Elements: A way to change the UI colors

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  • Updated 8 years ago
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  • (Edited)
Is there a way to change the Photoshop CS5 and Elements 9 user interface and application colors? With the black and dark grey colors it is extremely difficult to use. Earlier versions like Photoshop CS4 and Elements 5 have a much cleaner user interface and background colors that is so much easier to see and use. Please help, I'm going blind trying to see dark gray on black.
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Sharon G

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  • going blind

Posted 9 years ago

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Philip Goddard

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...Well, Adobe, I'm still waiting for a proper response from you. What is the 'action' that is "going on behind the scenes", and what is the expected time-scale before we get our free patch to allow us a properly readable UI? And why all this silence over an issue that is so extremely simple to address? In his comment a little further above, Brett N tells us that "It takes a long time to completely revamp a product UI" - which, in this particular context is just more old flannel. Nobody is asking for a full UI revamp, for in most respects the UI is great and intuitive. All that's required is a sensible change of UI colour scheme - with a choice of colour schemes, and possibly text size too. I don't buy any claims that that requires a long time and very major effort, when other, more customer-responsive software firms are able to make such changes typically in a matter of weeks or at most a month or two, and without a whole big team of full-time professionals on the job!

When are you going to learn to treat your customers with proper respect and communicate freely with them about progress in addressing serious issues that they have raised with you? At the moment you are near rock-bottom in my estimation for your prowess in customer relations, and it really doesn't need to be like that.
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Vince37mr

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There have now been over 90 posts in this thread - almost all negative about the UI. I wonder if Adobe have got the message yet?
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Michael Frazier

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Is there a way to make PSE 9 Organizer lighter? It is too dark to see all of the graphic items.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
PSE 9 Organizer workspace color too dark.
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Linda Minton

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The User Interface Brightness option is gone from PSE 9. I'm so angry that I paid for this "upgrade" when this very simple and NECESSARY option has been deleted.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
I'm going back to the PSE 8 version. Can't see on this DARK screen!.
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nanbush5

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Is there a way to get back to an earlier version than PSE 9?
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Linda Minton

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Nanbush5, I already had PSE 8, so I just went back to using it. I don't think you can "backtrack" to an earlier version unless you already own it.
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Barbara L

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I just purchased pse 8 with my computer and it certainly is unreadable with it's tiny UI fonts and colors. I have a newer monitor which many people do now with high resolution (1920x1080) so it makes it even more difficlult. How could Adobe not see this problem coming??? Wish I knew how to put a picture of the print screen I made of the interface so you could see what I see in trying to use the program.
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nanbush5

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Half a thought would have told me that I couldn't backtrack without the software on board. So frustrated with PSE 9, common sense failed me. Thanks.
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Photographe

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Lightroom could use a lot of help in this department.
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Jim Rudnick

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...sigh...some of you "designer/developer" types outta have my 60+ year old eyes....

then I believe ALL things'd look a bit diff, eh!

the solid gray background and color "tone" of the CS5 app sucks

sure wish I could go back to even say CS3....much easier on the squinting, eh!

:-(

Jim
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Blaine Byers

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Well, it appears a few more of the Adobe applications, other than PSE 9, are suffering from the same difficult to see user interface. After tracking this thread for a while it also appears that Adobe just doesn't care and is ignoring all our pleas to be able to use the software we paid for. The only reason I bought PSE 9 was to be able to save a file without forever having to uncheck the "Include in Organizer" option, because I never use the Organizer and the default to include could not be changed (like so many things with Adobe software - they don't give us a choice). Fortunately I can go back to that version, PSE 5, because I did not uniinstall it when I bought PSE 9. I have used versions of PSE ever since it came out as free software included with the purchase of computers, scanners and cameras. In all those years I have never seen an update to a version appear on the Adobe website, only new versions of the software that never changes much (other than the UI), and are advertised by Adobe as new and improved. Hear us Adobe - those of us that have previous versions will continue to use them and will not respond to a "new", "improved" version 10.
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Linda Minton

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Well said, Blaine! The very minor "improvements" really should be updates and not "new" versions that we have to pay for. Some of the "improvements" are somewhat deceptively worded, as well. I bought Version 9 because it was advertised as being able to "automatically synch" your photos. Well, that doesn't mean what it sounds like, and I feel ripped off. From now on I will stick with my Version 8 (because of the ability to change the User Interface colors). If the UI color changing ability is "fixed", it should definitely come as a FREE UPDATE to Ver.9, since it's something we HAD and they took away from us.

