Photoshop 2015.5: The auto expanding/contracting font menus are unusable

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)

The font menu behavior since the last version has changed, and not for the better. Scrolling forces the menu to seemingly random points, expands and contracts on families, yet doesn't let you choose a font from a family until you choose the family. When you make changes like this, I have to imagine they were never tested before going live because this is an AWFUL use experience. I wouldn't even mind if there was a preference somewhere to turn off this auto jump and auto expand garbage, but there isn't anywhere I've managed to find yet.

I've been using Photoshop since v3, and in all the hiccups and new things added, this is the most mindbogglingly difficult to work with change. Please add an incremental update to allow users to have a useable, low tech boring old static font menu. The previews are nice, typekit integration is great, but if I have to type the name of the font in to actually make it select instead of choosing from the menu, that's not very useful at all.

EDIT: Not the only one who has had this problem, did manage to find out how to turn it off... Preferences/Type/Font preview size. So I lose the preview but get a usable font menu.

Solved!

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Rob Zambrana

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  • frustrated, confused and disappointed

Posted 2 years ago

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grauenwölfe

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Yes, it is a miserable "improvement" and another example of pointless tinkering with things "just because". The idea of "just because" seems to be considered a valid concept behind interface design today.

If you haven't noticed already there are completely UNnoticable little chevrons to the left of font family name. You have to click these little idiot design implements over and over and over again on every font to show the full family. That's efficiency right there, Adobe, and well thought out, thanks.

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Cristen Gillespie

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> You have to click these little idiot design implements over and over and over again on every font to show the full family. That's efficiency right there, Adobe, and well thought out, thanks.>

Well, it's actually working the way I want it to. I do NOT want the family expanded. I have lots and lots of fonts that have VERY large families. That led to scrolling forever.

I click on the twirl down arrow—bog standard apart from the ultra light design (that could be a better twirl down arrow, I suppose), and I have no problem getting to the typestyle I want in that family. Even using the scroll wheel on my Wacom mouse, nothing is expanding or contracting while I'm scrolling.

We've had this in InDesign and AI for a long time, and it's the most manageable form of font list we've ever had in PS, imo. The one issue I still have with it is a hover scroll does NOT scroll further than the one window, which forces me, using a stylus, to use the scrollbar or pick up the mouse, and I don't like that.
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grauenwölfe

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The fonts should work just like the Application Menus work and this shouldn't even have to be suggested. Totally lack of continuity in panels and menus is rampant across this application.

Sub-menu flyouts are all that are needed. Highlight the font family name and let individual fonts flyout. No clicking involved other than to invoke your choice. Especially with font families and it's the ONE place they DIDN'T do it.

Fonts should work just like these menus, no clicking until you want to make your choice active:


Can you imagine having to click that little arrow in the Application Menus to see your options every time? No, it wouldn't sense in any way and so the same is true for the fonts menu.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Can you imagine having to click that little arrow in the Application Menus to see your options every time? No, it wouldn't sense in any way and so the same is true for the fonts menu.>

You mean we might as well not bother with font family groupings—because unlike commands, I'm seeing a live update to my text as I hover over the text, and the last thing I want to have happen is the family expands and I have to scroll past that.

I don't even want the distraction of it trying to expand sideways—and there IS no sideways to expand to—that list takes up a huge amount of room already. I'd rather have the live preview in my document not completely covered up than spare myself a single click on a chosen font family's disclosure triangle.

And no, I also don't want to forgo the non-live preview just to spare myself the undue burden of few extra clicks, either. In fact, I'd like to see that word become a custom word, and I could include numbers and symbols if that were important. IOW, if I want to type gibberish for the non-live preview, show me gibberish.

When I've found the font family I want, then is the time to concern myself with one of the 4-30 type styles that lie within it.
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grauenwölfe

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You mean we might as well not bother with font family groupings—because unlike commands, I'm seeing a live update to my text as I hover over the text, and the last thing I want to have happen is the family expands and I have to scroll past that.
This doesn't even makes sense. The fonts are already being displayed because of live preview.

Try this. Click the Filter application menu. Drop down shows a bunch of filter groupings towards the bottom - 3D, Blur, Distort, Noise, etc. Each one of these contains a subset of filters, they're just groupings, just like a font family is a grouping. Live preview wouldn't do anything different unless you purposely mouse across the subset flyout, otherwise you just keep going.

Just like you move right past Filter groups flyouts, the same would be true with font Family flyouts.

