Photoshop: Pressing the Esc key to exit 'text mode' negates all the changes in the text box

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  • (Edited)
Dear Adobe Gripe #17414

"Please figure something out so that i can exit 'text mode' in photoshop by pressing Esc. and not have it negate everything i just changed in the text box... thank you!"
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Posted 8 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
The [Esc] key is like hitting the cancel button to cancel all changes you've just made and exit text editing mode.

Instead, use Cmd/Ctrl + Return/Enter to accept the changes you've made and exit text editing mode.

Additionally, you can use Opt/Alt + Return/Enter to add a line break while in text edit mode.
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Dear Adobe Gripes
#5756
, #3027 & #8338


"Please make an keyboard shortcut to deselect the type tool, when typing in
the type tool. Right now you have to click on another tool in the palette
to get out of the type tool. Try doing this when the tool palette is
hidden, you must hit esc, the lose all your changes, then bring back the
palette, then select another tool."

"why can't you escape out of the text tool without negating everything you just did? You figured this out in your other apps."

"I need some sort of shortcut to select a new tool when a text box is active. Also, spacebar for Hand Selection tool doesn't work. Beat."
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Text editing mode needs to be modal to some degree. It would be silly if typing letters or using the space bar didn't type letters or create spaces. Per the official response, use one of the keyboard shortcuts to exit text editing mode. If you need to pan around the image while in text edit mode, use the document scroll bars or the Navigator panel which are both available in text edit mode.
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Folletto

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There's a reason why people keep bringing this issue up: consistency. People that use other applications than Photoshop only are getting frustrated constantly by this behaviour.

Photoshop is the only app between the whole CS suite, Apple apps and 3rd party apps that has this behaviour. ESC there means "go out this modal way" and the usual undo is there to handle errors. It's not a modal dialog, and shouldn't be treated a such.

See my comment below for more details.
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Chris Cox

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OK, we will work with the suite to make sure the other suite applications adopt more consistent usage similar to that already in Photoshop.

Even if it is not a modal dialog, it is a modal state, and needs both concepts of commit and cancel.
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Folletto

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This is a follow up of:
http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

The reason for that behaviour is inconsistent. There are many reasons to remove that behaviour from Photoshop, and it doesn't seem that they are going to be weighted properly. I took the freedom to collect them from the numerous topics on the web and here:

1. Illustrator uses ESC to commit changes.

2. InDesign uses ESC to commit changes.

3. Basically: all the other apps in the CS suite use ESC as commit for that kind of interaction.

4. Cmd+Enter isn't a viable alternative, because it's WAY SLOWER, forcing users to use both hands or move them from the mouse/pen.

5. Photoshop is inheriting that from the time when that thing was modal: at the beginning of time it was a modal box. Now it isn't anymore, there's no reason to be inconsistent by providing a WYSIWYG visual experience paired with the keyboard commands of something that doesn't exist anymore.
http://0.tqn.com/d/graphicssoft/1/0/m...

6. There's already a standard behaviour for that, and it's called Undo.

7. Every other app existing on Mac uses "esc" as "get me out of edit mode" for that specific kind of interaction (i.e. Pixelmator, Acorn, Omnigraffle), not "erase changes" (either that, or nothing at all like Keynote). Photoshop is the *only* exception.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Pressing the Esc key to exit 'text mode' negates all the changes in the text box, should COMMIT instead.
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Chris Cox

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Committing text in Photoshop can be accomplished with the ENTER key (bottom right of your numeric keypad), CMD/CNTL-RETURN, or the button on the text tool options bar.

ESC means escape. In computer interfaces it means to cancel, or back out of what you are currently doing (the opposite of commit). Using ESC to mean commit would be highly inconsistent.

Entering or editing text is a semi-modal state, and does need the opposing concepts of commit and escape. This is very similar to a modal dialog that has enter and cancel buttons -- you could undo after modal dialogs as well, but it is much more obvious and convenient to have both ways to exit that state.

