Photoshop CC 2015.5.1 Random "Right to Left" Text Glitch

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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  • (Edited)
Photoshop (CC 2015.5.1) frequently switches into "right to left" text mode. It seems random; Photoshop has "Default Features" in the Type > Language Options menu checked on.

I am able to switch back to "left to right" mode by checking on "Middle Eastern Features", and clicking on the "left to right" button in the Paragraph dialog. I then switch back to "Default Features". But after some time, Photoshop will go back into "right to left" text mode, and I would have to repeat the process above to correct it.

Is anyone else experiencing this, or has experienced and know of a way to make it stay in "left to right" mode permanently? This bug is very annoying and I hope it can be looked into.

Thanks!
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Blackthorn Group

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Posted 2 years ago

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David, Official Rep

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Howdy,

There are a couple of things here.

First, Photoshop remembers what composer was used to create a given document and it maintains the use of that composer afterwards.  So if you're in the European/CJK composer but you open a document that was created with MENA, even though the UI doesn't change, the composer does.

Next, Photoshop remembers the last typographic settings used in a document and those are the default the next time you open a document.  This, unfortunately, means that if you were in a R2L doc last, even if your composer is set to Europe/CJK, you can find yourself typing right to left, because that was the last paragraph setting you used.

If you're not typing in Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian, and you do not otherwise reset your paragraph directionality, then you should always remain L2R, regardless of which composer you are using.  A good alternate to make sure you're always entering text in the correct direction (which is DIFFERENT than alignment!) would be to activate the MENA composer and view the Middle Eastern Features, then specifically make sure both your directionality AND your alignment are L2R.

Hope that helps -- feel free to ping me here if you've got follow-up questions.

Thanks,
David
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David, Official Rep

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Hi Blackthorn,

What you are describing is PRECISELY the behavior of your ALIGNMENT being Left (what English-speakers also call Justification) but your DIRECTIONALITY being Right2Left.  Your step #5 is the smoking gun.  That's how it works when you've set your Directionality to R2L but then tried to override it with an Alignment of Left.  You need to go through the steps I outlined, above.  Specifically -- activate the MENA composer and view the Middle Eastern Features, then specifically make sure both your Directionality AND your Alignment are L2R.  Please note that the Directionality control is NOT visible unless you're using the MENA composer AND you have specifically activated the Middle Eastern features under Type > Language Option.  Further, Directionality and Alignment are two distinct settings; it might appear that changing one changes both, but you need to first fix Directionality and THEN fix Alignment.  Check out my video if you want me to walk you through it, step-by-step: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfuw7m5mVTk

There's pretty much only one other way for this to get broken the way you are describing -- what language-version of Photoshop are you running?  I ask, because the Arabic-enabled English (and French) versions as well as the Hebrew-enabled English version DEFAULT to R2L -- which means any time you reset your prefs, you're back to R2L.  How can you tell?  Click Preferences (under Edit on Windows and Photoshop on Mac) > Interface and look about half way down the dialog at the UI Language control.  If it says anything other than just "English", you need to install the US (or International) version of English to get the settings you want.  This can be done by going to your Creative Cloud app, clicking the gear-shaped icon at the upper right, select Preferences, and then in the dialog click Creative Cloud at the top, and then Apps.  Go down to App Language and select the flavor of English (or whatever language) you want.  Go back and you'll see in the middle of the window "You have not installed any applications yet     Browse all Adobe apps below".  Choose one (like Photoshop!) and click the Install button.

Thanks,
David
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Blackthorn Group

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Hi David,

I checked and the UI Language control in Preferences is set to "English". New documents are L2R. When creating a new document, I see that it is working in L2R: characters and punctuation appearing on the right as expected, cursor is on the right. At some point in editing my document, the directionality changes to R2L, but not of my doing. I never touch or change Language Options except to fix the directionality back to L2R.
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David, Official Rep

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Well, I'm not sure what to say.