Jim R, I have 60+ eyesight too ... and just because we aren't kids doesn't mean we don't deserve viewable screen colors.

I'm getting more and more frustrated with Adobe.
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Linda Minton

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I'm repeating here my Comment to Adobe Employee Brett N, Official Rep (from 3 months ago):

This thread should make it very clear that your customers NEED this function that Photoshop has removed from earlier versions. Since we're unable to Comment under your fellow Employee, Jeffrey Tranberry's, remarks, I'm answering him here.

Jeffrey T said, "We will work with the product teams to see what we could drum up for future versions but we can't comment on the timing." THIS is Adobe's idea of being responsive to customer needs? i.e., MAYBE we will think about giving you back this previously available feature at some unknowable future date, but you will have to pay for it?

Frankly, that's just B.S. This particular feature could easily be a free patch; Adobe just doesn't WANT to do it.

Thanks for your condescending offer to give me back the feature ... some day, at some additional price ... but no thanks.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Just a couple questions for everyone posting here:

How many of you have calibrated your monitors with an external device (like a Spyder or ColorMunki)?

If you haven't used a device, have you performed software calibration (Mac, Windows 7)?

What type of monitor do you use (CRT, LCD)?

What is the lighting like in the room where you use your computer (lots of sun light, no windows, high wattage bulbs, shaded lamps, etc)?
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Philip Goddard

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I likewise am exasperated with all this attempt to distract attention away from the real issue, which is actually so simple for Adobe to resolve. I too am searching around for a really workable alternative to PSE 9, with a proper, stress-free UI colour scheme. I tried Paint.Net, but, although it is undoubtedly a great program (and indeed has a more powerful Curves graphic adjustment than in PSE), it lacks various of the auto-adjustment facilities that PSE has, so I had to abandon it. I'm going to have a look at PhotoPlus X4 - though, although its interface looks fine, I think I'll find that it's lacking certain functionality that I regularly use. I shall continue looking...
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Axel S

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Brett, I am not sure what your questions are pointing to. Are you suggesting that the current UI contrast in PE9 could be sufficiently enhanced by calibrating a monitor or changing the room lightning?
Nevertheless, hoping that the answers you get might have an impact on Adobe ́s upgrade of the interface regulation, here are my comments:

Q1: I had never to calibrate a monitor just to enhance the UI visibility...
Q2: Yes.
Q3: LCD
Q4: different lighting (depending on time of day, wheather, etc.)
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Barbara L

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This Brett must have his head in the sand....or the inability to say, "I'm sorry, you are right about the design and we will try to fix it." I have never had any trouble using any other computer program, including graphics/photo editing, due to color contrast or fonts too small......EVER!
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Sandy Hyman

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Brett, as others have said, color calibration, unless your monitor is completely wacko, does not significantly change contrast issues which is what the color problem is about. And it has no bearing on font size in the UI. I would be happy to talk to/meet with anyone at Adobe and show you what is readable and what is not--in any conditions and on any monitor. I think a couple of the comments above are spot on. Adobe is finding all sorts of ways of putting this off and blaming it on the users, the sales people and different environmental conditions. Actually, I think the problem is that there is no one really responsible for making sure that the UI of its products is truly accessible--because that is all it needs to do--and just about every other software provider out there has complied with ADA standards and with common sense, usability standards and surveys. I honestly think that Adobe has gotten too big, too fast and thinks that it does not have to worry about this segment of the population that is complaining--but we are the boomers--we are growing in number and we are the ones who put Adobe on the map in terms of sales. We can reverse that, as there are far more choices that are far less-expensive but far more responsive.

Respectfully,
Sandy Jo Becker Hyman
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nanbush5

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Brava! They won't listen, but the rest of us are applauding.
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Christina Girerd

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I have two 24" LCD monitors, running Windows 7. I don't think I have done anything special to calibrate them. I have windows on one wall, but no direct sun and usually have a 40W task light shining on the keyboard area. Sometimes have some recessed ceiling lights on in the corners of the room. I'm 46 and don't use glasses for computer work.

