcuts like Opt-Shift-E to jump to specific blending modes). –J.]

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