June 03, 2012

Tab through layers to rename them in CS6

All the juice is in the last 10 seconds:

As you might expect, Shift-Tab also works, letting you rename a layer, then rename the one above it.

On a related note, Illustrator CS6 now lets you rename layers inline in the Layers panel (i.e. you don’t have to look away to a little dialog box). The same change was the second biggest applause-getter in Photoshop 7, right behind the (then-new) Healing Brush. Details count.

Posted by John Nack at 8:11 AM on June 03, 2012


  • Herman van Boeijen — 4:25 PM on June 03, 2012

    I personally appreciate the hell out of this!
    The combination with the search function is especially powerful! (though I did encounter a wee bug with a program error when I tabbed from an item leaving it not-matching the filter)

    Don’t forget the crown jewel: no more “copy of” on layers! :) !

    If only the same person that took care of these things would look at the undo/redo/layer change interaction… ;)

  • Trent — 7:02 AM on June 04, 2012

    In reference to your comment “Details count”. I’ve been complaining since PS3 about the inability to have larger IU menus in photoshop for those of us who have large (30″) monitors and want to use the max resolution (2560 x 1600) but have to break up their workflow by having to lean forward towards the monitor, with computer glasses, to read the toolbar. Not fair! Examples at the forum


    [Support for resolution-independent (scalable) UI is a must. It’s just a question of “when,” not “if.” –J.]

  • Ken — 7:23 AM on June 04, 2012

    Morning John,

    I just found the “oil paint” feature in CS6.

    Some of your readers might like a background I created with this application.


    Really adds a lot of “punch” to walls

    Ken in Kentucky

  • Adam Norwood — 8:53 AM on June 04, 2012

    Yes! This is one of those small features that I didn’t know that I needed, exactly, but has already been very useful.

    If you’re like me and use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible I’d suggest mapping a new shortcut to the “Layer > Rename Layer…” menu item, which makes the process even easier (I’ve mapped it to the F2 key to mimic the file rename shortcut in Windows, but YMMV).

    (Ironically-related PS: I was using TAB to enter my info in this comment form, and it kept bouncing me to the top of your page – looks like there are duplicated / conflicting tabindex attributes in the HTML?)

    [Yeah, I know, but I don’t know how to fix it. Suggestions would be most welcome. –J.]

    • Adam Norwood — 1:38 PM on June 04, 2012

      John: if you have access to your WordPress theme, you might check in comments.php (or wherever your comment form is defined) to see if you can edit out the tabindex attributes that are added to each input box — they conflict with the numbers already defined up in the “skip links” part of your header. Tabindex is a good accessibility idea in theory, but it’s often guilty of leading to further accessibility problems :) (see here for more: http://webaim.org/techniques/keyboard/tabindex)

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