I am an architect and specialize in photo-realistic renderings/3D visualizations, so I work with photos and images all day. I realized only recently, when I happened to stand up while Organizer was running, that I could suddenly see the small little "double carrot" (whatever it's called...) menu thing at the top of the window with the different viewing angle. When I'm in my normal seated position, I can only find it by running the mouse around the general area where I know it is supposed to be until it highlights. The rest of the coloration issues are not affected by that however, such as the slider tabs within the slider bars that are hard to see because the black outline of the edges is so thin and doesn't contrast enough with the grey background.

My set-up hasn't changed since I used previous versions of PSE that had fine visual schemes. I just completed 5 hours of state mandated continuing education for my architecture license on "disabled access education and related laws." It included a lot of talk about visual cues and the importance of having good contrast to enhance readability for people and how it is beneficial for all people, even those without any vision impairment that are just getting older. I hope PSE can get back to good visual ergonomics that will benefit all of us.
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David Jensen

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Sounds like you have a TN, or maybe even a *VA LCD. They both have highly variable gamma based on the viewing angle. Even the top and bottom of the monitor will look different when looking straight on.

I'd highly recommend an IPS based panel for an LCD, as they have much more consistent gamma when changing the viewing angle.

The shortcomings of all LCDs are more pronounced when looking at darker colors.
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Christina Girerd

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Sorry, I don't know what TN, VA or IPS stand for... I do know my monitors work great for my architecture work and all my other software. I even have clients in to view work on my monitors. I don't feel any need to change my monitors at this point, if that's what you were getting at. If I change viewing angle and look at my other top or bottom taskbars, the background color may change slightly, but there are no readability decreases because there is enough contrast of the text and/or icons with the background.
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David Jensen

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I just explained the differences, the acronyms are unimportant. If you see something different when you stand up, your monitors may be the problem, not the software.

That being said, Adobe should design their consumer grade software to work within the limitations of consumer grade monitors.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Thank you Christina for your detailed description of your work environment. You bring up a good example of how your experience with the interface can change based on just your angle of view. I understand that this is not the root cause any viewing difficulties you may be experiencing, but it helps illustrate the point that environmental have an impact. Perfecting the work area may not make Elements easier to read for everyone, but it will for some.
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Sandy Hyman

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Brett, the real issue is, WHEN WILL ADOBE FIX THESE PROBLEMS FOR THE AVERAGE CONSUMER AND WILL IT BE A FREE PATCH THAT WE CAN APPLY TO SOFTWARE THAT WE HAVE ALREADY SPENT A LOT OF MONEY ON? We are all talking till we are blue in the face but that's not solving the problem--and it's clear there is a real problem here.
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Carolina Bitan

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Please, Brett N,
don't you understand the questions and problems of the people who post here or will you not understand them?

CRT monitors are dying.
If you have a LCD monitor you can change the resolution or increase the dpi.

You can turn off the lights or let the sun shine in.

But nothing helps, you can hardly see anything, only if you press your nose to the monitor.
I always thought PSE is the queen of graphic software, but since PSE 9 it is not.
I will further use PaintNet and will recommend this software to all my friends.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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CRT's are definitely a technology on the way out. But they are still around. They may no longer come with new computers, but not everyone can go out and get the latest and greatest. Some are stuck with the same CRT they've had for the last 10 years or more.

Which brings me to the point in asking this question. CRTs are bad, not just because they are not as good as an LCD when comparing them side-by-side brand new. CRT quality decays exponentially overtime. So, those who currently use CRT monitors have probably had them for a long time. Brightness, contrast, and color all fade and make for very poor viewing quality. For some, the loss of quality is hard to detect, unless you do perform a side-by-side comparison.

I normally sit about 4 feet from my laptop monitor. Next to it I have an external monitor. Most of the time, I have no issues reading Elements with this setup. As I write this though, it is getting dark outside. This web page is open on the external monitor, Elements Organizer is open on my laptop. I admit, the interface of Elements is becoming increasingly difficult to read. I can no longer see the Search box at the top and the other text in this top area is getting hard to make out. But I have a very bright, white background website projecting a lot of light into my face and across my line of site to my laptop. We all know that bright lights make it difficult to make out shadow detail. So it should go without saying that turning off my external monitor and letting my eyes adjust will increase my ability to see the Elements interface.

