Photoshop: Doesn't constrain proportions when resizing from side handle while holding Shift key

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  • Problem
  • Updated 6 days ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
When using Free Transform, holding down Shift while dragging a corner rightly constrains the proportions of the shape while resizing. However, holding down Shift while dragging a side handle does nothing. It should continue to constrain the proportions as it does in Illustrator.
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Kris Hunt

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Posted 6 years ago

  • 20
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Chris Cox

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Which version of Photoshop are you using?
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Kris Hunt

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Doesn't matter. This applies to every version, up to the very latest. This should have been fixed a decade ago.
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Roman Divoký

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photoshop: Uniform object scale.

Hi,
uniform scaling when dragging middle handle + shift would be really awesome.
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Hannah Nicollet, Quality Engineer

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Hi Kris and Roman,

As of today's update, Photoshop 20.0, proportional transform is now the default behavior of transform in Photoshop (except with regard to vector graphics). Please open the Creative Cloud app, download the update and let us know how it goes for. If you do not see the update immediately, please sign in and sign out of the Creative Cloud.

Thank you,
Hannah
(Edited)
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Steven Foley

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This is absolutely insane. Holding shift to constrain proportions is the standard for other Adobe programs, why shouldn't it be the same for Photoshop? Do the Photoshop developers not communicate with the developers of InDesign, Illustrator, etc.? Do they not communicate with actual USERS?
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Steven Foley

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This is absolutely insane. Holding shift to constrain proportions is the standard for other Adobe programs, why shouldn't it be the same for Photoshop? Do the Photoshop developers not communicate with the developers of InDesign, Illustrator, etc.? Do they not communicate with actual USERS?
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Erling Storvik

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I often resize selections to cover up other parts of an image using the middle handle — now this handle will enlarge the selection in both directions. When I hold down command I can drag it one direction only, but it will easily skew up or down. It is hard to understand why these functions have been changed. As said above, we have a job to do and many years of using these tools has made us experts in this, working quick and effortless with our tools. Now, how am I going to resize a selection any way using the middle handle and keeping the motion in angle?Sorry for my bad english, I'm Norwegian :)
(Edited)
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Tim Franz

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Yes, this change is insane.  Inconsistent with every other program on the market, including Adobe and non-adobe products.  I've been a professional print designer for years, and it's muscle memory.  Now I have to stop and think about what I'm doing, and it's a distraction and a slow down.  Please change it back.
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Tim Franz

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Yes, this change is insane.  Inconsistent with every other program on the market, including Adobe and non-adobe products.  I've been a professional print designer for years, and it's muscle memory.  Now I have to stop and think about what I'm doing, and it's a distraction and a slow down.  Please change it back.
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IMUPL8

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For anybody who wants to revert back to the old faithful way of doing things, this is the method to do so from John McAssey in the https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/constrained-resize-ps-cc-20 thread:

To revert to the legacy transform behavior, do the following:

  1. Use Notepad (Windows) or a text editor on Mac OS to create a plain text file (.txt).
  2. Type the text below in the text file:

    TransformProportionalScale 0

  3. Save the file as "PSUserConfig.txt" to your Photoshop settings folder:
    • Windows: [Installation Drive]:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings\
    • macOS: //Users/[User Name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings/

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GEORGE MEYER

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GENIUS! Works like a charm. But pros shouldn't have to hack a software that should have never been changed in the first place. Thanks for the hack.
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Erling Storvik

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But what happened to the middle handle? Why would you not make it possible to extend a square selection in one direction only? I really need to know how I am going to extend a selection in one direction only since this is a function I have been using for years and years - what is now the correct procedure to achieve this?
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Felix Hollenstein

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Awesome! Thank you soo much!
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Tim Lumsdaine

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Many thanks! It was really doing my head in. Fixed now!
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sean mcdade

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Yes, thanks.
Agree with others that it's truly poor form to change a behavior that was long-standing and remains a standard with other apps. I wonder if it's knowing arrogance, lack of information of something else.
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Ben

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For the love of god, don't fix things that ain't broken. Truly mind-numbing nonsense sorry.
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doward williams

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This feature was a total, utter waste of time.
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Nikole Rose

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They should've released 20.0 on April 1st.
(Edited)
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dbonneville

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I just spent 20 minutes trying to resize and object in PS 20.0. I could not proportionally scale a placed image. Spent another 10 minutes searching google, trying to figure how to not to bring up old versions of photoshop for the answer. I land here, and the answer is "don't hold shift".

"Don't hold shift" anymore?

WUT?

