Photoshop CC 2018 (19.0.1): Make a selection, hold Alt Key, make a new selection - that portion is erased, instead of being deselected

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  • Updated 11 months ago
  • Not a Problem
  • (Edited)
When using any selection tool (Lasso, Marquee, Magic Wand, etc) if I make a selection, then hold Alt Key and then make a new selection - that portion is erased. In previous versions this procedure would lead to the newly "selected" portion, being deselected.

Note this also happens when hold Alt+Shift - i.e: make a selection, hold Alt+Shift, make a partial selection, the portion which would be deselected, is not erased.
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Tom Bennett

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Posted 11 months ago

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Tom Bennett

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https://youtu.be/LxFaCzkOVg0

Video of issue, and how intermittent it is
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Tom,

After watching your video, I may have an answer for you.  If you look carefully at the video, the mouse cursor is correctly showing the operation that you're seeing.  Now, before you get mad, please hear me out.

When the various selection tools are active, if you press SHIFT with them, the selections are additive.  If you press ALT/OPT then they're subtractive (is that a word?), and if you press BOTH SHIFT+ALT/OPT then they are union (only what's in BOTH selections remains selected -- that's definitely NOT a word).  And if you watch your video, you'll see the cursor has a tiny x when in "union" mode.

This leads to the next (obvious) question: why?  Hmm...I'm on my Mac at the moment and can't repro the bug there.  And I've heard zero other reports, so I'm inclined to believe this is unique to your setup, since selection tools are pretty commonly used.  What kind of mouse are you using?  Also, are you perhaps using a non-English keyboard, particularly one that has dead-keys enabled?  I might be barking up the wrong tree, but I've a hunch your problem lies in this direction.

Let me know and we can go from there.

Thanks,
David
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Tom Bennett

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Few notes before I respond to each point of your reply - 

@ time 0:13 I have layer "Group 3 copy 9" selected, and then I take a selection of it (just the red item that is zoomed in). The selected portion is on top of "Layer 0" which is the base layer. You'll notice I use the Shift+Alt which gives me the expected outcome: Only the portion I select is retained from my first selection. I ctrl-z to undo that, and continue @ time 0:20 I press ALT in order to deselect the portion of the layer "Group 3 copy 9" that I don't want. This gives me the expected outcome: that portion I select is now deselected and the rest remains selected. I ctrl-z to undo. @ time 0:30 I move the layer "Group 3 copy 9" over top of layer "Group 3 copy 6" which is over top of layer "Group 2 copy" @ time 0:35 I make a selection of "Group 3 copy 9", and hold CTRL+SHIFT to nudge this portion of the layer "Group 3 copy 9", back to the left. @ time 0:39, I do as before: press ALT in order to deselect the portion of the layer "Group 3 copy 9" that I don't want. This time however the portion that I have selected disappears, and is erased as if I have pressed the DELETE key. Same happens when I press and hold Shift+Alt. The portion which would have been deselected is instead erased, and the portion I selected remains, and is selected.


OK!!! After typing all of that, I think I have found the culprit.

It doesn't seem to matter if I have the layers stacked in a certain position. I am going to make another video quick and show you what I mean.

Basically  make a selection, hold SHIFT+CTRL and nudge the selection left, right, up, or down.

Then press and hold either ALT or SHIFT+ALT and make a selection - this erases.

As soon as I deselect and redo the same as above without nudging, there is no erasing.

FYI I can replicate this on my Windows 10 PC using a Logitech M705 Mouse, and G710+ Keyboard in both the 19.0.1 and CC 2015 releases. I have an english keyboard using the standard US Keyboard layout in my control panel/settings, and no other languages or layouts.

Here is another video showing the basic bug.

https://youtu.be/7p1BeexRWy8

Basically, select part of a layer with the marquee, hold SHIFT+CTRL and move the layer with the arrow keys, then without deselecting use either ALT or SHIFT+ALT and the portion you try to deselect will be erased.

at least on my computer.
(Edited)
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Tom Bennett

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sounds like this guy had the same issue: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1221705

After reading what he described, I can recreate the bug by selecting the layer, moving it with the move tool (plus sign with arrows on each end) and then attempting to deselect.

Can record video to demonstrate.
(Edited)
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Tom,

Sorry, but I've tried three different Windows machines and I'm not seeing this issue on any of them using 2018 and 2017.  I've tried your steps as well as the steps in the issue you linked (even though that was four releases ago -- ancient history in the software world).  Moreover, what you're describing shouldn't behave that way -- ALT removes from the current selection while ALT+SHIFT only selects the union of the current and previous selections.  That you're not seeing a difference between the two strongly indicates that something on your machine is sometimes adding a "SHIFT" to your keyboard input, which would then make the entire issue you're having make sense.  This isn't surprising and I've definitely heard similar issues before.  Make sure your drivers are up-to-date and/or try with a standard mouse/keyboard.  If that fails, check to see if you have any side-car utilities which co-opt keyboard input, like screen capture and music mastering apps.

You might disagree with this analysis, so here's a super-clear test (inspired by your video): when pressing ALT, check out the cursor.  If there's a - with it, then Photoshop is receiving just ALT and no SHIFT with it.  If, however, you see an x, then Photoshop is receiving both ALT and SHIFT together (and doing a union instead of a subtraction).  This shouldn't happen if you don't have SHIFT pressed.  Does that make sense?

Hope that helps,
David
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Tom Bennett

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Doing your test - When pressing ALT, I see a - (Deselect or Subtractive Selection). When pressing SHIFT+ALT I see an x (Union)

Here's the thing, I think you're fundamentally misunderstanding my issue. Trying this on my laptop which is 100% stock with zero modifications, extra programs, or anything, doesn't change my outcome either - I get the same result.

I have no keyboard hijacking software.

Going to make another video and add subtitles explaining what I am pressing and what is happening. I will not use the Shift key at all so as to highlight the base issue.
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Tom Bennett

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PGwswxrvPE

I am replicating the bug with ZERO keyboard input now.
(Edited)
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Tom,

I watched your video.  The application is actually behaving correctly -- if you look closely at your screen, you'll see the selection marquee and tool pointers change after you do a move and when you change tools.  It's because there's a difference between a selection marquee and actually selected pixels (you cannot select nothing, so empty pixels are removed at selection).  And when things seem wrong to you, it's because you've switched between the two models/states; it's not that they're behaving incorrectly.  If you'd like, I'd be happy to walk/talk you through this via a web-hosted conference call.  Just ping me here and I can set one up.

If it makes you feel any better, to make sure I didn't have any biases in my own expectations, I had two coworkers look at this as well.  We all had to think for a second and agree that the model is complicated.  But this is age-old behavior that makes sense for a number of workflows, such as editing composites.

Thanks,
David
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Tom Bennett

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That makes total sense. I can't believe I haven't run into this process in my workflow before. Thanks for the help! I'll adjust my workflow to compensate.