I use this example to illustrate that environmental factors will impact your experience with Elements. I do not claim that they are the source of the problem, but a bad environment certainly doesn't help. I am merely trying to gauge what the environment of others is like. The more we know, the better we can make the program.
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Barbara L

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Again, I repeat: Try using PSE 8 on an LCD monitor with a resolution of 1929x1080. Try reading those tiny, tiny fonts and icons. I could not find the tiny symbol in organizer that opens the menu items until I Googled where to find it. And I just noticed in the Editor that there is a very tiny black on grey icon in the bottom R. corner that has to do with bin choices; and that was only when I had my face about 6 inches from the monitor to see it. It does not matter what the lighting environment is!!!!!!!
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Sandy Hyman

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Brett--Are you an Adobe Employee? I know it's illegal to ask this but are you in your 20's or 30's (or even early 40's)? By your responses, if you are speaking for Adobe, then you are blind to the fact that all of your responses have hedged the REAL issue--THERE IS AN ISSUE WITH THE UI AND ADOBE MUST RESPOND OR LOSE CUSTOMERS. PERIOD!
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Sandy Hyman

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BTW, anyone who cannot afford to upgrade from a CRT to a flat panel monitor these days cannot afford to buy Adobe PS!
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Linda Minton

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Hey Brett. I calibrate my monitor regularly (software), but that is totally NOT the issue. Regardless of whether or not a User calibrates, what type of lighting is in the room (unless it is on one of the extreme ends of the spectrum), what type of monitor is used, etc. -- the problem is NOT with the User, it is with the program!
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Brett N, Official Rep

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I would actually posit that all three factors contribute to this issue. That it is part user environment, part user, and part application.

I do not claim to have perfect vision (I am a bit near-sighted), but I have no issues reading Elements 9 in my standard environment. I'm not claiming that Elements has the perfect interface (I much prefer the darker UI of Lightroom). I understand that many users have a hard time reading it. But, there are also Elements users who like the current UI.

In asking what type of monitor a person has or whether it is calibrated, I am not trying to suggest that these are the source of the problem. I am trying to get an understanding of everyone's setup. You may not realize it, but I am on your side. I am advocating for UI changes, and have been for many versions. But to make my arguments clearer and carry more weight, I need a better understanding of our users. I started this post so that everyone who brought this topic to my attention in the past would be able to bring their voices together and bring about change. But that voice must remain positive, it must also provide information.

Please be specific in your descriptions of what is wrong. Do not say (to paraphrase you) "the problem... is with the program!" Instead, say "the problem is there is not enough contrast between the text and the background" (or whatever it is you have an issue with). Many have called for a return of the UI brightness slider in preferences. If that is the case for you as well, please make that clear.
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Philip Goddard

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This is exasperating - what time-wasting and wool-gathering! The UI colours in PSE 5 were great! The niceties of people's monitor setups is nothing against that simple fact. How can black upon nearly black (as various parts of the PSE 9 interface are) be readable with any sort of monitor adjustment or ambient lighting conditions at all?
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Axel S

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In my view the part user and user environment contribute to the unsatisfying UI contrast in PS9 is irrelevant - the main factor is the application setting.
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Sandy Hyman

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So being more specific, again, the issue is that some people really like to have the darker background and some really like to have the lighter one. And, the font size in the UI is impossible to read reasonably for most of us. So the issue is to make the UI a matter of preference--as Corel has--you can choose the color of the background, and the size of the text and thumbnails. Is that specific enough? This is something that almost every other software vendor had been doing for years.
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Michael Frazier

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The problem is not with what monitor is or is not being used, it is with the lack of user control of their environment.

Over the past few releases of Adobe photo software the capability of controlling the color and theme of the UI is been reduced to nothing. Software engineering processes available today have made process like this a trivial part of the coding and should have been a part of the earliest design phase. Was there a beta process involved with this product? If there was and this was not brought out at that time then you are not using the right group of people to test your software. If there was not beta then you should really consider it as a necessity of future releases. Having customer go back to older releases of the software in not in the best intrest of Adobe and could be come a marketing nightmare if too may customer that and also tell other about the problems with this release.

BTW, the lack of control over the darkness of the UI is just one of many problems with this release. I have over 11,000 photos on a NAS device and in my Organizer catalog in PSE9 and the system hangs or just freezes when doing just about anything. I had to break everything up into smaller catalogs to get it working better. This was not a problem with PSE6 or PSE7.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Thank you for your detailed description of what about the user interface you find difficult.

Frankly, I'm not really aware of a lot of software that allows the user to customize the interface that isn't a video game or without having to hack an INI file.

