Photoshop CC 2018: Selected a brush but instead it changed to a tool

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
When using paintbrush and wanting to change from hard brush to a soft brush the brush changes to the clone tool and vice versa when using clone brush
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Posted 3 years ago

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Laura Timmel

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Brush presets: Can't change the tool (presets locked to a particular tool).

On the whole, I'm happy with the new Brushes panel in Photoshop 2018. And I'm thrilled that all of Kyle Webster's brushes (which I'd been drooling over for years) are now included! But, thanks to one major issue, what could have been a major upgrade has become a crippling step backward in functionality:

Most brushes are locked to a particular tool.

This seems to have been a deliberate choice by the dev team, and I get why. Each tool has its own unique settings, and by making a brush tool-specific, those unique settings can be saved along with the brush. That's a great feature, but the problem is that there's no way to use these full-featured brushes with any other tools.

So now, if I want to test out different erasers, I can only use the brushes saved without tool presets (General Brushes and Legacy Brushes) and the Kyle Webster brushes saved as erasers (of which there are very few).

Please, Photoshop devs, add an easy-to-access checkbox that allows the user to either use brushes' tool presets or apply the brush to the selected tool. For instance, "Use Selected Tool" or "Use Tool Preset."
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David Kozma

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It wouldn't even need a checkbox. In my opinion that over-complicates this.
 When I right click with a tool I'm interested in THAT tool. Changing it to another tool from the recent brush list is simply incorrect behaviour. And it basically ruined my workflow I loved since the recent brushes were introduced.
So: if I see all my recently used brushes there WITHOUT tool settings attached to it I can finally use the same brush very quickly for painting, erasing or smudging. That would make it better, not worse as it is now.

(This is one of the strongest features of Clip Studio Paint: changing to transparency while painting effectively turns your brush into an eraser with the very same settings. Making this possible in PS's world sounds like a very-very good goal. )

So I'd praise this tiny addition to recent brushes but now I'm using an older version of PS because of this (and of course to have device preview :( )
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Luisa Uribe

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This change too has prevented me from using the latest version of Photoshop, as I was very happy when able to use any of the recently used brushes as an eraser. I really tried to work with the latest version but it was too much of a hassle and there aren't a lot of eraser options in Kyle's brushes to begin with.

I know this has been a bad change for a lot of illustrators, and it would really help if there was a way to use the brushes with different tools.
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Silke Juppenlatz

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It's driving me round the bend.
I often need a specific shape for an eraser -- that option is now gone.
Please, can we have this back. It's really messed up as it is, right now.
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Paddy Boocock

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I am finding this a real pain as well - often want to switch brush type or size etc. and am fed up with it switching to a different tool instead, meaning I have to go through a whole lot of extra steps to get the tool to work in the way I want it to.

I agree with this original statement from David Kozma above:

"When I right click with a tool I'm interested in THAT tool. Changing it to another tool from the recent brush list is simply incorrect behaviour."

It isn't an improvement - it is a BUG.

If I want presets for a particular tool, I already have the ability to create and activate them etc. - I don't want the program to decide for me which tool it is appropriate to use.

This change is illogical, incorrect and messes up my workflow.
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Barb Morey

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^^^ The quote in the comment above 1000% this change was awful and this puts into less angry words my exact feelings on this stupid, stupid change. Very obvious nobody making this change uses photoshop to paint.
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Mike Shaw, Employee

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Official Response
Photoshop 19.1 has an added shortcut for loading Brush Settings from presets and Recent Brushes. (command+option click-Mac  control+alt click - Windows) Selecting preset in this manner ignores tool specific settings in the preset.

Recent brushes created from preset loaded with the shortcut are tool agnostic if the tool specified for the preset differ from the tool it was loaded to.

The Recent Brushes has an icon showing tool association if show additional preset info is enabled on the panel
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David Kozma

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Why would you make something harder to do then before? There was nothing wrong with the latest brushes list. Who complained that he can't find another tool there?

Software needs to be streamlined not more complicated. Ctrl+Alt+click, really? That's the most cumbersome solution to an absolutely unnecessary complication.

I DO NOT want to hold down 2 additional buttons just to choose a brush shape.
This is not a solution... you made it worse.

If you really want to show latest tool specific presets just make another line for it in the right click menu, and don't mess up a perfectly valid workflow.

Ever thought about tablet PC-s?
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Luisa Uribe

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Agreed, I could just set the brush to clear if it was easy to use a complicated shortcut, but it's not a great replacement for just changing the tool and then selecting any of the recent brushes.

Why can't we work this way again?
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dorje b

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Thanks Mike!  This workaround will help a lot.  I was duplicating my brushes and making sure to uncheck "Include Tool Settings," but this will be more helpful!
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Barb Morey

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This better be a temporary workaround, because photoshop is getting a lot of painting competition. As it is I'm buying Rebelle to give it a shot. I know it wasn't intentional for photoshop to be used as a painting program, but are you really going to lose that niche market with bad decisions like this? 
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Cristen Gillespie

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> This better be a temporary workaround, because photoshop is getting a lot of painting competition>

I don't find it a bad decision because I have a lot of Brush tools, I find it really helpful to have them in the same place, and now I can eliminate the tool part of the setting with modifier keys and use a brush tip for an eraser or any other tool the original preset wasn't designed to use. At the same time, I don't wind up modifying the preset itself, which I don't want to do, and I don't have to remember that oh yes, that isn't a brush preset, it's a tool preset and I'm in the wrong place.

Holding down modifiers is the same method I use for quick access to the color wheel, for altering size and hardness, and just about everything else I might be doing in Photoshop. I only wish we had more modifier keys or more letters in the alphabet in order to have more kbsc.<G>

And I do use a couple other painting apps, but with all this redesigned, I'm much happier to stay in Photoshop—so it's one of those YMMV features how much you like it, I guess. It took me a bit to remember what keys to use, but now I don't think about it.
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Shan Dee

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Good Lord I'm glad I'm not the only one wondering what the heck was going on. Why would you make things less intuitive?