phil_straus's profile

1 Message


70 Points

Thu, Mar 19, 2020 8:53 PM


Photoshop: \ has two meanings. One would be clearer.

I go back and forth between masking and unmasking near edges. Sometimes I want to use white as the foreground color, and sometimes black. I also go back and forth between showing the mask and not showing the mask using "\".

It is difficult to know when \ will change the foreground/background color. If you click on x to change the foreground background color, it will change whether \ will change the foreground/background color. 

I never know when I will be masking or unmasking when I click on \ if I don't have the toolbar showing.


1. Use \ only for switching the showing/not showing of the mask. That would be simplest, and my preference.

2. Give users a preference to choose either 1 or the way you have it set up now.

3. Document what the rules are for changing and not changing foreground/background colors when using \. Or tell me where that is in the documentation. I have never found it.

Thank you,

Phil Straus


63 Messages


1.2K Points

1 y ago

Hello Phil,

Mostly I want to support your request, but it leads me to a more general bee that buzzes in my bonnet and I want to use your request to introduce that bee.  My apologies for doing that.

I think you are addressing two general issues with photoshop, and your \ problem is just one of many similar problems.

Photoshop has umpteen commands and almost every key on the keyboard can do three or four or goodness knows how many different jobs.  This is terrific for experts but dangerous for beginners and so dangerous that many beginners, probably including me, find it all so confusing and unpredictable that they, we, never become experts.  Who in their right mind would guess that alt+shift+click in the appropriate context would display the rubylith trick?  And all experts were beginners before they became experts. 

The documentation for Photoshop is abysmal.  But Adobe will exclaim, "But there is so much of it" and bang on and on about the vast mountain of documentation.  But it is all so badly constructed and designed that it is a haystack hiding the information.  I've bought several books claiming to teach Photoshop.  Sadly, they follow the lead Adobe has set and just put a couple more haystacks into the paddock.  They are so eager to get to the super clever advanced things Photoshop can do that they omit the basics.  It is a bit like an education syllabus that proposes teaching Calculus and Partial Differential Equations in primary school and leaving addition subtraction and multiplication as topics for post graduate subjects. 

I think Adobe needs to have a big think about where they want Photoshop to go.  It won't be easy.  The Photoshop name is so valuable that they need to keep a product called "Photoshop" and that needs to be their flagship product, but they also need a product that is just a capable but less irregular, less mysterious and documented properly. 

Meanwhile, fixing your \ problem might be the place to start.

I hope I haven't been a pest.  My bees are sleeping peacefully.  Thanks.