While I though it was fun to have a UI brightness slider introduced, it certainly wasn't important to me. But I did see that it was important to a number of users. I have long argued against the removal of this feature and have since argued for it's return. Which is the reason I created this topic on this site in the first place. I then invited the many who have brought up this topic with me in the past to join in a conversation.

As for your comments about NAS, please add your voice to:
http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Philip Goddard

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A slider is not the real answer - that's just titting around at the edges. For proper readability, what is needed for a start is black text on a light background - indeed pretty well what we had in PSE 5, which was great and didn't need any slider. Black text on a light background is intrinsically easier to read than light text on a dark background. If some users *must*have light text on a dark background, then an alternative 'skin' need to be available for that purpose. A choice of 'skins' is actually very common nowadays, and indeed has become quite fashionable, despite what Brett says. A choice of 'skins' is so difficult to achieve that it is often given even in small utility programs produced by individual small independent programmers. They don't seem to have any difficulty providing 'skins', but presumably in Adobe's case, with their big team of developers it's a matter of too many cooks spoiling the broth...?
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Sandy Hyman

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And, Brett, almost all other software packages, including the very capable PaintShop Pro Photo, allow for UI customization (or skins).
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Braunsky

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Adobe is blaming the victims again. Adobe has a history of issuing a new versions (for which you have to pay) where other companies would have issued free patches. Backwards compatibility problems abound. Bad programming decisions and even worse customer relations decisions. I made the mistake of purchasing PSE/PRE 9 when I could not get my poor old PSE4/PRE2 to install on a new Windows 7 machine. Terrible problems exporting and importing catalogs. Terrible customer support. I had to leave flaming messages to get help, which wasn't much help. When I thought that moving to the full blown Photoshop and Premiere suite might be less traumatic, I installed a trial version of the full program, which trashed PSE9 and PRE9. I had to uninstall the trial version of the full program, uninstall and reinstall PSE/PRE 9, import my catalogs again, and pray. When I requested an answer from Adobe as to what happened, they refused to address the question - closed two technical support cases I opened without comment other than they didn't support the trial version! I explained I was thinking about upgrading to the much more expensive program but would not if it would prevent me from using PSE/PRE 9. Nothing. This conversation on the simple issue of control over color and contrast in the UI is amazing, and depressing. Now I'm hoping somebody, anybody, will come up with a good competing program.
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Mary

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Is fixing this problem with the UI impossible!? Wow, I thought Photoshop Elements was a quality product. I am nobody, just an average user, not schooled in technical matters. I am sad that I fell for all the hype about Adobe. For some of us, it is important that money to pay for this software has been wasted.
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Philip Goddard

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I myself tried writing (yes, an old-fashioned letter - remember what those were? :-) ) to the Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen at the Adobe San Jose, CA office. Of course, as far as I can tell, it never got near that individual. After a long wait I got a useless e-mail reply from somebody presumably well removed from the top level, in these terms:

----------------(begin quote)

Dear Mr Goddard,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding Photoshop Elements and the recent UI colour scheme. We are sorry to hear that this is causing you concern, and we have passed these concerns on up to engineering level. You might be pleased to hear that these concerns had been picked up by our colleagues in the US from the Adobe forum you mention already and have been reviewed already. I can currently unfortunately not give you any information as to when this might be changed, I can only assure you that your concerns have been heard.

If you would like to return the software in the meantime, I can liaise with my colleagues in Customer Services for a refund to be arranged for you?

Please just let me know. I will be out of the office for a few days from tomorrow (so you might receive my automated "out of office" message when you write to me), however, I will log in regardless to find your answer, so that it can be passed on and dealt with as soon as possible.

I really hope this helps.

Kindest regards

*****
***** | Team Lead Creative/Acrobat/Connect | Enterprise Support | EMEA Customer Success | Adobe Systems Europe | Edinburgh UK

---------------------------(end quote)

(I have asterisked out the individual's name, in case there is some official objection to names of Adobe staff being posted without their consent.)

So, by all appearances, my efforts got us no further forward. Long live Kafka's 'The Castle'! However, I guess that, the more people who attempt to contact high levels in the organization, the more it would be putting pressure on the whole system, so I would still encourage people to do that.

