June 23, 2009

Tip: Committing a text edit in PS and AI

Reader “ray” brought up a good point:

“On the mac, when editing text in Photoshop, hitting the enter key finishes the edit* and deselects the text. Hitting escape cancels the edit and reverts the changes.

In Illustrator, hitting enter inserts a carriage return (line break), while hitting escape finishes the edit. This inconsistency is very frustrating, as my muscle memory for these actions is constantly wrong.”

Understood. There is a consistent alternative, though: in both apps, hitting Cmd-Return/Ctrl-Return will commit your changes. Hope that helps.

* Note that on the Mac, Return & Enter are different keys. Return inserts a carriage return (line break), and Enter finishes the edit. Cmd-Return and Cmd-Enter both finish the edit. So, when you want to be done editing text, just remember to add the Cmd/Ctrl key + Return/Enter regardless of app/OS and you should be all set.

Posted by John Nack at 6:18 AM on June 23, 2009


  • Dave — 7:17 AM on June 23, 2009

    I’ve gotten into the habit of using cmd/enter myself in Photoshop but then InDesign always through me for a loop since that brings up the Quick Apply palette. Even After Effects, Photoshop’s timeline brother, works with escape. It would be nice to see some consistency between apps.
    [Yes, but why would “Escape” mean “Commit”? Esc usually gets you out of a dialog box or other modal operation & discards changes. –J.]

  • Ken — 7:37 AM on June 23, 2009

    Jack, For all the Photoshop Golfers, some flash goodness of the 2009 US OPEN
    Ken in Ky

  • Zeno Bokor — 7:44 AM on June 23, 2009

    how about the Pen Tool? Only Photoshop has a Rubber Band option while only Illustrator gives you the option of repositioning a point while you are drawing it. Another inconsistency in Photoshop is that in Standard Screen mode, if the image fits in the screen, you can’t pan it, you have to go to Full Screen mode to do that but that also gets rid of the tabs.
    Illustrator lacks the option to use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom (without the need for to hold down Alt)while only in Photoshop can you right+click on a tool to show the tools hidden “beneath” it without any delay. And what’s up with the Character panel in both applications(and i’m sure that it’s the same in the rest of the CS), a bit more consistency in there would be nice too, just look at the position of certain elements in there (H/V scale, font style).
    Or how about the shortcuts? Alt+Space for Photoshop to zoom out, Ctrl+Alt+Space for Illustrator. Ok, i’ll stop here:P

  • Mel — 9:51 AM on June 23, 2009

    On the PC platform, Return and Enter are also separate keys, though most keyboards label both as Enter. (The one at the lower right of the numeric pad is the Enter key.)
    They work as you described for the Apples.

  • N4th4n — 11:17 AM on June 23, 2009

    My MacBook Pro has a single enter/return key. Does it work as the enter key, or the return key, or do I need to use a modifier key to get both functions?
    [On my new 17″ MBP, the word “Enter” is written above “Return.” That means you can get the Enter behavior by holding down the Fn modifier key. –J.]
    I agree with the comment that it’s totally backwards to use Escape to mean Commit. Escape should *always* mean exit and discard changes.

  • Daemon — 2:24 AM on June 24, 2009

    Noone mentioned the Enter Key on numeric keypad that is easily reachable with your right hand thumb making minute movement lifting hand from mouse?
    In Photoshop it finishes editing text box. As for Illustrator, i use left hand to press Ctrl, and with right hand thumb just mash Enter on numeric – gives the same result.
    Overall, i have no trouble with consistency of text editing in PS + AI.

  • Gerald Singelmann — 4:44 AM on June 24, 2009

    > Esc usually gets you out of a dialog box
    Yes, it gets me out of text-editing mode. It does not necessarily mean “Abort”, but mainly “Get me out of here”.
    I practically never start writing a text layer and then decide “Naa, I don’t want to write after all”. When I do, I’d be happy undo.
    The point is: Photoshop has a choice to change the shortcuts. InDesign can’t because all the alternatives already have a meaning.

  • presretac — 11:49 AM on November 17, 2009

    nice effect

  • James Wages — 7:51 PM on April 08, 2012

    Yes, but what is the actual name of the command in InDesign that matches CMD-Return in Illustrator/Photoshop? I am happy to kill the shortcut on Quick Apply in InDesign, if I can use CMD-Return as I do in Illustrator/Photoshop. But without knowing the exact name of the “commit to edit” command in InDesign, there is no way to apply the CMD-Return shortcut to it!


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