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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Danielle Talt

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I've followed this thread for over 6 months now. I don't see any hope for those of us that purchased PSE10. Is Adobe even monitoring this site now? The least they could do (once they correct the UI) is offer those of us who purchased PSE10
a sizeable discount on the new version when it is released. Other than that, I've quit using it and feel quite cheated and disappointed. Never experienced such a let down with any other software I've purchased. Was always able to return it for a full refund until now.
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Joan Lyle

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Come on, Adobe! Fix this problem! I am returning the new Elements 10 I bought because of the unreadable UI. LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS!
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Joan Lyle

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I purchased Elements 10 from Staples and now I need to know how to return it. I can't see a single thing on the user interface, and can't see any way to change it. I need larger size everything and better contrast of colors. Someone please HELP.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Elements 10: Any way to enlarge UI and heighten contrast?.
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John Kaminski

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I have similar issues. I have submitted a user review to the staples.ca online store where I bought PSE10. It is not particularly complementary.
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Joan Lyle

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Good idea, John. I think I will do that too.
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John Werner

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I whole heartily agree! The font size, color scheme and brightness of the user interface all need to be user controlled preferences. On a laptop with a 1920 x 1080 screen the text is very small and the low contrast (light gray on dark gray) makes it very unplesant to use Photoshop Elements 10. Just quickly finding the scroll bar is a challenge.

This should not be a patch not a feature for a new version. I'll be money these items are simply set with parameters in a style sheet, as they are on web pages.

Why do you think Internet explorer has text size and zoom control in the view menu and window has themes?

Come on Adobe - Photoshop & Elements are supposed to be 'flagship' products leading the industry. We don't all have the same screen sizes, resolutions, color taste or eyesight!

John
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Janegrace Taylor

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God I can't believe this is it!I can hardly see the tools . I just assumed there was a way to change e the UI that I hadn't found yet . What were you thinking?.I am talking about cs5 . What a disappointment.
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Linda Cantoni

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I'm a longtime PSE user (since at least v.4), and I've been very disappointed in the changes to the UI, which have made it more and more difficult to use. I'm especially disappointed to find that UI font size and colors are still not user-controllable in PSE 10, as I recently bought a new computer with a large widescreen monitor. Now I can barely see the menus and tools -- and I have my system display fonts set at 175%. I have no problem with any other application I use. Please fix this problem!
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Marsha Hymanson

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I am red/green colorblind, as is about 10% of the population. I cannot read at all/or with great difficulty, gray writing on a black background. Photoshop Elements 9 has such a color scheme (I had no problem with my old Photoshop Elements 6). This makes operating the program extremely difficult and time consuming. Can you give me a method to change the background colors and type (not red or green)? If not, could you at least have the next release come out in a color scheme that people like me can read?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Elements 9: I'm color blind and Photoshop doesn't seem to care that I cannot read.
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John Werner

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Jeffrey,

If one 'official reply' in a year is all that our "Chief Customer Advocate" can muster, I have to wonder about Adobe's concern regarding their customers of PhotoShop & PhotoShop Elements. I'll bet this could be fixed in a week & sent out as a patch... but yet no change from Elements 9 to 10? Actions speak louder than words... even year old words!

John
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Linda Minton

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John, Jeffrey has answered more than once, but "Due to volume, only the 15 most recent replies are being displayed". (I must question this rationale ... Adobe can't afford space to show ALL the posts?)

Supposedly, "something" is being done, but we customers not privy to what that "something" is. My concern is that Adobe will simply use the technology that they have implemented in their newest CS program for their next Elements release ... which, while a slight improvement, comes nowhere near resolving the viewability issue.
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David Jensen

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Adobe doesn't host these posts. Also, this is a tool to build consensus by voting on the best ideas. Having dozens of pages of posts on the same topic, as in a traditional forum, doesn't really help this goal. I wouldn't object to a way to view hidden posts, though.
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Linda Minton

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There were hundreds of posts viewable for the first year or so, then suddenly all but the latest disappeared. Adobe can see all the hidden posts (since Jeffrey or one of his co-workers unsuccessfully tried to give us the link), but WE can't.
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John Werner

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Thanks for info.

John
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Chris Cox

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The loss of the earliest posts is due to a limitation in the GetSatisfaction software. Even the admins can't see them directly. GetSatisfaction is working on ways to remove the limit and make all posts visible.
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Marsha Hymanson

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If you want to get a consensus, you need a lot of responses. Nowhere did Adobe advertise that they only want a few postings here. If consensus was met a long time ago, why hasn't it been fixed?

When my company introduced an "intranet" with only black and grey "colors" I couldn't read it at all. They fixed it in TWO HOURS. I realize it may take longer (a week or two?) to get out an update that would change the colors for everyone.