In any case I wrote back to (*****) protesting that I was still getting the same unhelpful opacity from Adobe, and that simply was not good enough. Unfortunately my trials of alternative photo editing software such as the latest versions of GIMP, PhotoPlus, Paint .Net and so on did not commend them for their functionality and intuitiveness of use, even though they all had very clear and readable UI colour schemes - so I won't be taking up the offer of a refund upon return of the program disc. Unless I come up with some new alternative that really is an equal for PSE in terms of functionality and intuitiveness I am now stuck with PSE9, but under considerable protest because of its stressfully difficult-to-read UI.
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Axel S

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Thank you Philip for your efforts in asking the responsible personal at Adobe to take care of this issue; please let us know when you ́ve got a satisfying response from ****.
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Philip Goddard

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Actually, (*****) wrote back, and he seemed to be trying to be as helpful as he could within the constraints of the whole corporate mindset. He assured me that my letter to the CEO had gone to "senior Management" - though there is still no indication that the CEO himself ever saw, let alone read, the letter, and he kept clear of saying or even implying when or even if the UI colour scheme gaffe would be rectified.

He said "You can rest assured that your comments have been heard, and your letter had indeed been passed to senior management as you had intended. It has been passed to me to write a reply, as my team is the highest point of support for Europe for the Creative product range. We generally only deal with large corporations on support contracts - so the fact that your letter was passed to us rather than our colleagues in the call centre to find a solution for you shows the importance that had been placed in your letter."

He also offered, "as a goodwill gesture", to let me know when the next PSE version is released - inviting me to then download a trial version to see if it meets my requirements, and, if it does, to let him know and he would arrange for a free copy of the new version to be sent to me.

I accepted the offer with good grace, BUT in the same breath I also said this: "However, I don't want that to take focus away at all from the lamentable situation, which is, apparently, just what I expected - that, overall, Adobe is being totally aloof to its customer base and is forging ahead with work on a new major version of PSE, which of course they would expect people to pay for in order to get rectification of Adobe's immense blunder with the current Photoshop family UI colour scheme. For one thing, I would seriously like to see, at the very least, a similar 'goodwill' offer to that which you are making to me, extended to *all* of the good people who have been complaining about the UI colours in the Adobe feedback forum."
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Walter Graham

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Here here! I am tentatively pleased that the response tasking went to a bigger team but it really would have been nice to know that "Senior management" is asking that the problem be resolved in this version. As was suggested many times here, it may be that Adobe will 'fix' it in the next release that we will be expected to buy. I use the CS when I need to but like to use PSE for some things. Now I find myself using Gimp or Paint.net simply because I find it too hard to find the items I need on the PSE menus. Arrrghh.
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nanbush5

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Congratulations and many thanks. It is a measure of my bafflement with Adobe that I'm even still reading this thread, as I can't use PSE 9, have moved to Paint,net, and yet remain so upset by Adobe's seeming disdain. You have been a determined and articulate advocate for all of us. Again, thank you.
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nanbush5

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Goodbye, Adobe.

I had already left Acrobat Reader for the smaller, faster Firefox Foxit Reader, then replaced Acrobat entirely. Now, I simply can't read the PSE 9 screen; so, because of that unusable interface and appallingly bad customer relations, I have installed Paint.Net.

Bye.
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Vince37mr

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Brett N's comment about using Spyder or similar is appalling. How many PSE users are likely to buy Spyder or Colormunki just so the PSE UI might become readable (it wouildn't - a friend happened to borrow Colormunki and try it) ?
Anyway the major problem is SIZE on hi-res screens Just try PSE 9 on a 1920x1080 laptop. It's unusable.
I wonder if finally this thread will persuade, cajole or bully Adobe into doing something?
Meanwhile back to PSE5. But I would be very suspicious of any update to it in case Adobe make it incompatible with Windows 7.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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My question about whether anyone uses a monitor calibration device was not an endorsement to go out and buy one. It was a survey to better understand what everyone has, or doesn't have. I can see now that you do not own, nor are interested in purchasing a color calibration device. However, there are many Elements users who do own these types of devices. I wanted to know how many people who find Elements unreadable also used such a device.

I also happen to run my laptop at 1920x1200 and find that I am able to read the interface fine. I don't know if that is the result of my own visual acuity or the settings of my system. That is why I asked the questions, so I could better understand the environment in which you are viewing Elements.
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Barbara L

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Try PSE 8 on a 1920x1080 monitor and you will see what we are talking about!
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Sandy Hyman

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And, even if you don't see what we are talking about, there are so many of us talking about it that it is a real problem, particularly for your more affluent, older customer base.
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Mike Chamberlain

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Currently evaluating the free trial version of Elements. The UI is atrocious! - took me about 15 minutes to find that there's a tiny dark grey arrow near the top right, which opens up the File, Edit etc menus. Dark grey on dark grey - really clever move, Adobe. Even now I know it's there I have difficulty finding it.