Either, there is a missing step that is triggering this bug
   OR
You have a problem never reported by any other user in the six or seven years since we've had two composers in Photoshop.

I know that probably seems flippant, but I read all the various Photoshop forums for both Type and International bugs and I was deeply involved with the MENA project.  Heck, I maintain a YouTube channel that's focused on these issues and wrote my thesis on the later.  But in all of that, not a single user has ever had this problem...or if they did, the steps I already gave you resolved their problem.

If you create a NEW document set with the European/CJK composer with directionality set to L2R and you never interact with another document, then, I'm sorry, but it's impossible to change the text flow to R2L.  It's actually kinda hard to do and there are only a couple ways to do it.  I mean, if you include a Unicode value to reset the directionality, yeah, that would work, but that would sorta be cheating.  Otherwise, directionality is (currently) a document-level attribute that once set can only be reset or overridden a couple of ways, but those require either opening another document which has different settings OR running some sort of script OR running a very buggy 3rd party hack (that quit being available at least six years ago).  I know a number of users who'd LOVE what you are describing (if it could be tamed to happen only on command)...!  Heck, for those users, I've been trying to get directionality to be changed to a layer- or even paragraph-level attribute, but since that's never reliably worked due to the complexities involved (and therefore NEVER shipped), you'll have to pardon me if I'm more that a little skeptical...!

Again, do NOT just check where the cursor and punctuation appear -- those can be faked out.  What does the Directionality control, visible ONLY when the Middle East and South Asian composer is active WITH Language features enabled, show?  THAT is the ONLY test that counts.

If you would like, we can do a web-hosted screenshare to get to the absolute bottom of this problem.  I will not be in the office Monday, but Tuesday works...

Thanks,
David
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Blackthorn Group

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Hi David,

I've seen some old posts about the directionality switching to R2L, eg, http://thedigitalhippies.com/digital/photoshop-cs6-text-glitching-fixing-the-text-corruption-problem/ -- actually, it was that post where I learned how to switch back to L2R.

I'll be doing some more Photoshop work soon, and I'll have a screen recorder running from start to finish. That way I won't have to waste your time (since I can't guess when the problem may reoccur).

I'll post a link once I have something you can look at.

Thanks,
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David, Official Rep

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I have a video on the same topic, where I spell out not just how to fix the problem, but also how it happened in the first place.  Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17gM33tB1Hw  

Thanks,
David
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Jaroslav Bereza

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It happened in my company also. My boss has Photoshop with UI before Spectrum. I think he has CS6. He never changed the special options. And it happend me a week after on my another PC with PS 2015.5

I suspect Microsoft anniversary update, they did something wrong. Never happened before.

Blackthorn Group: do you have Win10 with anniversary update?
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Jaroslav Bereza

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Not yet. Would it help if I turned a detailed log of all events into a txt file? And then I would sent it to you when I spot the bug?

Can Photoshop recognise text direction from Windows locales setings? If I would have e.g. Windows in arabic language. Would be paragraph option turned on by default? If yes, then maybe Microsoft could modified something in update and Photoshop could get wrong data.
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Jaroslav Bereza

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I found interesting thing. I can reproduce it with my script for spliting text to layers by custom character. It worked always without this bug before Aniversary update.

Anyway my boss had same bug and he uses only default things in Photoshop. Nothing extra.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Can we get a copy of your script and the PSD to run it against?
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Jaroslav Bereza

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I will send it to you e-mail.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Thanks. Got the email. David and I will take a look.
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Jaroslav Bereza

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It happened again in most recent version. It was new unsaved document. No script executed. And I was switching windows between avocode, visual studio and photoshop during my work with this document.

