Photoshop: Encourage correct/better usage

  • 2
  • Idea
  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
Please make it easier for users to use Photoshop the right way, and harder for them to use it wrongly.

For example, when someone tries to paint on a text layer, why not offer to create a new layer that uses the text layer as a clipping mask, rather than the current approach: saying it's not possible and then berating the user. It would also be very useful to encourage masking instead of erasing — so why not just make the eraser, when used on the background layer, actually convert the layer to Layer 0 and add a mask? And how about removing the shortcuts from the ancient, painful, destructive Image > Adjust menu and moving them to the equivalent Adjustment Layers instead? (Shortcuts should still work on Image > Adjust when working on a Mask.)

I think you get the idea. It's too easy to pick up Photoshop and get bad habits instantly.
Photo of funwithstuff

funwithstuff

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • hopeful

Posted 7 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2258 Posts
  • 110 Reply Likes
While I am sure there are many other Photoshop users who agree with you, I am equally sure that there are a fair number that do not. We do not believe there is a "right way" or "wrong" way to use Photoshop. Nor is there any behavior that is really considered a "bad habit". We all have different workflows and have different opinions about which may be easier or better.

-Brett
Photo of funwithstuff

funwithstuff

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Many Photoshop features whose functionality has been duplicated by newer tools have eventually been deprecated in favour of more modern tools, like the extract tool. Adobe has also, in the past, encouraged use of more modern techniques over older, less flexible techniques, such as introducing the Adjustments panel in CS4, and offering to automatically create a Layer Mask from Refine Edge in CS5.

All I'm asking for is the continuation of this, deprecating older tools that have been replaced by better ones. If Adobe didn't think they were a better way to work, they wouldn't have introduced them. I'm not asking for older tools to be removed — they can still be useful in certain situations — but when the most obvious way to perform a task is not the best tool for the job, that's a mistake.
Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

  • 13996 Posts
  • 1698 Reply Likes
Funwithstuff - yup. I agree. We could do a better job of leading people in the direction of "Best Practices" - but Brett's right in saying that there are no right or wrongs. It's a balancing act. For example - we made scrubby zoom the default in CS5. We thought it was the "best way" to do zooming (and to make it discoverable) - but a lot of folks hated it - especially those used to the old way of how it worked. Similarly, a lot of people hate that deleting a selection on the Background layer brings up the Fill dialog to expose Content Aware fill (make it discoverable) - despite the fact that cmd/ctrl + delete does what delete used to do (which is actually Fill with background color). So, it's tough to change old ways. I think we did the right thing with these decisions, but a lot of people would argue against them being the "best practice"
Photo of AJP Lawrence

AJP Lawrence

  • 21 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
The problem with scrubby zooming is that it could be so much better. I wrote about this in the old beta forums [which are no longer accessible] and am away from home computer with details, but if you added zoom to pixels and zoom to fit with the up and down gestures to complement the zoom in and out done by the left right mouse gestures it would be a really really useful setup.

As for content aware fill - even though I know it's there, I can never remember how to access/enable it. And deleting from background layer is something I never ever do. One of the first things I teach people if they are learning PS is to make a duplicate of background layer, before doing any destructive editing - which this certainly is. History palette is fine for current session, but cannot undo from previous openings. And being able to always redo or start from scratch on old PSD files is extremely useful.
Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

  • 13996 Posts
  • 1698 Reply Likes
Those sound like good requests to break out into individual requests.
Photo of funwithstuff

funwithstuff

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
@AJP Lawrence: the best way to access Content Aware Fill for small/moderate areas is to use the Spot Healing Brush tool. Very useful, often quicker results than the regular Healing Brush tool for retouching, and worlds better than the Spot Healing Brush in previous versions or on other settings. Alternatively, shift-delete (AKA backspace) will get you Content Aware Fill anytime.

Also, in most situations it's best to work on a new *blank* layer rather than duplicating the background layer. You can use the Spot Healing tool (and most tools) on a new layer without any problems. Just make sure that "Sample All Layers" is chosen in the Options panel along the top.
Photo of funwithstuff

funwithstuff

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for that. I think I actually requested "the zooming behavior from Motion" we have now. :)

OK, can I just request one specific change, then:
When you try to paint on a layer that can't take paint, like a Text layer, or a Smart Object, Photoshop says the layer must be rasterized. If you say no, it then pops up another dialog, telling you how silly you were for trying. However, for text at least, you don't have to rasterize the text, you just create a new layer above the text, using the text layer as a clipping mask. Much better functionality. Could Photoshop offer to create this for you?

Alright, one more: how about an optional set of shortcuts which prioritise Adjustment Layers over Image > Adjust? Yes, people can create them on their own, but most people won't.
Photo of AJP Lawrence

AJP Lawrence

  • 21 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
I also agree there is not necessarily an absolute right or wrong way to do things in PS, but sometimes I try and do something and nothing happens and with no feedback as to why - very often the reason is I've done an undo and PS has swapped active layers [which it didn't use to] or maybe the active layer may be not visible. Obviously PS knows why an action cannot be done, so why not let the user know?