What arrogance to design a user interface with no user options at all! For applications that observe the Windows standards, Microsoft provide all sorts of ways for the user to change the look 'n' feel. But Adobe seem to think they're above all that. Dark grey on dark grey - take it or leave it. I'll leave it.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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That "tiny dark gray arrow near the top right" is caused by using systems settings outside of the product system requirements. Full details, including how to change your settings to meet the requirements, can be found here:
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/859/cpsid_85...
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Linda Minton

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Brett, you are evidently monitoring this thread, as witnessed by your comment above. Mike's problem of being able to open the menus was only one issue, which you have addressed. How about the more universal issue that the rest of us have expressed? Any comment on whether Adobe intends to give us a patch for the UI problem?
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Mike Chamberlain

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The "solution" in the above KB article is "Decrease the DPI Scaling in Windows to the default setting of 96 DPI."

The whole point of Windows 7 allowing different scaling options is so that people who are not 25 years of age with perfect vision can read text on the screen. I have the Display options set to 125% because that's the way I find it easiest to use.

Every other application I use, without exception, observes this setting. Only Adobe have the bloody arrogance to think that they know better.

And even if Adobe have some good reason for refusing to observe the Windows standards, it doesn't alter the fact that the tiny menu button is dark grey on dark grey. If you're going to require people to click on something to open up the menus, you might at least make it clearly visible.
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Barbara L

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I just made a similar comment in the topic" Photoshop Elelments: Support High DPI Modes for Windows in future versions of Elements":

"Why would I want to change my Windows font size smaller??? When I do what you suggest in cpsid_85961 I can barely see all my Windows printing. There needs to be an adjustment within PSE to scale the fonts larger. All newer monitors now have higher resolutions. Mine is 1920x1080. Windows lets me adjust the font size to 125% so it is more readable (or even to 150% if I wanted to). Adobe should have the same adjustment capabilities within PSE. Had I known the fonts were so tiny and not adjustable I never would have purchased PSE 8. I have no other program where the fonts are so tiny and contrast so poor."
I cannot even use PSE 8 because of this and will continue to use Paint Shop ProX until Corel comes up with a 64 bit version, then I will upgrade to that program. Sounds like Adobe is pretty arrogant. This is my first experience with their programs other than Reader.
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Sharon G

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I could understand Brett's questions about the type of monitors people are using and whether or not they were calibrated if we were talking about using Photoshop CS 5 which costs over $500, but we are talking about Photoshop Elements which is about $50. It is a consumer, not professional level product. Software/hardware to calibrate monitors costs more than Photoshop Elements.

I continue to be extremely disappointed with the response from Adobe thus far and I will begin writing letters directly to upper level management at Adobe in the hope that they will allocate some resources to fix this problem
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Mac and Windows 7 both come with free software to calibrate your monitor. I am not asking anybody to go out and buy anything. I only wanted to know what everyone already has.
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Axel S

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The MacBook Pro (OSX 10.6.8) allows to calibrate the monitor using the Calibration Assistant (Preferences->Displays->Color->Calibrate...).
There, selecting the target gamma 1.8 has a minimal impact on PSE9 ́s UI contrast - I would not suggest to use the "Expert Mode" in the Assistant...
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Sandy Hyman

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I am using Win7, with 24" Dell Ultrasharp monitor, at native (recommended resolution)--although I did try reducing the resolution as per adobe's instructions (but not only did that not fix the problem, it also negated the reason I got a High Res monitor)--and I have gone through the Windows calibration operation. I also have my font size set to 189% for more readability--and have no problems with any software (other than some web pages that are not optimized for firefox) other than adobe, which is the software I paid the most for!
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Mary