The interesting is, that if I set paragraph style, then it is reseted to wrong settings if I create new text layer.
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Jaroslav Bereza

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It happened again. Newly created, non-saved document. I woke-up PC from hibernation.
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Jaroslav,

So, generally, there should be no difference between the English version and a localized version of Photoshop. Under the hood, they're almost the exact same app. The Czech version is just the English version with the strings externalized and translated. Almost. There IS a difference with default settings, such as units and color settings and page layouts. Which leads me to why I asked if you were running a non-English version -- we do have three SKUs (English for Arabic, English for Hebrew, and North African French) which have the other default text engine settings. Thus, in a world without bugs, you must have installed one of these. Now, as someone that lives in the real world, it's quite possible that there's some lingering setting bug from a previous install, plus it's also possible that either the Czech version has an incorrect setting -- or did previously. So let's try and knock out that possibility...!

Thus, to rule all this out, I would recommend COMPLETELY removing all instances of Photoshop for both languages. Total uninstall. Once this is done, reboot the OS and reinstall the latest English version of PS and see if the problem goes away. Yes, a TOTAL pain in the butt -- I'm really sorry for the hassle but it's the only way I know of to rule out application language as a cause. I'm still not hearing any other users with this issue, so there's gotta be something unusual and complicated about it (more than just running in Czech, cuz we specifically test that!).

Meanwhile, on my end, I'm going to pass these details along to Tech Support and our vendor teams to see if they've seen anything like this or can reproduce it. Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of this soon.

Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience

,David
(Edited)
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Jaroslav Bereza

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David: now I am working on "Advanced font swap" which is script. And I noticed that I must explicitly say that paragraph is left to right. Default value is right to left. Should it work this way?

var iddirectionType = stringIDToTypeID( "directionType" );
var iddirectionType = stringIDToTypeID( "directionType" );
var iddirLeftToRight = stringIDToTypeID( "dirLeftToRight" );
desc455.putEnumerated( iddirectionType, iddirectionType, iddirLeftToRight );
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Jaroslav,

No, this is NOT how the default SKUs install.  This would again lead me to believe that your installation is somehow a Middle Eastern SKU (Arabic or Hebrew English or North African French), as those are the only ones which require this kind of explicit declaration.  I'm not sure what else to tell you -- this sounds like a pain, but you should be able to clear it by uninstalling and reinstalling, but check your CC settings first -- click the flyout menu of Creative Cloud, click Preferences, in the dialog click Creative Cloud and Apps, and verify that the App Language dropdown is "English (North American)" or "English (International)".

Hope that (finally) helps,
David
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Jaroslav Bereza

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Ok, thanks for explanation of default behavior. I will try clear installation in Virtual Machine and I will check script behavior with same PSD file and same Photoshop version.

Clear instal would be really painfull for me on both my computers. I have CS6, CC, CC2014, CC2015, CC2015.5, CC2017 and some of them are also in two languages. (czech and internatinal english) And I have installed plugins there, shortcuts, scripts, ect. :-D But is less painfull than reinstall. :-D
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Jaroslav,

Hey, I re-read your email and I may have an idea of how your problem came up.  There were some changes to how the text engine's default behavior worked over the course of the last five or six years.  If you had all of those versions on your machine and switched freely among them, it's POSSIBLE that the settings got confused, even if you didn't install a MENA SKU.  Just a theory and not much help for you in your current situation, but at least it could explain how you got there.

Hope things work better for you,
David
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Blackthorn Group

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Hello all,

I've been working on old PSDs the last little while and have not encountered the R2L issue. So it looks like any existing PSD that had L2R directionality stayed that way. I'll continue to keep an eye on the issue for newly created documents.
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Blackthorn Group

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Hi David,

Finally getting back to you on this but I'm happy to report that I have not been experiencing this issue for the last few months. Newly created documents that start with default L2R direction remain that way. I suppose Jaroslav is still having issues but as far as I'm concerned, the case is closed :-)
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David, Official Rep

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Great to hear!

Not sure what happened, but no problems is my goal.  8-)

If this or any other text-related bug pops up again, please ping me.

Happy Monday,
David