Adobe has sat on its hands for over a year and obviously has no intention to fix this or it would have fixed it already!
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Jonathan Graef

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It takes way longer to change the graphics of a program than it does for a website. I'd give it a few months. Plus the Adobe programs are super huge, and Adobe design experts need time to analyse and correct their mistakes.

So I estimate it would take a year or two to fix the problem once Adobe decides to start working on it. (and they might have started already)
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Chris Cox

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Have you looked at Photoshop CS6?
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Linda Minton

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I tried out the free sampler of CS6, just to see if the problem had been fixed. (No, it hasn't ... the UI is slightly better due to a couple of options, but still nowhere near as viewable as earlier versions of PSE.)

Because of the continual suggestions that we try CS6, I can't help thinking that the goal here is to push PSE users to the much more expensive CS program. I'm sure I'm not alone in being unable to afford CS ... which is why I went with PSE in the first place.
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Chris Cox

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That sounds like you may not have tried the different brightness levels available in Photoshop. The contrast isn't black and white (due to the different targets for each brightness level: movies, video, photography and print), but one of the options is about the same as CS5/CS4/CS3.

And you're reading a lot more into my questions than was contained in those questions.
Photoshop has implemented variable brightness UI, and we want feedback. Is this good? If this were included in Elements, would that address your issues with color/contrast?
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Linda Minton

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Why, yes, Chris ... of course I tried the different brightness levels available in the CS beta. I never asked for strict black-and-white contrast (although some have), I asked for readable contrast. The CS beta did not answer this request.

To more clearly answer your question ... No, the wimpy variable contrast UI options in CS would not address my issues with contrast if it were implemented in PSE.

What would address those issues would be a return to a simple slide-bar for contrast, or a return to the PSE contrast options that you used way back in PSE5.
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Linda Cantoni

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Yes, and please, Adobe, don't forget user-controlled font sizes as well - the menus and other text are unreadably tiny on a large hi-res screen.
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Chris Cox

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Off topic posts will be removed.
Personal attacks will be removed.
SPAM and commercial advertisements will be removed.

We are not removing posts that we disagree with, but posts that should never have been here in the first place.

Posters who continue to violate and abuse the policies of this forum will be banned from these forums.
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Daniel G Newell

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" Get emotional! Describe how this topic makes you feel. "

Please consider removing this comment from your software. It seems to have been placed there in error.
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Elizabeth Hillyer

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we all need to get this information out on the Web:ie, 1) warn people against purchasing PSE10 and 2) report the fact that Adobe has no support or regard for its paying customers --"yesses" us to death (well, kinda!) but then does NOTHING for months and months. I suspect the Adobe folks feel so confident in the high regard for their products that they don't think they need to do anything to maintain it! PSE10 is a lousy product and people should know it!
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Glammis

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I did put a negative review on the Canadian "Staples" website stating user interface difficulties. I checked and it is still there. If we all did the same, maybe Adobe would try to fix this long standing problem.
On a personal note, I have reverted back to an old version of Elements so that I could see what I was doing. I only bring up PSE10 when I need to use a new feature.
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cmc

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Photoshop CS6 for Mac has serious window management problems. If one switches to another application while a Photoshop dialog box is open, the dialog frequently gets hidden when switching back to Photoshop. Even if the dialog is only partially hidden by the main Photoshop window and can be brought into focus it no longer accepts input. At that point the only way to continue is force-quit Photoshop via the Mac finder. This causes frequent loss of work. I'm shocked to see such amateurish errors with an Adobe application. I've never encountered these types window management errors with another application I've used on Mac.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop CS6 Serious Window Managment Errors.
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cmc

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I was just trying to submit a bug report for very expensive Adobe software. No intention of signing up for or posting to a public forum. No idea, why my original post was moved to a Photoshop Elements topic????
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Chris Cox

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Whoops - I think your topic got merged by mistake. There are a couple people in here cleaning up topics right now.

OK, repost your topic and we'll delete the mistake in here (sadly, we can't undo the merges). Sorry about the confusion.
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Gene Moore

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How to change black/grey color scheme to something more readable? I'm 66, and this is just about impossible to see.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Hard to read color scheme.
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Mike Chamberlain

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Gene - you must be new to this topic, but it's been going on for years - most of the old postings have been deleted. The sad fact is that you can't change the black/grey color scheme in Elements 10. Hundreds of us have been complaining about this not just in Elements 10 but in version 9 also, and Adobe have failed to do anything about it. Whether they will do anything in the next version remains to be seen, but even if they do, they'll charge you for the "upgrade" when it comes.
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Chris Cox

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Nothing has been deleted except off topic posts and violations of forum policy (personal attacks, profanity, etc.). The thread is just longer than GetSatisfaction can show, and their software hides the oldest posts.
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Linda Minton

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Several of my posts have been deleted because I'm an unhappy customer and spoke to those points. I have never used personal attacks or profanity.
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Chris Cox

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No, there were deleted because they were off topic, and some contained unwarranted personal attacks.