Seriously, just click the Filter dropdown, and in your mind replace the Filter groups with font families. Blur = Helvetica, Distort = Garamond, anything, it doesn't matter. It may help you visualize what I'm getting at here.
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Cristen Gillespie

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>  Live preview wouldn't do anything different unless you purposely mouse across the subset flyout, otherwise you just keep going.>

It pops out on a hover or it doesn't—it has to pop somewhere. Live preview won't preview the fonts I don't hover directly over, no, so if it pops out to the right, it covers something up that's to the right. Either the non-live preview, or, if I've turned that off due to lack of space on my monitor, it covers my document. OR it opens directly below as it does now. In which case, I have to get past it even if I zoom past with my stylus.

What you're saying just isn't something I can visualize as positive, obviously. I understand commands or filters popping out. They flash a bit if you hover past semi-quickly because you're not certain where on the list the filter you want is. They pop out if you're a bit on the slow side, and then pop back again. You can go faster if you know the list pretty well, and not see any flashing boxes, but that's really fast.  And the list is very, very short, nor are you visually evaluating Blur or Stylize, or would be even if they allowed a live preview of the filters themselves.

With my font list, I'm looking to my far right with the live preview, or I'm looking back to my near right to see the non-live preview to be able to get through the list quickly to the next suitable font.  And if anything is popping out, even if only in the corner of my eye I'm seeing the type styles I was pleased to see tucked inside their family.

It's a ton of visual noise whether the menu flickers or actively pops out and back again. The Filter menu would drive me nuts if  every time I entered it, I weren't going either very slowly to see what's there, or very fast, because I know where I'm going.

And I'm not saying the design or performance of all the features is as perfect as it could be right now. But for me, they removed a lot of visual noise when they grouped the font families the way ID and AI already had. I don't want that visual noise back.
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David, Official Rep

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These changes were made in DIRECT RESPONSE to user feedback and were vetted with prerelease users around the world.

The vast majority of users agree with Cristen and wanted a FLAT font menu where all the various flavors of a given family were lumped together.  Why?  Well, as Cristen pointed out, that's how AI and ID have done things for some time.  More importantly, user testing showed that users who were seeking a given font did NOT want to run through all the various iterations (try the couple dozen flavors of Avenir, for instance!) but rather wanted to jump from font family to font family.  One arrow press, one font family -- very handy for designers who're trying to do rapid prototyping / styling.

Why do you have to click a font?  Why can't we have sub-menus?  Well, again, there was a request from users to allow for some sort of preview of fonts prior to use.  So, you can mouse over a font and see a live preview of your text layer (or selection) in that font.  Some people might find that useless, but I can assure you that other customers LOVE IT and use it all the time.  One person's feature is another person's useless tool, but that doesn't make either wrong; each uses the program in a different way.  What is wrong is assuming there is only one way to use Photoshop.  As for sub-menus, well, they would certainly make live previews tough to see, but for the better reasons they're not automatic, keep reading...

The reason the font menu is not and CANNOT be static is because the number of fonts on someone's system is also not static.  Now, someone might foolishly claim, "ah-HA!  Once you launch the app, your fonts are static and enumerated."  At this point, people familiar with Photoshop would either demure or point and laugh since you can add fonts at any time and they're available within Photoshop within seconds.  Anyone who's ever played with Typekit would have experienced this, as a quick and easy example.  So, ONLY a dynamic font menu will work.  And, that requires more overhead, hence a lag on some machines and limited ability to make "structures."  Going further, If you have any iffy fonts, the lag for previews will increase, not because PS is doing something wrong, but cuz the font isn't living up to industry standards and we're furiously working under the hood to keep things functioning.  This is particularly true of free fonts offered over the 'net as well as fonts that include complex scripts, such as Arabic (including Persian, Urdu, Kurdish, etc), Devanagari (including Hindi, Nepali, Marathi, etc), Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, etc (although in these later cases, often the lag is due to the layout of characters).  In all likelihood, any random "stuttering" of the application falls into one of these later categories or cuz there are too many fonts on the system for the available system resources.  That's why turning off Font Preview makes things less jumpy -- previewing a font is an expensive act in terms of resources.

David
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Cristen Gillespie

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Thank you for the explanation. I should have guessed that live preview was so resource hungry, since it sometimes taxes my patience using Font Book which is designed to do little else.

I've cut down on the fonts I activate considerably, cut way back on using free fonts, and depend upon PS to let me activate fonts without quitting to help me be frugal with my resources. There are still enough other ways to overburden PS, and I often manage to find all of them. <G>
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David, Official Rep

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Oh, I know!  I read your bug reports all the time!  8-)