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Here's the thing...I am following this thread, and it is now heavy with comments from Adobe concerning whether those of us having trouble with the UI might be viewing the program in a compromised environment. If this is the case, why do I have no trouble seeing Elements 6 on my computer, and yet, in the same environment, on the same computer and same screen, I have a lot of trouble viewing the UI in Elements 9? I have both on my computer. I am a novice, so I imagine this question is probably a stupid one. There is probably a simple answer. It just doesn't seem logical that 6 is fine and 9 is not.Could 9's UI be fixed with a patch? I mean, if 6 worked, couldn't 9 be "re-tuned" to incorporate whatever it was that worked concerning the UI in 6?
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Barbara L

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The same difficulty with UI colors and fonts is also true with PSE 8!!!! A patch should be available for both versions!!
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Sandy Hyman

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And, no it is not a stupid question.
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Mark Dahm, Product Manager

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Mary,

We're not defending or denying customers are genuinely reporting hard to read UI; just trying to come up with some suggestions to improve the experience, short of a patch.

Word on a patch (whether one would be made at all) would need to come directly from the Product Team, of which neither Brett, nor Jeff, nor I am a part of, so we cannot make any promises in that regard. We have each contacted the Elements team with the details of this request.

-Mark
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Nancy Jacobus

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Mark -- Is there an email address or a US Mail address to which the feedback comments regarding the need for color change in the UI be used to send the information to the PRODUCT TEAM? Also, why don't the Adobe team members working this site (you, Brett, and Jeffrey) alert the PRODUCT TEAM as to the need for an authoritative response to this major defect in the software design?
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Linda Minton

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Nancy, I hate to be the voice of doom & gloom here, but I will be very surprised (and pleased!) if we ever get a name, email or snail mail address of a Product Team member, much less Manager. Why? Because they DON'T WANT TO BE FOUND AND HELD PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE to their customers. Because if their customers could complain to their bosses about them personally (always assuming ... and you know what ASSUMING makes out of U and ME ... that we could find out their bosses' names), then that would make them personally accountable to their BOSSES for our complaints! Horrors!

Phone numbers tend to basically be useless. If you're very lucky, you end up talking to some underling who may or may not give the message to whoever it is who may or may not be responsible for the issue, and who may or may not be back in the office today or tomorrow or next week. Plus, very conveniently, you have no hard record of what was said, and by whom, except for your own jotted-down notes. (You DO keep notes, don't you?) No, no, the best thing for everyone (except the paying customers, of course) is to hide behind the anonymity made so easy by the internet.

Having said that, I'm kind of in awe of Mark, Brett, and Jeffrey (with the exception of a few snarky remarks by one who shall remain nameless) and their bravery in opening this forum for us in the first place. Help us, Guys ... you're evidently our only hope!
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nanbush5

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Linda, I'm with you on all counts, wishing it felt possible to drop the cynical view. But how many complaints does it take for customers to be taken seriously? I meant it, that I'm done with Adobe. This degree of rudeness is simply not to be accepted. Good applications, good features, but pride of product far, far outweighs any demonstrated interest in customers. Am I a very minor flea on this elephant? Yep. But I am going to try to make a lot of irritation; it's what fleas do..
.
Yes, the guys having to deal with all us *very* unhappy people deserve a good deal of praise, especially considering the total absence of support they're evidently getting from higher up. Thanks for your efforts.
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Sandy Hyman

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I honestly think that the only language that will be understood is money. The issue is to get enough people to boycott Adobe products. They are very entrenched and there is a "snobbishness" surrounding the use of their products--they are the "industry standard" but that should not stop us from applying as much pressure as possible--sort of a grass-roots movement. I broke down and bought my first (and last, for now) adobe products last year--CS5--after being assured that it was finally accessible in terms of the UI. I was misinformed/lied to, and I spent a lot of money. I am so disappointed and am back to PainShop Pro, which does have it's problems lately, but I can still accomplish work with it--I can see it, which is the first requirement, and it does just about everything PS does. AND it's much cheaper.

So I urge, again, as many people as possible to boycott Adobe until there is a reasonable response and patch for those of us who have already invested a lot of money in their current and older products--those of us who have made them what they are today--the industry standard.

And if anyone at Adobe would like to speak to me about this issue (I am well-versed in UI and accessibility), I am provuding my full name below. Respond, and we can talk offline if anonymity is an issue for you.

Respectfully,
Sandy Jo Becker Hyman
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Philip Goddard

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I underline Sandy Hyman's comment here - except that the latest (X4) version of Paintshop Pro has exactly the same UI colour scheme as PSE9, with no facility to change it, so unfortunately I don't have an option for Paintshop Pro to gain me a properly readable interface once more.