Other posts have been removed in this topic for profanity, commercial spam, etc.

We do not remove legitimate complaints.
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HateBadDesign

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It took the people who make Paint Shop Pro a lot less time to fix the same design fault in their interface.
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Gene Moore

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Chris admits that he doesn't have the power to change things, but seems to NOT be moving this up the ladder to those who do. Adobe Managements needs to realize that whatever is costs to fix this is nothing in comparison to the hit their reputation is taking.

I own a small software company, and if I was this unresponsive, I'd quickly go out of business. Somebody with authority need to get involved with this and find a solution.
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Chris Cox

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Please see Jeff Tranberry's response at the top of this topic.
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Glammis

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That was over a year ago. Any progress reports that may help us from getting so bitter?
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Chris Cox

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Photoshop CS6 showed progress, and we've asked people to take a look at it.
But Elements has not shipped another release yet.
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HateBadDesign

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Pity its not being used by tech people, or someone would have found a way to hack the binaries to change the colors.
That should be possible.
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Chris Cox

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Possible, but highly unlikely - we're not talking about a table of colors, but many tables, plus thousands of icons, pictures, cursors, interactions between elements, etc.
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Gene Moore

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I did look at Jeff's response (I've actually read the whole thread, what I can see of it). That was a year ago, and not another word since. Like most of the other on here, I feel ignored..
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Chris Cox

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Please see previous discussions about why it could not be changed in time for Elements 10.
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Linda Minton

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I believe the last viewable UI in Photoshop Elements was Version Five (sorry, my numerical key for that number isn't working) but I could be wrong, maybe it was Six. At any rate ... a long time ago.
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Gene Moore

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I had version 4 (and liked it), and was forced to go to Version 10 because I got new computers with Windows 7. Version 4 wasn't compatible. Had I investigated, instead of trusting Adobe, I would have made a different decision. It never occured to me they would do something this bad, then refuse to fix it.
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VA_Granddaddy

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Version 6 was the first unusable version because of the gray on black backgrounds. I've never bought another Adobe product after that nasty experience. As I've posted before in this topic, why is everyone so enraged? There are other products from other companies, even free ones, that do what Photoshop Elements does and they work better. Use those products. Why argue with Adobe? It's their product.
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Gene Moore

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You're right, of course. Its just hard to give up something that was once so good...
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Gene Moore

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Overnight? Really? It's been over a year!!

Implying that it's fixed in "Unannounced" software is just low. You get to pretend the porblem is solved. What if it isn't fixed when the software is "Announced"? We just lost another year waiting for a fix. Jeff did NOT answer the question.

This is just smoke and mirrors, without a real answer to the users.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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There have been many responses from the team over the past year, but just like everyone they have been falling off the edge of a short ledge.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that prevent us from making everyone happy all at once. First, software is in development for a long time before it gets released. Photoshop Elements 9 was already out and Photoshop Elements 10 was locked up by the time this conversation got started. It was much too late to make major changes.

I mentioned previously that all of your concerns have been heard and that things are going to be different. The first hint of this is the change made to Photoshop CS6, which may default to a dark UI, but that can be changed through the preferences (it can be even darker if you want). There are going to be bigger changes with the next Photoshop Elements but we simply can't talk about it. Some of you will love the changes, some will hate them. We aren't able to incorporate everybody's wish list.

So the answer is: your concerns are real and serious. We have heard them and they are being addressed. We are sorry we can't make radical changes faster. We are not trying to censor or ignore, but we also cannot directly address every single comment.
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HateBadDesign

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Thing is YES you could incorporate all wishes, but you don't want to. For instance if you MUST change the window look from what Microsoft has chosen (not a wise move) then just make all your apps skinnable and let the end user make their own skins.
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Gene Moore

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I've been in the commercial software business for 40 years and I know when a client is being shined on.

What you are NOT doing is treating this as a bug. While it's ostensibly a design error rather than a bug, the end result is the same, unhappy users.

It should be treated as a separate item, a fix generated and made available to those who have the problem. They should NOT have to wait until the next release and pay for something that you should have fixed immediately. When it was first reported, fixes should have been generated for Version 9 (and Version 10, immediately after release).

