Photoshop: User not informed about restart requirement when changing certain preferences

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  • Updated 4 months ago
  • (Edited)
Usability problem.

In Photoshop Preferences there are many options that take effect immediately, but there are some that require you to restart Photoshop for it to happen.

There is no indication at all which is what in the UI. 

If the user has changed a preference that requires a restart of Photoshop (e.g. toggling GPU acceleration) there should be a dialog informing you that you need to restart Photoshop for the changes to take effect. Maybe with a "restart now" button.
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Jonas Madsen Rogne

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Posted 4 months ago

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David, Official Rep

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Hi Jonas,
We had such a message in the past, but it was a little too "in your face".  Not to mention nearly all preferences that don't take effect immediately should have some UI to explain this.  If you have a specific example, I'd be happy to get it fixed.
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Jonas Madsen Rogne

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The simple solution that I was thinking of was a small dialog box along the lines of:
"Restarting Photoshop is required for the changes to be applied. Restart Photoshop now?"[Restart now]/[Later].

It should only show up when you are leaving/confirming the preferences (pressing OK), and only if you have made changes to settings that actually require it. 
I don't see a need to inform the user exactly which of the settings they changed that requires the restart. That would being a bit overkill and take up too much space.

This is the same solution you will see implemented when changing certain graphic settings in many games, or certain settings for the operating system, or certain software installations. So it is a fairly common solution.

An example preference that should trigger this is the "Use Graphics Processor" checkbox. And likely all the settings under "Advanced Graphics Processor Settings" (I *assume* they require restart but there is no way for me to easily tell). There's a few more, but I'm sure you have a better overview than me (I'd need to manually run tests on each option to verify).


I notice for 3 preferences (condensed workspace, plug-ins and technology previews) there is a bit of text explaining if that setting requires restart or not. It's a bit weird to have it for only those three things. It's especially strange that for technology previews it informs me that the changes will take effect immediately when that is the standard behaviour for all but a few preferences...  
Ps: The "g" gets cut off slightly on that message (100% UI Scale, UI font size Small, Windows 10):