June 06, 2009

Instant-turnaround feature requests

a.k.a., Stuff that already works as requested.

Thanks for all the great feedback on our JDI initiative. We’ve been combing through 300+ individual sets of suggestions (!), plus many hundred additional responses. I hope to get a chance to comment on more suggestions via blog comments, and maybe via a dedicated post discussing notable ones.

In the meantime, I’m seeing quite a few requests for things that Photoshop already does. On one hand I’m always happy to tell people that they can get what they want right now–no waiting, no fee. On the other, it’s a bit of a bummer that people don’t find features, much less answers, on their own (and we’re talking about people savvy enough to find this blog).

I thought you might find it useful to have some of these requests, plus their solutions, listed here.

  1. “PLEASE PLEASE stop the open doc window resizing when I zoom in or out, just leave it alone.”
    • This has been a preference since the dawn of time: “Zoom Resizes Windows.” For some weird historical reason, by default it’s enabled on Mac & disabled on Windows.
  2. “Allow resizing of the Curves display” [in the CS4 Adjustments panel]
    • It’s the little button at the bottom of the Adjustments panel, second from the left.
  3. “Curves: Let me Cntrl-click to set a point on the curve again! The on-image editing is fine, but old habits die hard.”
    • You’re referring to using the Adjustments panel instead of the Curves dialog box. Using either one you can Cmd-click/Ctrl-click with either the Eyedropper tool or the on-image adjustment tool.
  4. “Adjustment layers that can limit to groups: right now they affect everything below them. Be cool to drop them in a group and have it only affect that group.”
    • That capability has been there since layer sets/layer groups were introduced: put the adjustment layer into the group, then set the group’s blending mode to Normal. (By default it’s set to “Pass Through.”)
  5. “Ability to remove tools from Toolbar, like the 3D tools.” Also: “Unhide the tools. The pop-out tools is a hold over from when monitors were 640×480.”
  6. “Where is ContactSheet II in PhotoshopCS4? I want it back!”
    • It’s right here: Mac, Win.
  7. “Merge visible into new layer, instead of having to create a new layer, hold down option key, and then choose merge visible.”
    • Hit Shift-Cmd-Opt-E/Shift-Ctrl-Alt-E. (Update: Sorry, made a typo the first time around.)
  8. “Change the default layer stroke color to something usable (Black?)”
    • Haven’t tried CS4, then, eh? What we really need, though, is either to make the Layer Styles dialog sticky (so that the next drop shadow you create starts with the last one’s settings), or to let you set your own default values (your preferred starting point for each adjustment–e.g. global light off).
  9. “Close all other tabs” command, similar to browsers”
    • Cmd-Opt-W/Ctrl-Alt-W; also File->Close All.
  10. “Add smudge tool (with strength slider) to brush presets.”
    • Brush presets don’t record the values in the Options Bar, which would include the Strength slider. You can create a tool preset (via that icon at the left of the Options Bar–the one you never click) that does the trick, however. (Think of tool presets as a higher level of brush preset: they capture everything the brush preset would–brush tip shape, dynamics, etc.–plus whatever’s in the Options Bar.)
  11. “Enable the Save For Web dialog to allow for exporting just selected slices.”
    • The feature is there: Inside the S4W window, select the slices you want & hit Save. In the subsequent dialog (save location/options), choose “Selected Slices” from the “Slices” menu at bottom (screenshot).

And just on keyboard shortcuts:

  1. “Please, enable user to adjust his own hotkeys. I’m using photoshop since 1.0”
    • Yes, but apparently not one who values this capability enough to have chosen Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts at any point in the last four versions. (Sorry, this sort of thing gets a bit depressing. And please let’s not say, “Well, it wasn’t intuitive or discoverable where you put the command…” Sure it is.)
  2. “Cmd-H should hide Photoshop”
    • That’s debatable. In any case you can (on Mac) choose Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts, then open the Photoshop menu, choose Hide Photoshop, and hit Cmd-H. (JDI-wise, I’ve added a request to have Photoshop ask what to do the first time you hit this command.)
  3. “Bring back Ctrl+1-4 channel shortcuts for good (new are too stretchy)”
  4. “Give an option for the Adjustment Layers Palette to automatically hide, perhaps by hitting some hot key.”
    • A) You can choose “Auto-Collapse Iconic Panels” via preferences.
    • B) You can assign a keyboard shortcut to the Adjustments panel, then use it to hide/show the panel.
  5. “Add a shortcut to show/hide current layer.”
    • You can assign one to Layer->Hide/Show Layers.
  6. “Switch Cmd-Z and Cmd-Opt-Z shortcuts.”
    • Bet you know what I’m gonna say! :-)
10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments [32]

You can stop asking for an “Add” mode in Photoshop

…because it’s already in there: “Linear Dodge (Add).” Seriously. Please tell a video-editing/compositing friend. :-)
I’m not entirely sure about the naming history–that is, why Photoshop doesn’t just call Add “Add.” I think it has something to do with the fact that Calculations in PS already has “Add” and “Subtract” functions, and at the time the blending mode was introduced, the team didn’t want to cause confusion with Calculations.
Of course, confusion has ensued regardless, so maybe it’s time to simply switch the blending mode name to be “Add (Linear Dodge).” Just know that if we do that and people still ask for Add, my head may literally explode.

10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]
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