Lightoom: Application window becomes skeleton/hollow when loading in the background

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  • Updated 8 years ago
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I have a problem with LR3 Mac v. 3.4.1 (it has had this problem since 3.0). If I click on the LR3 icon in the dock such that the loading screen appears, and then immediately switch to another app (e.g. Google Chrome) so that the main LR3 window loads up in the background then what happens is the LR3 window only shows certain parts when it finishes loading. The title bar is missing, the main area in the center where the photos are is missing, and some borders are missing. You can click right through them to the Desktop and it will switch to the Finder. It is VERY odd.

I thought maybe it was a problem with some other 3rd-party software that I installed, but I completely erased my entire drive and reinstalled OS X 10.6.x from scratch and it still exhibits this problem. I can't be the only one who has this issue, right? And no other program on my computer does this, either. I'm guessing it has something to do with the non-standard way that Adobe codes the LR3 interface (not using native controls and such).

Any ideas? Seems like a bug report that should go to the LR3 engineers, but I can't find anything besides a tech support phone number on the Adobe site. And the lady I spoke to yesterday seemed completely clueless. Is there a way to file a bug report and to get a response?

Obviously, if I launch LR3 and wait for the main window to load before switching to another app, everything is fine. It's only when I launch it and immediately switch to something else that the window is bare-boned.

See attached image.

Thanks,
Ben

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ben.garland

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Posted 8 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Adobe representatives actively participate in this forum so you may get an official response. Otherwise, users may be able to corroborate your situation to see how universal the behavior is.

This seems like a LR-to-video-driver interaction problem. If it were Windows my suggestion would be to update your video drivers from the manufacturer's website; however, I don't know if this is a possibility for the more controlled Apple platforms.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Bizarre!! I've run on various Macs and never seen that, and it's the first time I've seen a report too.

Does it happen when you switch to apps other than Google Chrome?

What else is running - I know you said you reinstalled the OS, but I'm wondering about an incompatibility with another app?
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ben.garland

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It does it upon switching to any app, even the Finder with nothing else running. The same problem also shows up if I create a secondary user account so it's not limited to anything I installed in my main account (not to mention that I'm pretty sure that Lightroom was the first thing I installed before anything else after I reformatted).
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Ben, can you provide us with a bit more of your system info? (model, video card, processor, etc) Can we assume this is 10.6.7?
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ben.garland

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Sure thing.

MBP 5,4
Core 2 Duo 2.53 GHz
4 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M

Mac OS X 10.6.7

Stock config. No external hardware connected.

Again, the problem only occurs when launching the app and immediately switching to something else before the main window loads. Otherwise if I just wait 5 seconds for the window to appear it operates normally. Not a huge deal, but something that made me curious. I was initially convinced that it was a conflict with a 3rd party app/service running in the background but once I erased my drive and reinstalled OS X and still had the problem I knew it must be something internal to LR3 itself.
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ben.garland

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Ok I figured it out. This is really, really bizarre. But the first thing I did after reinstalling -- not thinking there was any way this could have an effect -- is copy my customized Dock plist file to the Preferences folder. It turns out that for whatever reason LR3 does not like the Dock hidden preference for Single App Mode. Basically all this does is automatically hide apps when you switch between them so that no more than one app is ever on screen at a time (you can temporarily disable this effect by holding down the option key which is what I do when I do want two apps on screen at once).

I found that if I remove the single app mode from my com.apple.dock.plist file then LR3 loads just fine. Even with it enabled, if I launch LR3 and quickly hold down shift+option while switching to another app then LR3 loads in the background with the window intact (I have to use shift first since holding down just option triggers LR3 to ask to load a different catalog).

Weird, very weird.

To Adobe:

Can this be fixed in a future update?

And just to satisfy my curiosity, why does it happen?

Thanks :)
Ben
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ben.garland

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And if it wasn't obvious from the above, you can temporarily mimic this problem without modifying your Dock plist at all by launching LR3, quickly holding down SHIFT+OPTION (must hit shift key first), then switching to another app. Hiding LR3 in the background while switching apps seems to be the issue here.
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ben.garland

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I meant "Hiding LR3 in the background during launch while switching to another app seems to be the issue here" (since it's fine once the main window loads).
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Great bit of detective work there Ben!
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ben.garland

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Thanks! I wonder what Adobe's response will be...
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Don't panic if they don't reply to the thread, but they are reading everything.

That said, if it's a result of a hidden OS preference that not many people know about, the number of people it affects will be tiny, so I'm sorry to say it might not be top priority. I could be wrong, and it might be an easy fix, but I just don't want you to be disappointed if it's not fixed soon.