This is poor customer service, and while I can't speak for the others, you are very close to losing me as a clinet. For the Record, I have three licenses for In-Design, 2 licenses for PSE 10 and have been a loyal Adobe customer for years, going back to the PageMaker days. This is really bad....
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Gene Moore

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What I understand is that if it took two actual year just to change a UI, it has major design flaws. No matter, I've filed a complaint. I don't need the 'tude I get from you.
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Chris Cox

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That is not a design flaw, just a large, complex system.

Again, it really sounds like you do not understand the scope of the problem in such a large, professional application. I have been trying to explain that scope so you can understand why these things do not change quickly.

We are responding to your request/complaints -- but you continue to expect results on an unrealistic timetable.
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Gene Moore

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It IS a design flaw, or you wouldn't have so many complaints about it.

The longer you talk "down" to me and others, the more complaints you will get.

Again, if your product manager is satisfied with it taking two "real" years to just change the UI (and we're only talking about colors, not content), he or she needs a lesson in project management. You have to be able to react to market pressures, and this is a horrible timeline. As a customer, my timetable isn't unrealistic. I've purchased two copies of a product that is practically unusable, and Adobe doesn't care. They want me to purchase an upgrade to fix it. THAT'S unrealistic.. It isn't my problem that you guys can't make a simple change because of the way the product is designed. It's yours.

The "scope" of the problem is entirely of your own making, and using it as an excuse to not provide customer service is rather sad.
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Chris Cox

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I am sorry that you do not understand the complexity of the problem or why it takes longer than you expected.

Again: we have heard you, we are working on solutions. We have shown that we do care, but have also shown why we cannot make such major changes quickly.
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Gene Moore

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Again, talking "down" may make you feel superior, but it will hurt Adobe in the marketplace. Nobody needs that or has to put up with it.
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Gene Moore

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Really? Changing background colors is complex? You may need a new tool. I can do it in my software by changing one variable. Granted, yours is a LOT more complex than mine, but I would hope you use tables and common routines for such things, and not re-do it for every screen. GUI standards have been around for a long time

Doesn't matter. You have convinced me that Adobe has adopted a management attitude that doesn't favor the client. The technical discussion will always favor you, because we, as users, don't have access to the code. The rest of this is academic and won't solve anything.

I'll be looking at new places for my solutions from now on. I want solutions that will help me and my clients, and a vendor that cares, and does something about it when they make a mistake. Apparently, Adobe no longer cares. Too bad..

Good luck to the rest of you.
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HateBadDesign

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Indeed, it's something that should be changeable in less than an hour (being generous, it should probably take 5 minutes)
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Chris Cox

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Please read the previous posts. Changing the UI in Photoshop took closer to 2 years. It is a much more complex task than you imagine.
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Mike Chamberlain

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Chris, the point you're missing is that if it really does take Adobe two years to change the background colour of a program, then there's something seriously wrong with the way Adobe is doing things. It's pointless just telling us that the product is too complex, or the programmers can't work any harder, or you don't have enough staff, or the design is too inflexible: those are all things which are ultimately under Adobe's control and clearly need to be addressed. You seem to be claiming that these are all immutable facts of life: they are not.

It's pretty clear from what everyone here has been saying that a lot of people, myself included, find the Elements UI difficult or impossible to read. I'd wager that a majority of your users in the 40+ age group find it difficult, although obviously only a minority will actually bother to comment on this forum. It is well known scientific fact that as you get older, it becomes harder to read low-contrast, low-brightness text. Adobe SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT when they designed this ridiculous UI. You're supposed to be experts at this field, and you should have made allowances for people with less than 20/20 vision in the first place, by giving users the ability to choose the text size and colours.

Defending that omission by banging on ad nauseam about how long it takes your programmers to make a change is really a bit lame. I'm sure a company like Adobe doesn't lack the necessary resources: it is just a question of priorities.
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Chris Cox

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You might want to check what the SEC allows publicly traded companies to say about future products and actions.
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Linda Minton

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Publicly traded companies make announcements about future products all the time.
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Gene Moore

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Oh my !!!!! Let's see what else will stick to the wall. I'm going to go get my boots....
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Gene Moore

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Linda, he isn't even pretending to be factual now. He's just making stuff up...
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Daniel G Newell

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Customer interaction and the manner in which the company is represented in the course of that interaction is also *part of the product* and this *can* be changed quickly -- IN A SINGLE DAY, and there no excuse for why it has not been.
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Glammis

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I feel I wasted my money on PSE 10 due to the UI issue. I just posted a comment to that effect on cnet.com. Other potential purchasers need to know what they are getting into. They also need to know that Adobe is unlikely to provide a fix to those who purchased a program they cannot use.
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Gene Moore

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Agreed. While two of us are stuck for the moment, I will be finding a replacement product. This just sucks productivity out of the user and is actually unpleasant to use. They'll never get anothr dime of my money for this mess..