Photoshop 2020: I don't like the folders in Swatches and Brushes

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  • Updated 6 days ago
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My photoshop CC just got updated and they *F'd* up the swatch list now to make everything nested in folders.  I really DISLIKE this idea, Same goes with my brushes.  Anyone know how to get back to just the list view without all of the folders showing?
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Connie Faye

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  • angry that they can't leave well enough alone.

Posted 5 months ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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Just select them, drag them out of the folders, and put it into List view. I personally find the new Swatches panel comes a lot closer to Illustrator's and allows me to organize swatches without having them all run together. I'm of the school that thinks you don't dump all your pastels together in a single box—so you shouldn't do that with your digital pastels either.

But you aren't forced to keep them in sets, although it would be a good idea  for the future to put all your swatches into ONE set, save that, and the next time your swatches go south when trashing prefs, you only have to open the one set, select them all, drag them out again—and delete the empty folder.
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Connie Faye

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Since I'm a traditional artist my pastels do end up in a pile when I'm working, so do my colored pencils, same goes with my palette when I'm painting.  Having all of your colors in one central spot just makes more sense, you don't use one dab of paint for one little spot then put the tube away. 

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Cristen Gillespie

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Well, if you like to keep all your art supplies in one drawer, you're covered. You don't have to use folders at all. I like to try to pull out what I'm going to use for a project first—it feels simpler to me than constantly digging through all of them to find the one I want.  And since projects often take more than one session, it's nice to save groups, even if they're just temporary and the larger set is what I pull from. So now Adobe has me covered as well. All's good for both of us.  :)
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Connie Faye

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you're missing the point, but that's ok.
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James Macintyre

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I don’t think she is. Her point is totally valid and makes sense for your pile of unorganised stuff preferred way of working.
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Scott Humphries

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I hated this new layout too. If you click and hold your cursor over the swatch you can just drag it out of the folder. I'm not sure if you can mass select to save time, but I hope this helps
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Led Stereo

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It feels like these decisions were made by programmers and not artists. When I first saw the colour swatches nested in folders it was like getting home from work and finding that the cat had been sick on the sofa again. Photoshop used to feel really elegant and focussed, now it's this bloated, unwieldy, and laggy mess.
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Cristen Gillespie

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"It feels like these decisions were made by programmers and not artists. "

And I could swear that the artist I grew up with never put every color on the palette at once when starting a painting. But nevermind what real artists do or don't do. PS has to accommodate a lot of people, including designers who have to work with specific color palettes for different clients.  Being able to easily keep them visually separate is helpful to them. This is a compromise that doesn't destroy your preferred way of "organizing" your colors, but does allow others to have another way of working.

Photoshop is about nothing if not choice. I know that can seem "bloated" if you leave it all in your face, but you can also set much of the interface in your own workspace to get a lot of that "bloat" out of your way.

Many of us clamor for more customization, and we don't want Adobe deciding for us what is the "right" way to work. Witness the Transform debacle we just had, with some loving the change, the rest of us hating having it forced on us. They've tried to fix it so everyone gets what they want, and while I accept you may not agree with me, I think increased customization is the right way forward.

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Alhan Irwin

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Please Adobe people think of simplifying our life and not complicating it when it is too busy already to figure out every totally unnecessary change you do to these programs. I hate this new change in the swatches. Please listen to the users. I am an artist and an instructor who's been promoting Photoshop for twenty years. Please put it back to the way it was. This is ridiculous.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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Is it too complicated for you to drag your swatches or brushes out of folders, delete the empty folders, and have it just like it used to be? Some of us don't want our brushes or palettes running together. With these new panels, we're both able to have it the way we like it. Why is that so terrible?
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Feri Zsolnai

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Honey, it isn't terrible, it's just arrogant. There is a folder button for you if that makes you happy. But the people who don't use that button are now forced to manually tinker with something they didn't ask for. You have the option, we don't. Do you think you can comprehend this, or you just want to repeat yourself over and over again?
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Laura Macky

