Photoshop Elements 9-Preview brush hardness shortcut

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 8 years ago
  • Answered
In the photoshop elements 9 help manual on this page:

It says "Resize or change the hardness of painting cursors by dragging-
You can resize or change the hardness of a painting cursor by dragging in the image. As you drag, you preview both the size and hardness of the painting tool.


To resize a cursor, right-click + press Alt (Windows) or Control + Option (Mac OS) and drag to the left or right.

To change the hardness of a cursor, press Shift + right-click + Alt (Windows) or Control + Option + Command (Mac OS) and drag to the left or right.

My question, how do you preview the brush hardness using the above keyboard shortcut for windows?
(the brush size does preview)

Edit: Using pse9 on windows vista x64

Photo of JEA


  • 381 Posts
  • 202 Reply Likes

Posted 8 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
Official Response
Unfortunately, the brush hardness preview of Photoshop Elements is not very true or live. Part of this is because of the nature of how the brush cursor displays. With standard settings you can get very little feel with what is happening to your brush hardness unless you zoom in very closely to catch the subtlety.

The way you can make it easier to preview the hardness is by going to Edit>Preferences>Display & Cursors. Under Painting Cursors choose "Full Size Brush Tip". The default setting of "Normal Brush Tip" only shows about 50% of your brush hardness (the pixels that will be painted with 50% or more opacity). Full Size shows every pixel, even if it will only 1% visible.

Even with this setting, the preview is not live. You have to let the cursor refresh. This means you have to click, drag, and release. Then you will see what has happened to your brush hardness. Unfortunately, this is just part of display technology. Photoshop CS5, with it's OpenGL support, can give you a very good and live preview of what is happening to your brush at any given moment.