Photoshop CS5/Lightroom: brush cursors not working on 2011 Mac/MacBook Air (OS X 10.7.x Lion)

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I'm running CS5 version 12.0.4 on a 2011 MacBook Air and the brushes do not work when resized between approx 300 - 650 in size. I don't know if this is a bug but the issue occurs in Lightroom as well. Please advise when an update will be issued to fix this. The software is pretty much useless to me with this issue affecting it.
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Derrick Harmon

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  • confused

Posted 9 years ago

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Lee Jay

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What does "do not work" mean specifically?
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Derrick Harmon

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When you increase the brush size to 300 to 650, the brush itself disappears. It turns back into regular mouse icon that does not even align with the strokes that you make on the screen.
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Chris Cox

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Photoshop and Lightroom use the Cocoa APIs, but not exactly the same code for cursors. Yeah, this is a video driver bug. There's no way both programs would have the same bug.

Apple is sometimes quick, and sometimes not. The more customers tell Apple about the problem and ask for a fix, the higher priority they'll put on it.
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Derrick Harmon

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Now I'm a bit confused. I took it into the Apple Store today and reported the issue with them at the Genius Bar. They seem to think it is an issue with compatibility with Lion rather than their hardware drivers. Could this actually be the case? I'd consider this good news because I have no problem wiping this thing out and downgrading to Snow Leopard. I'm not going to do it if it will be a waste of time though. What do you think?
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Derrick Harmon

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Well scratch that idea. Apparently the new Macbook Air's require Lion to support the hardware. This is really frustrating! If it is truly an OS compatibility issue, can't a software update fix it?
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Chris Cox

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Yes, Apple can fix it with a software update. But the bug is somewhere inside their video drivers, and we can't fix it from the application side.
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timo ender

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the 'genius people' are useless- last time when I was investigating whether it would be possible to 'downgrade' back to SL (in my opinion rather an upgrade, experiencing the mess in Lion) with my new MBA 2011, they had no clue that there might be issues of missing drivers for thunderbolt etc..., so yes, scratch this idea- we are stuck with beautiful Lion!
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timo ender

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same here- with both, LR3 and PS CS5 on a MBA 2011 (11"). Is it Lion or anything MBA specific?? No clue. I un-/ re-istalled various apps, activated/ deactivated preferences related to display resolution, trackpad, mouse, pointer etc. without any success of changing the brush behaviour back to normal.
Without having the chance to reinstall the whole OS- I wait for the USB-stick version of Lion- I feel stuck...
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Mk

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Ligthroom 3.4, MacBook Air 13" 2011, Mac OS X Lion

The brush tool (shortcut k) does not work. Symptoms:
- the cursor changes to the zoom in cursor, instead of the brush cursor. The erase brush cursor is the zoom out cursor.
- the brush does not paint where the cursor is display, but further down and further right.
- the cursor jumps all over the place making the feature unusable.
- the issue still exist when using a mouse instead of the trackpad.
- works well on an iMac using a trackpad

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Adjustment brush is unusable on a MacBook Air 2011 (10.7 Lion).
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timo ender

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Ok, the OS update today (10.7.1) didn't take care of that yet...
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CK Man

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similar problem in the liquify filter...wonder if apple did any test with Adobe CS before major system "upgrade". The problem is just too obvious that you can't avoid seeing it.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I think it's fairly unlikely that Apple do any serious testing with third party software. And Adobe's options are fairly limited, even with access to beta OS builds, as things often change between Apple's betas and final releases.

Hopefully Apple will take care of their bug soon, but it may be worth making some noise on Apple's own forums in the meantime.
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John Chardine

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With respect you all have it around the wrong way. Adobe should be making sure Photoshop works with Lion. If it does't it's likely that Adobe has done some funky things in the programming and Apple is just forcing Adobe to comply.

BTW I have the same cursor issue and really need it resolved.
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Chris Cox

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Well, I'm pretty sure you've never written software before.

Adobe made sure that Lightroom and Photoshop worked with the available versions of the OS when their software shipped. Adobe made sure that they worked with the APIs published by Apple. Adobe did everything by the book. Adobe couldn't guess that somewhere years later that Apple would break the video driver code. That's like buying a new car and guessing exactly when and how you'll get a flat tire 2 years later.

Apple made a mistake in Lion for some video cards/GPUs. And it turns out that Apple has a lot of mistakes in their GPU driver code -- different mistakes on several different GPUs. Adobe can't easily work around those. Apple has to fix the mistake in their code.

Now, Adobe did test Photoshop and Lightroom with Lion. But could Adobe guess that Apple would have different bugs on all sorts of different hardware configurations? Probably not. And there are too many possible combinations to test them all completely. Adobe reported a lot of bugs to Apple during the Lion beta test phase, and Apple fixed many of those before shipping Lion. But Apple doesn't write perfect software. Apple does have bugs in their OS, and Apple needs to fix those bugs so that all software will work correctly.