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Why do they insist on these groups. I miss my swatch grid. Why can’t they have a. Option to go back to the grid. I tried legacy but it’s not legacy at all. More groups!
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Alhan Irwin

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Christen: Are you an Adobe employee or a user?? Well most of us don't want our pallets, gradients, gradients maps in the adjustment layers, patterns.....etc. all tucked in folders that take too much time to sort out and add in our own folders. Do you know how time consuming is that??? Even what so called Legacy folders still have folders. This is an obsessive compulsive way to sort things out. Why would Adobe bring these annoying changes to a system that worked well in the past and doesn't take into consideration the average user especially beginners???? These useless changes make it so difficult, especially for my beginner students to grasp. Easy access to pallets make more sense than this complication. It takes too much of our time to create our own folders and presets.
(Edited)
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Laura Macky

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If I might say, I understand where you're coming from but there are two camps on this.  Why PS couldn't include a button to switch back for those of us who like them all in one spot is beyond me.   Having said that I did drag them out but it really shouldn't be like this.  There should be an option.  Same with the brushes.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Easy access to pallets make more sense than this complication. It takes too much of our time to create our own folders and presets.

Then don't create them. No one is making you create folders, though just fyi, you have to save as a set as you always have had to save as a set, even if you only have one preset in your set.

If I were staff, it would say "Staff." I've never been employed by Adobe. I'm a user who started out with graphic design training, then ended up writing about first about Photoshop and then other Adobe programs. And a great many of us do want our palettes separated, just as we want the ability to create and store our brushes and other presets according to our use, our projects, our clients, etc.  You don't want to do the sorting and adding to folders, then just select them all (at once) in the usual manner and drag them out of those sets, which now import as a folder, into the main panel. That's all you have to do. It takes an extra couple of seconds, not even minutes, when you load a set to get rid of the folder.

For many of us, the lump together method made our lives much more difficult. Even Illustrator has long offered sets for palettes, and because of the nature of its brushes, it's always offered some automatic organization for those.  No one is telling you that you can't have them in one big lump. You're trying to say we can't have our preferred method of organization because it's one very brief extra step you have to take? Is that what you would call reasonable if you take into account the many different users there are for a program like Photoshop?

And why, why, why does it always come up that if someone likes something Adobe has done they're very likely an employee? I've only been trying to point out, without succeeding obviously, that the burden on you is nothing extreme, but the burden on the rest of us who want sets always has been very, very time consuming searching through a lump of presets for the ones we want. Now we can view by thumbnail without needing to find the name because it's in the set, and we don't have to see them all to find the ones we are currently working with. We hide them in a folder. Yours don't have to be.  Photoshop doesn't belong solely to you. When you want something that doesn't exist in PS, you get irritated that you don't have it.  Why not? Everyone else does. I get irritated by what I see as missing features too. Think about that.

I think I'm out of this thread now. Pillory me all you want for liking a new feature you didn't want. It's not as if I've never had to accept for the sake of others a change I didn't want. Adobe at least this time did think of you when it didn't force you to keep presets in the folders they imported with.
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Alhan Irwin

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Hi Cristen: Thank you for your long reply. I appreciate your helpful comment. Next time perhaps you can save your breath by just suggesting some short cuts to other peoples annoying problems. Glad you like the new changes in Photoshop 2020. Enjoy and have a good day.
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Kevin Wahaus

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Cristen, your long-winded response is less than helpful. I think the majority of posters simply want the option of choosing "old way" or "new way" instead of being forced to change what has worked very well for us for many, many years. That is true choice.
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Sergio Quan

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I guess the idea of folders is good, but lacking UX. I guess a good implementation is to add a toggle  button to expand/collapse all so we can have the best of both worlds: folders (with folder name area smaller) and view all the swatches.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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cmd + click one of the folders to expand contact all the folders
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Laura Macky

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I don’t think that’s what this person meant. Click to expand to show no folders, just all swatches.
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Alhan Irwin

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Every darn thing is now tucked in folders. Swatches, gradients, shapes, gradients maps, patterns....etc. This is an obsessive compulsive design.  It’s time consuming to look for familiar items. I had to copy presets from previous versions of PS or create new folders combining the contents of all folders. Maneuvering is now complicated and Counterintuitive, especially for my students. Adobe needs to give two options; new and legacy and when I say legacy, it’s not the “legacy” they provided which is still folders inside folders. Just simple and quick to use settings for the average user then add the option of loading more. Making things complicated is not a sign of improvement.