I'm sorry that other products have misused the ESC key, but that is not a reason for Photoshop to break UI consistency and change to a UI that defies common sense. If we changed to requiring UNDO, I'm sure we would get many complaints about adding steps to a common workflow.
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Folletto

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ESC means clearly escape, and that's absolutely correct. But it should be defined "escape from what". We are not talking in general terms, but we are talking specifically for this interaction, and in this interaction ESC is intended as "escape from the current mode", not "escape from the current mode AND ignore changes". It's not a modal dialog, clearly, and it shouldn't be treated as such (see Point 5 above). It's a fundamental rule when you design interactions.

You seem implying that Photoshop is the only app from Adobe, Apple and any other developer that uses ESC correctly (see Point 2, 3 and 7 above). There's no "consistency" in breaking the a behaviour that's solidly there for years in both Adobe, Apple and 3rd party apps.
To be consistent you have to be consistent with something: what are all the other things Photoshop is consistent with then?

If Photoshop is the only one with a different behaviour, isn't maybe the one that should change? :)
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Chris Cox

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It is a fundamental rule of computer UI: escape == cancel
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Folletto

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Then why "M" doesn't type M instead of activating the Marquee tool? ;)

We can go back to Jef Raskin, "The Humane Interface" and theories of modal vs modeless interfaces, but I guess that's not the point. We aren't talking universals, even if it was possible. We are talking at a specific, contextual interactions and it's associated hotkeys where Photoshop differs in behaviour from the own choices by Adobe's own apps. From any other choice out there.

I notice you are quite strongly opposed to this tiny change, as first you hid my thread inside this one and second you are responding in this way. Chris, is there any chance that you can move this thread to someone willing to take care of it properly?
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Chris Cox

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When you are in the text tool, "M" types "M" -- it is a semi-modal state. Outside of the text tool and with no other text fields targeted, then "M" would activate the marquee tools.

You are not requesting a tiny change. Your suggested change would cause major complaints from users, would add confusion to using the text tool, and would add unnecessary steps to users' common workflows.

The current UI for the text tool in Photoshop is correct, and will remain for the foreseeable future.
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David, Official Rep

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Official Response
Howdy folks,

This is not the first time we have heard this complaint, both internally and externally. We've talked about it quite a bit. And, while I completely agree with Chris in principle, we have gotten this request too many times to ignore. As a result, we have heard your feedback and will be adjusting the behavior in the future accordingly.

Thanks,
David
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Folletto

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Hi David. :)

Thanks for the reply. I was going to reply to Chris saying that of course I don't expect a straight change, it's a long-existing behaviour and it would upset a lot of people. However you already did changes like this to became better Mac OS players, like when you did the change to Cmd-H to hide in 2009. :)
http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2009/12/...

I think it was a good solution, and it might be replicable. I guess however that there are lots of possible alternatives, from a flag in the configuration panel to a re-binding of the shortcut to the aforementioned one. :)
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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(for the record, I think that Cmd+H as used by Photoshop before Apple decided to use that key for app hiding.)
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David, Official Rep

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You are correct...we used CMD+H first. 8-)
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angelo ferrera

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Great David! I was writing my complain about this issue but I've just seen that you are listening our voices. I'm Agree with all the folletto concern.

Thanks for listening.
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Ben Dunkle

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I can't tell you how much time I've spent kerning, baseline shifting, and resizing text only to watch it all go down the drain because my muscle memory from Illustrator and InDesign kicks in and I hit ESC. Just make it a preference option.
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ProDesignTools, Champion

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From a recent Adobe partner session...

Kevin O'Connor: It would be great if we could make typography behavior as similar in PS to Illustrator and InDesign as possible. For example, In InDesign and in Illustrator, when you are typing, you can stop typing and get the selection arrow by hitting the Escape key.In Photoshop, when you are typing, and you want to end your typing, if you hit the Escape key, it DELETES what you typed.There is NO UNDO, and you have to do it over again.If you have spent 10 minutes carefully crafting a typographic element in Photoshop, kerning, adjusting the size and leading, and getting it perfect, and then you hit Escape, you then utter unprintable words.
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Jens Nybacka

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THIS!!!
Compare how often you:

A: make a textframe and then thinks "ARGH THIS IS TEXT BAD, MUST DESTROY IT"
B: ok I write text and then switch to another tool.

