Photoshop: Creating a floating new window in fullscreen view

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  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
As an illustrator, I mostly use Photoshop for drawing/painting in. I prefer to work fullscreen when I can (I don't currently own a 2nd monitor). When I work in windowed view I sometimes like to create a duplicate new window that I can resize smaller in order to check the readability of the image I'm working on. Unfortunately, when you are working in fullscreen you cannot see any additional windows. I would very much like it if there was an option to create floating windows while in fullscreen view. I know some of you will say "can't you just use the navigator?" and I will say "NO!". The reason being is that the navigator is linked to your current zoom percentage, whereas the "New Window" can be scaled independently AND you can paint in it, to boot. Also, even if I wanted to use the navigator, it can't be seen in fullscreen view either. I've attached an image of what I would like to be able to do in PS.
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Allison Westbrook

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Posted 7 years ago

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Howard Pinsky, Champion

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I like this idea, Allison. It never ever occurred to me that we can't see multiple documents when in Full-Screen mode. I guess that's now much I use it. Heh.

I second this idea though.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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On Mac the screen modes used to be window-specific – unfortunately that changed, can’t remember with which version, though.
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Allison Westbrook

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I use a Wintel machine. I'm guessing that the original thinking behind the fullscreen mode was to use it as an editing mode for photos where you could hide everything and just focus on clone stamping or airbrushing stuff out. That said, even using it for that function, one would think that being able to pull up a smaller window that showed what you were working on at a different zoom level to make sure that your nitpicking isn't turning into some fussy little eyesore in the bigger scheme of things, would be a consideration. The navigator doesn't cut. No way, no how.
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This is a feature that changed in more recent versions of Photoshop (I think CS5), and I still haven't been able to get used to it, or understand why this change would have been implemented...

(On a side-note it is always so frustrating when workflow changes take place in Photoshop, and I have to learn new ways of doing things that worked fine for me before!)

So here's the problem....

With the Screen Mode in Photoshop, all documents are forced into the same screen mode, and it wasn't always like that.

I think it probably depends on what type of work you do to determine whether this is a useful feature for you. For me it's not helpful... A better feature would be to add a preference that lets the user decide whether to force all documents into the same screen mode or not...

Say I'm working on a webpage in full screen mode. Then I have an asset in another file that I want to drag into my first document. So I open that new document. But the new document opens in full screen mode, so I can't drag the asset into my first document... In previous versions of PS, the new file would have opened in standard screen mode, floating over the previous document, and I could drag my asset into my original doc...

Now, however, after opening the new file, I have to change screen modes to standard mode, locate the original file I was working on (which can get obscured if I have a bunch of files open), the re-locate the new file I just opened, drag the asset into the previous file, and then change screen modes again to get back to full screen...

I never understood why this change was implemented, and a year later or however long it's been it still doesn't cease to frustrate me, and add extra work...and make it a little harder to use Photoshop (mega-frustrating!!!)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop: Problem with screen modes when opening new documents.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Christoph is correct. This used to be possible in older versions of Photoshop. The behavior where windows were unified into one screen mode was a conscious decision when the UI folks at Adobe standardized windows handling behaviors across Creative Suite applications. While I agree the old was more flexible/powerful, I believe the impetus behind the change was to make behaviors with full screen modes more predictable. There were some kludgy, undiscoverable ways to put all windows into full screen mode that were never obvious to the majority of users (Holding the shift key when clicking the screen mode button on the tool bar).

I think the more elegant solution might be to allow dragging a object with one document visible and cycle to another document to drop the object being dragged.