(Edited)
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Kevin Wahaus

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HATE, HATE, HATE  the Swatches implementation. I can't figure out how to do anything...and I've only used PS since 1990! Good time to switch back to an older version. Why do they have to break things that aren't broken!?
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Kevin Wahaus

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How they handle Swatches is just one example of a poorly designed UX. I use Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator every day, often jumping back and forth from one app to the other. Why is something as simple as Swatches handled differently in EACH app?! Confusing and counterproductive.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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I'm not sure whether I'd like them handled the same in each app. AI has had swatch sets for ages. As I recall, AI and ID shared a product manager for awhile, and ID got in line with AI. Mostly. But would users, who currently hate the Swatches panel in PS really go for having Gradients, Patterns, and solid colors all in the same panel, lumped together? Would that really make it easier than docking/tabbing the 3 panels together if desired?

Would having that separate panel that simply adds what you click on to the main panel (and then leaves the full set open and tabbed to the main panel) really be easier to use than a single panel? I find it harder in AI, but it does temporarily load what you want into the working panel—to keep clutter down.

And who in AI would really like to change their system entirely, which promotes saving just the used presets to save on file size, and adopts a method that you start with a clean slate every time (unless you force a set to be persistent)? Would they want to have to pre-load everything into a panel and then have that panel itself with its content load for every document?

It would also be a considerable joint effort to come up with a way of handling presets across all three that was identical when how they're used tends to be quite different. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it—the closer the better, and swatch sets for me was a step closer—only that I have to wonder if actual parity  wouldn't go over like a lead balloon, when even much lesser changes aren't well received by most of us in any app we're in.
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Kevin Wahaus

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Don't disagree. Yes, it would be difficult and I'm sure there would be just as many unhappy people with whatever they choose to standardize around. And which model do they use as the master? Just saying, it's confusing jumping back and forth from the different apps when each app has it's own way to doing things. Something I might expect when going from Adobe to Microsoft to Apple, but since they are all Adobe products, it should be better.
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Alhan Irwin

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Guys: we must take into consideration all users and not just personal preference. I am a professional artist and illustrator, restorer of old photos and colorist of SEM images, but also a certified Adobe instructor. I dear with beginner students all the way to advanced. I've been promoting the Adobe product for years but do believe that a program that is simple and intuitive is better than the fancy unnecessary changes. Choices of simple default main folders and the ability to upload other presets are a better option. Simplicity is ALWAYS best.
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Rubén Arturo

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Well I was not alone on this, programmers are great to create "free issues". Instead dragging every color, I've fixed this by opening Photoshop 2019 and exporting the default color Swatches, then import into the 2020 version. After that I created a new folder and moved all the useless new folders into one folder named: Not useful. Now I can work as easy as before.
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Team

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Love this! Do you know where we can download the default 2019 Photoshop swatches?
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Julie Boelter

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Life now days is all about choices. As a graphic designer and illustrator, I can see the advantages to folders in say “Patterns” but as for swatches, I miss my swatches and hate the way  the others are laid out. I wish Adobe (who I love after being forced in grad school to use Corel) would give us a choice to go back to swatches the way we know them. I love most changes but this one is really difficult even if you save and drag out of the folders. 

Or else i’m just used to being pampered by most of their updates having some type of legacy that works pre-update.  

They can’t service us all as individuals and have to do the best for all involved in general. So we’ll ride this out and if we can’t addapt we’ll figure something out. I sure hope that Adobe is not losing its leading edge above others software.
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