We're documenting the cursor issue (and several other graphics driver bugs) so Apple can fix it. It's obvious enough that Apple probably already has a couple of similar reports and might already be working on a fix.
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John Chardine

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Hello Chris- Your first comment is gratuitous and easy to ignore. You make some good points in the rest of the message. However, my main point was simply to say that the "blame" for this problem can't be just one-sided. Do you really think Apple is writes the video drivers when the hardware comes from third-party vendors like AMD/ATI and Intel?

It cannot be good for Adobe to have a flagship program like Photoshop not work properly on the Mac platform so the company should be highly motivated to get it right, which they have not. Lion has been seeded for a long while and there aren't actually many types of video hardware Apple uses in their current line-up (check their web site). How hard can this be for two big companies to solve?

I don't care who is to blame. I just want a fix for this problem as soon as possible. If this doesn't happen I will be looking for alternative image editing software that works with Lion.
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Chris Cox

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The first comment is important. You really don't know programming, how OS vendors establish and support APIs, how OS vendors make mistakes, how OS vendors must fix their mistakes, etc. You seem to have some mistaken impression that application authors have to change their code every time the OS coders make mistakes. That would be like expecting Toyota to change the design of their cars for every new pothole in the road.

AMD/NVidia/Intel give Apple some video driver code, which Apple further modifies and integrates. Apple is also responsible for the APIs that call into the driver code and can cause issues like this one. Even if the bug was in the GPU makers code, it ships with the OS, and Apple is responsible for that.

As far as everyone can tell, Adobe got the code right. But Apple made a (more than one) mistake in Lion and needs to fix it. I don't know how hard this is for Apple to fix, because I don't have their code to find the cause of the bug. But I do know that it would take Adobe a huge amount of work to bypass the OS driven cursor.

We are trying to work with Apple to get this, and many other, Lion bugs fixed as soon as possible. But we cannot set Apple's priorities, and we cannot fix Apple's code for them. If you want bugs in MacOS fixed sooner, please let Apple know that you want them to fix the bugs sooner.
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h00ligan

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Third party vendors often make mistakes too, of course everyone thinks they are infallible. It's not outside the realm that this is a multi party bug - and with years of coding you should be able to see that.

An appeal to authority/masses of 'as far as everyone can tell, adobe got the code right' is not a valid point. Who is everyone and when did they get your proprietary code to review? Where can I see the report from someone not employed by either company which isolates the issue?

The bottom line is John hit the nail on the head. Customers paying large sums for the software don't want finger pointing, they want solutions. Apple, Adobe, AMD, Nvidia all need to get together to figure it out.

Which actually brings up a relevant point - are nvidia users having this issue - has that been reported. Two different gpu vendors with this problem would basically cut them both out of it and leave it for Adobe and Apple to sort out.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, third parties can make mistakes - which is why we researched the problem to see if we could do anything about it. We found that it only happens with a certain OS/hardware combination. We found that the problem is reproducable in multiple applications that do not share code. We found that the OS APIs involved return no errors and have no dependency on the size of the cursor from the applications side. And there is no reasonable way to work around the bugs in the OS APIs/drivers.

Thus, Adobe can't do much about the bug in Apple's drivers and has to wait (along with all the other developers and users affected by this) for Apple to fix the bug in their drivers.

You aren't getting finger pointing from Adobe. We're helping you diagnose and understand the problem. Now that we know more about the issue, we understand that the problem is outside of the application developers' control and we all have to wait for Apple to fix their bug.
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adobe stinks

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This is not lion specific it is MBP early 2011 specific - which basically means the video card itself. I have a mac pro running lion and I never bump into this issue like I do on my mbp. There's no way to remedy it once it happens. you have to start fresh with a new file. stupid.
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David Dobish, Photoshop Engineering Manager

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I have reported this issue to Apple. If/When I hear anything from Apple that I can share I will update this list.
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Hlynur Ingvi Samuelsson

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My problem was merged into this one, it is exactly the same as the others, but i seem to be the only one using a Macbook Pro in here... Just to see if this is the correct queue for me?
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ooi0katzy0ioo

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I'm using a Macbook Pro and I'm having this problem. You are not alone.
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timo ender

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Guys! Today I just added a second external display to my setup (via USB) and the brushes/ eraser etc work again in both PS and LR!! I can see that at the critical values the ghost ouline of the brush jitters a little bit but keeps centred and keeps the right size!! Maybe the second external display slows down the update/ refresh rate or something similar... I hope that helps in fixing what was the reason in first place for that misbehaving brush outline...
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John Baxter

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I purchased a new MacBook Air (with Lion) two weeks ago. I transferred all my Applications (including PSCS5) from my iMac to the Air, using Migration Assistant.

