hitting number keys in quick succession on different layers produce undesired opacity results

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 months ago
This bug has been around for as long as I remember - at least several years. It's annoying because it essentially punishes you for working quickly. To see it in action, do the following:

  • make a new document and create three layers in it (eg. three rectangle vector objects)
  • using the layer panel, select layer 1
  • press 2 on keyboard
  • wait three seconds
  • select layer 2
  • press 7 on keyboard
  • wait three seconds
  • select layer 3
  • press 6 on keyboard
You'll now notice that the layers have the following opacities: 20%, 70%, 60%. This is good. It's what one would expect to happen. 


Now reset all the layers to 100% opacity, and try the experiment again - this time without the 3 second delays:

  • using the layer panel, select layer 1
  • press 2 on keyboard
  • quickly select layer 2
  • quickly press 7 on keyboard
  • quickly select layer 3
  • quickly press 6 on keyboard
You've done the exact same actions as previously, only faster. This time, the layers will have the following opacities: 20%, 27%, 76%.

As you can see, the keys you are pressing are stacking. This would be fine if we were dealing with just a single layer (ie. if we pressed 2 then 7 in quick succession on a single layer then we would probably want it to result in an opacity of 27%). But we're doing it on separate layers.

When we set opacity on a layer then select a totally different layer, it makes no sense that Photoshop should still take into account a key that we pressed in a previous, unrelated, context.
Photo of David Bleja

David Bleja

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Posted 5 months ago

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Photo of Stephen Newport

Stephen Newport

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What a strange bug! It applies the number to the first layer, takes that number and applies it with the second number to the second layer, takes the second number and combines it with the third number for the third layer, as if you'd hit all the buttons twice.
Good find