Photoshop CC 2019: Transformed text has wrong scaling according to Character Panel and can't be reset.

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  • Problem
  • Updated 1 month ago
  • (Edited)
Windows 10
Photoshop v20.0.1

Why is nobody talking about this???

After you've non-proportionally scaled a text layer, be it by accident or intentionally, that text layer is permanently ruined and you must copy the text out, convert it to plain text, then paste it back into Photoshop.

The Character Panel is unaware of a text layer having been scaled, as is the toolbar in the top left where transform settings can be input during the transform process.

There is no way I'm aware of to undo transform scaling to a text layer, or reset it back to normal.

See my tests below:

Top Row:
Original, unedited/non-transformed text layer.

Middle Row:
Copied my original text layer twice. Transformed one and squashed it to be much narrower. Transformed the other one to be really long/wide.
After doing this, when I select said text and view my Character Panel, I'm mislead to believe the text hasn't been scaled when I know it has. I'm told the horizontal scales are "100%" when in fact they are not.

Bottom Row:
Copied my original text layer twice again. Used Character Panel settings to squash one narrower. Used Character Panel settings on the other one to be really long/wide.
After committing these edits done via the Character Panel and then checking the text's scaling in the Character Panel I can see that the scales have been remembered and that they are correct. I can easily set the horizontal scale values back to 100% to undo the ugly scaling.

I also tested what "Reset Character" would do for me in this case. Found in the Character Panel's flyout menu.
As expected, it ignores all previous transforming done to a text layer.
See below:

In the middle row, despite being reset to 12pt size, you can see the ugly scaling has survived and those text layers still need to be "fixed" via my tedious text copying method.

Photoshop's text layers have historically been plagued by issues like this over the years.
Here we are in version 20, and Illustrator still puts Photoshop's text layers to shame.
Illustrator doesn't, and to my knowledge never has, have any issues with text scaling - it's always possible to audit your text objects and make sure there's no funky scaling going on.
Photoshop Team - please see Illustrator for a good working example of how text scaling ought to work. I know Illy is a different beast, but managing text objects in it is pretty great.

I hope I've described the problem sufficiently. If not, please let me know at once. I can provide more information no problem.


and now
After wasting an hour creating this unfortunate post, I now have the lovely job of going through my current 1,000+ layer web design PSD and manually "fixing" any accidentally scaled and copied text layers so I can make sure I'm specifying the correct font properties in my condocs. RIP
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  • Happy because death is one day closer. End my pain, God.

Posted 2 months ago

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Tony Roberts

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I suspect you're encountering the difference between raster and vector scaling. If you're using the transform tool to alter your text, then the Character panel won't recognize the changes. I've always used Word to create text font and style and then copy it into PS. As long as the font used is a PS installed font, no problems.  Hopefully, an Adobe tech will wade into your issue shortly.
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Hey, Tony.

Well, no - text layers are certainly not raster.
Excluding bitmap fonts - typography in Photoshop should be 100% vector information.

I don't see a good argument for how it could be considered acceptable that the industry leading image editing software doesn't properly track scaling of type, per character.

If you're using the transform tool to alter your text, then the Character panel won't recognize the changes.
Correct. This is the problem.
But, now I see all Adobe needs to do is bundle Word with Photoshop and problem solved.

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eartho, Champion

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I totally agree with you here. Ps has no problem calculating the size of the text when doing a transform, so why isn't the stretch scaling calculated as well? 

And yes, i can't even begin to count to the number of times i've received a working file from a client who accidentally stretched the text and had no idea, since there's no way to tell...

But you know, Adobe has bigger priorities these days, like wrecking transform behavior and not giving you the option to fix it without generating a text file hack.
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David, Official Rep

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Hi Mathias,

You are correct.  This is a known limitation of the current transformation implementation with regard to Type.  If you or others (Eartho) would like to share how this limitation is negatively impacting you and your workflows, I'd would be very happy to share those stories so as to get this issue to have a higher priority.

In the meanwhile, a workaround for PROPORTIONAL transformations would be to use the text as the basis of a Style, then apply that Style back to the text, now copy that text elsewhere and you'll find that the font size no longer is transformed.