I’ve encountered a nasty problem with CS5’s brush. The usual circle cursor abruptly switches to an Apple Arrow cursor and the pixels affected by the brush action are not at the arrow’s tip, but off to the right and down.

I’ve failed to find a cure.

I un-installed the Wacom Tablet Driver, ran Disk Utility to repair disk permissions. Then un-installed CS5, then re-installed. Cursor adamantly switches from circle to arrow.
Am I doomed ?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Brush Cursor Problem.
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CK Man

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Exactly the same problem, very tedious... try switching to the smaller brush size somehow bring back the circle.
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h00ligan

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Using the keyboard shortcuts remedies the issue in a pinch, but it's not ideal or 100%. You can change brush sizes with [ and ]
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John Chardine

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I use the keyboard shortcuts and this reproduces the problem for me.
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rrwright

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I am also having this problem. In my case, it happens in CS5 (photoshop especially) and also in Apple's Aperture—although it's the smaller brush cursors that cause a problem. All my brushes smaller than 82 pixels (81 pixels and below) have this problem. The cursor is offset from where it applies the effect and it does not show it's bounding circle. Driving me nuts!

Happens on my 13" i7 Macbook Air. It does not happen on my 2010 Macbook Pro.
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Sherri

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It happens in Photoshop Elements 9 & Pixelmator if I zoom multiple times. Sometimes it hoses things up so much that you can't click on any menu items and have to quit via the dock. I've put it in as a bug in Apple feedback. I suggest everyone else do the same.
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Alexander Kirsch

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Same Problem on my brand new Mac Mini Server Mid 2011 with Lion preinstalled. I can't use Brushes larger than 500-600px diameter :-(. It uses the same integrated Intel HD 3000 GPU like MacBook Air 2011 or MacBook Pro 13". For me it seems to be Problem of the Intel HD 3000 Videodriver.

Same problem with Photoshop Lightroom 3.4 Brushes
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Joshua Wyatt

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I'm having the same issues. It makes working with Photoshop very difficult. I hope Adobe and/or Apple fix it soon.
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Chris Cox

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Adobe can't do anything about the GPU driver. We're all waiting on Apple to fix their driver software.
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Karl Ulrich

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Same issues here... It's very frustrating... You can get the view back by changing brush sizes sometimes, but it's still a pain when you are trying to work.
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Alexander Kirsch

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I hope that 10.7.2 will fix it. Apple says that developers should test graphics driver in the beta version.
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Karl Ulrich

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There been no updates on this in a while and I can't seem to find any issues on the Apple support boards. The problem has to be seen in others. I know this message states Macbook Air, but I have it with a Macbook Pro (early 2011 edition).

Anyone heard of anything? It makes working photos a true pain.
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Chris Cox

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All the topics I knew of on the Apple forums have been deleted by Apple.
And end users don't have access to Apple's bug report database (but we have some limited access).
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Alexander Kirsch

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May be it is a problem of the Intel HD 3000 Graphics Driver which is also used in the 2011 13" Macbook Pros. I have the same Problem with my Mac Mini which uses the same integrated graphic chip.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, as previously noted it does seem to affect all the systems with recent Intel integrated graphics.
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oli

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What's going on with this please.
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Alexander Kirsch

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I hope that Apple has solved this bug in the Mac OS X 10.7.2 Release, which is going to be released soon. Hope dies at last...
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Alexander Kirsch

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Still the same Problem with Mac OS X 10.7.2....
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Chris Cox

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Apple had a long list of video driver bug fixes for 10.7.2, but I guess this one didn't make the cut.
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P. March

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When I use the square brackets to change brush size the key malfunctions when switching sizes between 200-500 pxs. The key moves the brush instead of changing its size. In addition, the brush tool is difficult to turn off at this point.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Mac OS X Version 10.7.2 Lion issue with Photoshop CS5 Brush size using square brackets.
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Thomas Holt

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Ouch this is a nasty one - making work tricky. A temp workaround if you're on a macbook pro is to use an external monitor with your macbook open ( dual display ).

Its working great for me but certainly ain't a fix!
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P. March

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Thanks for the workaround!
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Oliver Chen

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Hello everyone! I have a problem with the Brush tool. Sometimes after I use Control + Option + Mouse Drag to adjust the size and hardness of a brush, the brush circle in the canvas would disappear. The cursor doesn't disappear but if I left click the mouse, The strokes always appear in the wrong place (It doesn't appear under the cursor) . It's Photoshop CS5.1 is running on Mac OS X 10.7.2. Much thanks!!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Brush tool offsets.

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