If it's A, USE CTRL+Z like the rest of the world! :)

Seriously, there are no valid reasons to change the function of ESC if you look at it from a usability perspective, pleease change it back or make at least a switch in settings.
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Chris Cox

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The most common case is clicking on the wrong text layer, making changes, then cancelling.

Escape has meant cancel for many, many years (and I don't mean in Photoshop).
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Folletto

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@Chris still arguing after other colleagues already acknowledged it's a problem? Come on, at least express a doubt that someone might have a different opinion and it's a problem for many.
(for anyone else reading this, all the reasons why Esc should behave in Photoshop as all the other apps is in a comment above).
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Chris Cox

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It is a problem, that we will do something about. But your perspective is quite skewed.

ESC should behave as it does in most other applications: as cancel (again, this is about as old as computer keyboards). But perhaps there can be an option for those that think ESC should mean commit.
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Folletto

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Chris, we'll discuss it live if it ever happen we meet. :)

My perspective is exactly like you just said: I'm very aware that there are years of priming for many users, before using the CS suite I would have probably the same behaviour as the one you describe. My comments above were very contextual, and were highlighting the reasons why putting an option, like you said, would be a huge thing. :)

The fact that I highlighted the problem, doesn't mean that I was asking a hard replacement, as I was discussing with David above. It was meant just to give data points to a problem that exists, a problem that could be addressed in some way by the team in order to ease the scenario and find the ideal solution, as the Photoshop team already did in the past for other options. :)
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Ben Dunkle

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Holy Cow, can we just make it a preference and everyone's happy?

Here, this simple:

http://cl.ly/image/3N403t1h3l23

CC would have been a perfect opp to add this; I"m way disappointed not seeing it.
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Butu Dedi

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This is even more annoying since ESC exits the text box in InDesign without destroying changes. I spent a lot of time in ID, and everytime I create a text box in PS I end up typing the text two or three times.
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Aaron Drown

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Okay, so, this thread's existed for more than two years now. When exactly will this fix be available?
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Aaron, this change has been implemented in CC 14.2 (and we have as expected other threads complaining about this change)
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Folletto

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Yeah, totally expected. I was actually surprised that Adobe didn't go down the road to do a soft transition for this, given how controversial the change was. :)
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Nicole Paulson

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I just hit Esc and ALL of my changes erased. how can i bring them back??? Ahhhhh!
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Dale Mead

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This mis-designed tool frustrates me, too, although in a slightly different context.

I don't hit ECP and delete. Rather, I create a text box, insert text, then move somewhere else to create a new text section or draw a new box (new layer). But it doesn't work. The only way to do so is to abandon the text tool (click another tool) and click the Text tool again. It seems stupid and a waste of time to have to turn off the text tool and turn it back on just to continue text elsewhere.
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Chris Cox

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That doesn't sound like it is really related to this topic.

But you can press Enter (command/control-return on crippled keyboards), or click the checkbox on the options bar, to commit your current text entry -- then create more text layers.
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Dale Mead

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Thanks, Chris!!! You've solve an annoyance I've sought the answer to for years! And thanks double for not demanding that I find or ask another query; this one was the closest I could find to my problem. I've asked before and gotten nowhere.

This is the first time I've ever used the Enter (as opposed to the Return) key on my Mac. First time I've needed to.
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Chris Cox

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Official Response
Photoshop CC 2015 now has a preference for how you want ESC to act in the text tool, and prompts you for how it should behave the first time you use the ESC key in the text tool.
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Dale Mead

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Thanks for the prompt reply, Chris. I was afraid of that. No way am I going to upgrade to CC 2015, as I can't afford the subscription business model, obviously intended to increase profits. Do you know if the text tool is more friendly in Photoshop Elements, which I understand still can be purchased by version?