Photoshop CC 2018: Ctrl+Z only gives temp move tool instead of undo

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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After updating to the latest Ps CC 2018 minor revision I appear to have a strange issue with the left hand side Ctrl+Z ("undo") combination. Basically, it no longer works. What it's doing is changing to the move tool when I press and hold the left hand Ctrl key - and then completely ignoring the press of the "Z" key - BUT - only with the left hand side CTRL key. Using the right hand CTRL + Z key activates the undo function as expected. Any ideas anyone? Have tried a prefs reset and this is occurring right after a reinstallation of the program to fix another problem.
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Colin Southern

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Posted 3 months ago

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Colin Southern

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Just updated my work installation remotely and it's doing exactly the same thing. Beginning to look like a bug with the left hand ctrl + z combination. Can anyone else confirm?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hmm. Not able to reproduce offhand. What OS/version are you running on? Any language other than English in either OS, app, keyboard configuration?
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Colin Southern

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Hi Jeffrey,

Both PCs are running Win 7 x64. No other languages (both English). Default "app" and keyboard configurations.

Just to clarify:

Home PC: Start Photoshop (19.1.1) - new document - brush tool - wipe over document leaving "paint trail". Holding down right-hand ctrl key changes pointer to move tool and pressing the "Z" key undoes the painting as expected. Repeating the above but using the left hand ctrl key also changes the pointer to the move tool but pressing "Z" does nothing.

Work PC: Correct/normal operation verified before upgrading to 19.1.1 (not sure what version it was on before upgrading, but would have been "19.something"). Upgraded to 19.1.1 and this installation now behaves exactly the same as the one above.

I've even tried deleting the ctrl+z combo in the menu edit shortcut manager; I can delete it - I can re-enter it using the right hand Ctrl +Z combination, but if I use the left hand Ctrl+Z combination then nothing is entered.

Hope this helps! At present my only way to "undo" is to either click on the history, or use two hands to use the right hand ctrl and "left hand" "Z" key. So not a "show-stopper" but not ideal either.
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Colin,

What you're encountering is actually a feature and it's been there for some time.  It doesn't work with all tools (not Pen, Crop, or Direct Select), but most turn into the Move tool when you hold down CTRL.  This lets people do work, move what they're working on, and continue with minor effort.  It's the same on both Windows and Mac.

Oh, and just so you know, SHIFT usually constrains a tools scope while ALT usually makes a given tool "work from the center" (mostly the selection tools).

Hope the helps,
David
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Colin Southern

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Thanks David, but I think you've mis-read my original post. I've got no problems with the ctrl key turning into the move tool when pressed - but that functionality should change to "undo" if the "Z" key is subsequently pressed whilst ctrl is still being held down. This happens if the Ctrl key that I use is the right-hand side one, but it doesn't work if I use the left one (although it still changes to the move tool so it's not a dead key on the keyboard). 

From my perspective it simply looks like Adobe have assigned right-ctrl+z to undo but haven't assigned left-ctrl+z to undo. This is happening on 2 completely separate installations - one I was able to verify that it was working fine prior to the 19.1.1 (from 19.something) update. 

So for me it looks like something the 19.1.1 update has broken. Hope this helps.
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Colin,

Yeah, I'm not seeing the problem with CTRL+Z.  So, this leads me to wonder if you have some alternative input device trying to take control.  It could be something as simple as a tablet or mouse which needs an updated driver or it could also be a resident application that users shortcut keys to activate (screen capture and music editing apps are, historically, the most common offenders).  Anything along those lines?

Thanks,
David
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Colin Southern

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Hi David,

Thanks for that.

The plot thickens. Short answer is "not that I'm aware of". After having the problem on my home PC I did verify that I DIDN'T have the problem on my work PC prior to updating to the latest point release - and then was able to verify that I DID have the problem immediately after updating - so I think it's fairly safe to say that something to do with the update changed something.

I do have a tablet driver installed at work, but not at home. Both PCs use Logitech wireless unifying receivers - so there's one thing I can test by plugging in a cabled keyboard. 

Interestingly ... Ctrl+z is also used in windows for much the same function; I just deleted a file from a folder and left-ctrl+z didn't restore it but right-ctrl+z did - so that means it's occurring outside of Photoshop (and yet I can also state with 100% certainty that the problem didn't occur until installing the 19.1.1 update, because I was specifically testing just for that) (although I was testing the work PC via Team Viewer, but it did work correctly via Team Viewer before the update).

I'll try to think of some ways to narrow it down (I run a computer company so know my way around a computer pretty well).

Thanks again for your help - I'll update here when I know more.
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Colin Southern

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Update: I plugged in a USB corded keyboard and ... it's working correctly. Thinking through the issue some more, I did relocate my home PC a couple of days ago - and changed to a wireless mouse and keyboard at the same time. Having just said that, I did specifically test for this issue one my work PC (via Team Viewer) and the change coincided with the 19.1.1 update ... and yet the problem persists in windows explorer.

So somewhat of a curly one. On the face of it it's almost looking like the 19.1.1 update has made some kind of system-wide change that affects Logitech wireless keyboards / unifying receivers.

I've got a support request in with Logitech - will see what they come back with.
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Colin Southern

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Further update: It's looking more and more like a straight-forward keyboard failure. I've tested my work PC and it's fine - it's looking like testing it via TeamViewer from the same keyboard has lead me down the garden path. I still can't explain why the work PC functioned fine remotely prior to the update, but "it is what it is". Thanks for your help folks - I'll take it from here.