I have to unlearn how many decades of muscle memory?
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Christine Uren

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Yeah, I couldn't find it either. I searched and searched the official Photoshop forum, and nothing came up (except for Illustrator!). I never heard of this "Photoshop Family" place before just now. 
(Edited)
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Jared Hundley

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PLEASE make a revert to legacy in preferences on this topic. You have inconsistencies amongst your products now. Illustrator and AE (and others) are using the old method and Photoshop is now using this new method. 20+ year photoshop user here... I can adapt but it's super nice to have the option to revert to my old ways if possible. Plus, I teach high schoolers the Adobe package and consistency is key. Thank you. 
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Kukurykus

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I wonder will they take us seriously and made such option in preferences with next update or leave with way of .txt file to do the same. I only hope they levae us choise which method we want to use.
(Edited)
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Kim Wild

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This is the stupidest update ever. Don't hold shift anymore, Adobe are you serious? I also teach this - don't hold shift in all programs but Photoshop. Lets all have to unlearn something we don't even think about doing since the creation of Photoshop. Just dumb.
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Kaytalin Platt McCarry

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I am so, so annoyed by this update. I spent 5 minutes trying to understand if I had pressed some sort of button that was canceling out Shift or if my Mac was being glitchy. Then, I remembered I updated Photoshop, so I came here to find out this is a thing that the developers did on purpose. What kind of monsters remove the Shift function without sending out a mass warning to let users know they are fundamentally changing how one of the most used scale methods work? 
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Todd Denton

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Me too! Looking for a toggle or something I had accidentally hit. I was hoping there was an easier fix than hacking the program.
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Michael Verzella

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@Hannah Nicollet i'd like to know Adobe's reasons for reversing shortcut keys and command behaviors overnight. Who thought this was a good idea? We now need to coach all of our users on the new behaviors, and build custom preference files for others. On each machine we use. Unnecessary and obstructive. 
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Hannah Nicollet, Quality Engineer

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Hi Michael,

Sorry I missed your question earlier. The reasoning behind the change was that today when people grab a window corner to resize it they expect it to resize proportionally.

Thanks,
Hannah
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Ben

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I'm yet to meet anyone in a professional setting who thinks this with regard to tools - including interns.

But if it's true, and it's the reason for changing scale tools, do it properly! Changing one tool out of 100s across CC - really? 

The inconsistency and defence is so embarrassing. It's such low-quality thinking and execution. #face-palm
(Edited)
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Michael Verzella

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This is a dubious explanation, for when re-sizing any application window in Mac OS or Windows, the proportions are not locked. On Mac, you must hold shift to size proportionally - as was the past photoshop transformation behavior, and the default in all other Adobe apps. What operating system is Adobe using? Does Metal work properly on that one? 

This is increasingly looking like a bug, being advertised as a feature.
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Ben

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I was thinking that as well, none of this makes any sense.

What’s strange are the responses from Adobe, it’s totally fine to say we messed up, or we should’ve made all tools consistent, or this is part of a wider plan but it was released earlier etc - something that sounds like the truth at least.

Some people aren’t aware of the change and I’ve found past work from others that’s slightly distorted - when you’ve been doing this for years, you actually drag out quite accurately so I wonder how many other people are clueless about this?
(Edited)
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Todd Denton

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Hannah, these people are not professionals who have been using the Adobe Suites. These people are word users. Now your platforms are inconsistent. 
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Roman Divoký

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IMO it should behave exactly as in Illustrator
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Ben

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Agreed, this has always driven me nuts but now it’s a whole new level of stupid.
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doward williams

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I've thought the same thing about many of the features between these two products. It's silly updates like this that will push users to new products like figma and Sketch.
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Mariah Parker

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Exactly... Adobe really needs to consult with the professionals who use the software every day before they do ridiculous things
 like this.
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Creative Catalyst

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This is ridiculous. What are you doing Adobe? So now in some programs I hold shift, like I've done for 10 years, but in Photoshop it's no longer the default behavior? How does inconsistency between keyboard commands from one application to another equal an improvement. Shift to constrain should be the default. Was someone actually complaining about this? So now I have to train my hand and mind to hold shift in other applications but not Photoshop? Please give us an option to revert to legacy.
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Donnie Chance

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I've wondered for years why it DIDN'T work this way. Almost every time I go to scale an object, I want it proportional ... why did I have to hold down the shift key for what most of my colleagues agree should be the default behavior. I do, however, believe in consistency ... so please change Illustrator as well. And thank you ... I can now scale objects without having to set down my cup of coffee :)
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Rebecca Heinemann

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Yes but how do I increase the height of a shape later on? I've tried unlocking the proportions but it doesn't unlock. Argghhh!
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Hannah Nicollet, Quality Engineer

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Rebecca so you're saying that when you hold shift and transform it doesn't free transform?
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Olaf Giermann

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Rebecca is saying, that the chain-link symbol in the options bar does not work as expected any more.
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Rebecca Heinemann

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Ohhhh I finally see. OMG. This change just took me days to figure out. I've been using PS for 20yrs and when you are plugging away at your work it's hard to find the time to stop and relearn new features. Got it now. 
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GEORGE MEYER

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Pro users shouldn't have to waste even 5 min trying to understand a completely unnecessary modification of something that was never broken. Glad that you figured it out though.
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Ben

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@Donnie Chance 
Yep but do it right. Talk it through, announce it widely, make it work the same in all apps - then release it.

Inconstancies across apps in the suite is already sloppy, this change sums up decades of frustration for many of us. We don't need another Apple, anyone remember FCPX? I switched to Premiere because of this kind of nonsense.

Just do it right - our clients expect nothing less, is it really so hard?
(Edited)
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Kukurykus

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You are right. btw there's option to comment one's post ;)
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Rebecca Heinemann

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OMG please revert back to the old way. I hate this new feature. 
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Rebecca Heinemann

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I'm still trying to figure out how to be able to increase the width of my squares while the height stays the same. Even if I turn off the lock the proportions stay locked. I'm going crazy. All I can think of doing is to created a whole new shape. I'm so confused.HELP!
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Jennifer Huntley

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Hold shift and Alt/Option while dragging the width out.
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Christine Uren

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If you're talking about shapes you made with the rectangle tool, it's apparently the opposite of the picture-resizing system. Go to your shape layer, hit "command-T," and just grab any handle to resize the width or height. If you hold down the shift key, the proportions will be constrained. 
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Rebecca Heinemann

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I'm doing this and both height and width are changing. I just need one to change. Even when I turn off the lock it still does it.
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Hannah Nicollet, Quality Engineer

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Hi Rebecca,

So when you just do a transform (not holding shift) it still does a free transform? If that's the case can you please go to Help > System Info and then copy and paste the contents of that window in your reply?

Thanks,
Hannah
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Rebecca Heinemann

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It's still proportionally constraining the shape. I just want to change the height of the box. 
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Rebecca Heinemann

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The only way for me to resize the height (of an existing shape from when I was using the previous version of PS) is to recreate it entirely.
(Edited)
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Ben

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This ill-thought through change and jaw-dropping inconsistencies is a constant frustration. Not only is it typical bone-headed corporate nonsense, it was a calculated decision - we all know these kinds of meetings right? Make the change but do it right, so embarrassing.
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Jon Williams

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This is adobe's attempt to be more user friendly for those who aren't trained professionals and appeal to a few more people who aren't in their customer base. Unfortunately in an effort to grab a few more customers they ignored their loyal, trained, established customer base that they were originally creating the product for. Adobe lost focus. Bad move. Please stick to supporting your products for the trained professionals in which they were intended. Thanks.
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Donnie Chance

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I'm a little surprised there's so much passionate animosity over this usability change. I've used Photoshop since the early 90's ... and yes, I like consistency in vendor products (so I'm waiting for the illustrator change), but this "constrain proportions" should really be the default. In 5 years, we'll be saying "remember when you had to train people to hold down the shift key first". I'm just glad the "keep-it-like-it-is-because-I-don't-want-change" groups didn't rule the auto industry ... otherwise I'd still be pulling down the license plate to fill-up. Make it easier for people (new users, new revenue) to enjoy and learn more quickly ... smart.
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Donnie Chance

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Ben ... I don't disagree with the "notification" or "announcement" part. But I'm imaging how that would play out. I can imagine an effort by Adobe to inform their customer base of new changes ... and for whatever reason, the communication isn't delivered well enough, it never is, to truly inform and prepare the masses. The fact is that I too had to do a quick search to figure out what was going on after the update ... it was a bit surprising, but not earth shattering. Actually, I agree with several of your observations ... I work with corporations that have 90K+ employees ... if Adobe adopted their type of "robust and thorough" change management process for Photoshop, it would never be the product it is today. I'm not saying be reckless ... but, as a daily user of Photoshop, this, and all of the other recent enhancements, aren't making me hate Adobe.
It's interesting to see the fervor behind this particular change. I'm guessing Adobe is noting the activity : )

BTW ... thanks for the respectful reply ... it's always disappointing to find myself in an unproductive discussion and wondering how I got there.
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Christine Uren

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"The fact is that I too had to do a quick search to figure out what was going on after the update ... it was a bit surprising, but not earth shattering."But it wasn't a "quick search" for all of us. I did several searches before I hit the answer, and so did a number of other people posting here. 
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Ben

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Hey Donnie, a fundamental change to the way graphics software has worked for 30+ years was always going to cause friction but that's frustrating, not infuriating. 

What makes it infuriating, is that the change probably needed to happen in a 100 different places across CC but it was only made in one app, in one place. 

That's low-quality work in anyone's book and that's what gets under people's skin. Yes, Adobe will write this off as 'you can't teach old dogs new tricks' but that's an over-simplification and a convenient excuse for poor work.

The half-baked way this change was implemented is well below the quality threshold for professional software, that's why I (and many others who can't be bothered posting/voting/liking) are annoyed.

It's not good enough, period.
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Donnie Chance

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"the change probably needed to happen in a 100 different places " ... that's a fair statement. Consistency is quality. I look at all the comments that attacked this change as though the people "outside of the change" have all the data necessary to show this was pure and simple ... sloppy work. I'm not in Adobe's meetings ... I don't have knowledge of the full myriad of challenges it takes to make any one change to Ps ... but I have attended many meetings with worldwide companies making similar process changes. And sometimes ... a lot of times ... a change that looks completely baffling, had some unique challenges and/or variables that required that change to be made in the way it was made. I've also seen companies live with a burdensome, unintuitive costly process because they simply could not find an "acceptable" solution for change.

Maybe ... just maybe ... the cost to change a default constrained proportion in every place necessary to satisfy all users at once ... would have taken a very long time and maybe this would increase the development budget significantly ... and maybe this would have injected some risk to the application stability ... requiring additional resources for regression testing ... so that a final product could be released ... in 2025? with increased subscription prices? If  you had all the same data as the people making change would you still say it was "half-baked"?

I'd like to believe that companies like Adobe have some fairly intelligent leaders who understand the value of a company's relationship with it's support base (aka customers).  And that these leaders are part of the decision making process. Maybe someday I'll run into one of them in a coffee shop. If I do ... I'll ask them to at least provide a road-map next time (even if it's a work in progress) so we can better prepare. 
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Ben

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I couldn't agree more, making this change would've taken ages and been hugely costly which makes the decision even more baffling. 

Many of us have built careers unraveling a small inconsistency which has ballooned into a massive problem and it's 10,000 times worse when it involves code. So why go there?

Touch apps/tools are an entirely different context, it's totally fine if they work differently, especially when it comes at the expense of making all other tools within the same context work the opposite way. That's just, well... stupid..

I'm sure the story of this decision is like the millions of other corporate decisions, we've all been there and it's sad, horrible and deflating. What a bummer.
(Edited)
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Tim

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Please do not mark this thread as solved when it is absolutely not solved.
(Edited)
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Kris Hunt

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Agreed. Adobe, please stop patting yourself on the back.
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Rebecca Heinemann

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I'm having such trouble with the proportional resizing that I've had to go back and use PS 19.1. Also why do I have to hit Command H twice now to get the Type tool to unselect? Good god I hate this new version. I've been a user since 1999 and this is the worst update ever!
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Markus Schille

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Hi,

Making uniform scaling the default without holding shift is probably the right move by Adobe, although it will take some time to get used to for old users like me. However for smart objects and vectors, it still uses the old behavior, so this is really confusing because of the inconsistency.

Please spend more time in QA/beta before you release features like this to the public! It should be obvious that changing this behavior for one type of objects should also be consistently changed across the application regardless of whether it's paths, smart objects or pixels.

Next time I would suggest holding back the feature until it is complete (at least along one singular app), but all software companies seem to have this idea that you need to release X amount of features in X amount of time to justify subscription fees!

*/rant off!*
(Edited)
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jcrandell56

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OMG. You guys are crazy. Just figure it out and quit whining. It works and makes better sense.
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GEORGE MEYER

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Just another inconsistency across the CC line. Much like the fact that in EVERY Adobe software Command H hides the application, but not in Illustrator. Dumb. People like me make a living with this software. Don't screw with 25 years in.
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Christine Uren

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Yeah, I thought I would be used to it by now, but the fact that it works differently depending on what type of layer you're resizing is confusing. 
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Ben

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That aspect is the thing that makes this an embarrassing mess. Seriously, WTF?
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Mariah Parker

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Hey everyone, try going to Photoshop prefs ==> Performance and checking Legacy Compositing.  This worked for me after I changed the prefs and restarted PS.  
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Mariah Parker

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Aargh, I thought changing the prefs was working, but tried again and it's not.