Photoshop CC 2015.1: Why was sync settings removed?

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  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
Why sync settings in PS CC 2015.1 was removed?
I like this idea. Are technical problems with it?
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Jaroslav Bereza

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  • confused

Posted 4 years ago

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Jon Fuller

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Sync Settings has been removed in Photoshop CC 2015.1. The existing service in Photoshop CC and CC 2014 will become unavailable in the near future.

I am really going to miss this. I use PS on two PCs, and often make UI changes that I want to have updated on both installs.
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Jaroslav Bereza

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Armin Staudt

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled PS 2015.1 - synchronize preferences vanished.

One of the main and most important features of PS CC for me was to synchronize my preferences (brushes, actions, shortcuts etc) with the cloud.
Now, with the latest update you just delete this feature.
I can't understand this.
I do not find any sentences about why.
For me this is Anti-Cloud!
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Marc Girouard

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I have an existing support ticket for CC 2015 sync settings because it wouldn't sync my brushes or tool presets. And most importantly I want to sync my workspace, as there is no other way to export/import these.The solution to this issue was to just remove it all together?! I was really looking forward to this working as I work from two computers. And there is ZERO documentation about this! What is going on?

edit: There is a cumbersome way of exporting and importing workspaces using Edit>Presets>Migrate Presets. I still don't understand scrapping a cloud service for a cloud product with "Cloud" in the name.
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Jon Fuller

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So true. Creative Cloud, my ars.
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David Tristram, Employee

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Hi Everyone,

I'm very sorry to hear how frustrated and unhappy you are over the removal of Sync Settings. I agree it's a great feature that is very useful for some of you. I also regret that no one from Adobe has followed up on this thread. I am not directly involved in this feature, but I was able to learn a few things that influenced the change.
- usability: the feature was complex and difficult for many users
- roadmap changes: Adobe wants more of a focus on CC Libraries
- technical issues: the servers used for the feature are going away

The rest of the CC apps have a means of sharing settings across installations. Photoshop needs to have that too. Here is the last line of the Product Manager's post to the pre-release forum:

"Though Sync Settings will be removed from the next version of Photoshop, we plan to continue investigating a solution. It’s too early to tell when such a solution will ship, but we would love to hear your feedback about this area and what you would want in a future version."

I am trying to get his okay to post the full message, but above are the main points. I know it seems like Adobe is this huge company that certainly can implement a simple feature like sharing app preferences, but actually the software is very complex and there are many issues competing for the development team's attention.
For Ps CC 2015.1 it was simply not practical to provide Sync Settings while keeping the rest of the application strong.

Thank you so for your involvement and passion for Photoshop. It means a lot to me.


David Tristram
Photoshop UI Engineer
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Marc Girouard

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Thank you, David. It is frustrating, but I appreciate your response and insight into the matter. Good to know that it's still being discussed. It was one of my favorite cloud features.
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Julie Meredith

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Thank you for taking the time to respond... if this functionality were added to CC Libraries, I would be over the moon happy as I love CC Libraries.

This feature is most likely not of interest to the casual home user or the person who jumped in on PS due to the $9.99 monthly plan... BUT for the power user or individual who uses more than one workstation... this was super helpful. Although there are workarounds, the ease, simplicity, and speed made Sync Settings really useful. I truly hope the team will continue to investigate a replacement solution that takes advantage of the cloud/libraries and doesn't settle with taking a step backward.
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Vincent Garguilo

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Thank you for the info! At least this is confirmation that it wasn't a mistake or hiding somewhere. Thats a pretty major thing to strip.
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Stephen Newport

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Really really confusing why they would strip a feature many power users use with no solution in place to replace it. Back to 2012-era clunky workspace exports.....

This one one of my favorite new features in recent history.
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Jacob Fenn

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I wonder if the next version of Photoshop might exclude the ability to use multiple layers. Those can be very "complex and difficult" for many users. It's much simpler if there's just one layer (in fact, let's call it "Background" and make sure it always defaults to being locked) and everything could be painted on that for simplicity. In that vein, we could also do away with things like rectangular and elliptical marquee selection tools since it would be less confusing for the customer to have fewer tools and you can make circles and squares freehand with the lasso tool. Get rid of any clone stamping or content-aware fill, too, too confusing. You can just use paint tools. Come to think of it, the ability to select a color presents a dizzying array of choice that is just too much for the customer. Maybe Photoshop 2016 could include the ability to only work in grayscale for simplicity's sake? And lower bit depths please–even 256 individual options for gray is probably too confusing.

Dear faceless mass of Adobe® developers and product engineers, Microsoft® Paint exists for those who prioritize simplicity and ease of use. (It's actually not that easy to use anymore–this statement is more for dramatic effect). We want a real paint and photo program.

Can't feature testing like this be done in a Beta program, rather than in "shipping" software? Alienate your beta testers instead of a huge portion of your customer base? A feature like sync settings is so intrinsic to what one would assume the cloud is for that it's disappointing not to have it. What's appalling is that it was advertised as a feature to a lot of people who put money into something that was removed shortly thereafter. What a benefit the cloud subscription model is:  exciting features can be removed at any time–you don't even have to wait for an annual product update! 

I appreciate the fact that David Tristam gave something of an empathetic response, but I really wish he hadn't cited those three points specifically. Do those actually make any sense to everyone here? They make me lose hope in Adobe®. Does anyone else not find this disconcerting?

1) Usability: the feature was complex and difficult for many users".

I think we've already addressed that ad nauseam. PHOTOSHOP ALLOWS FOR CREATION AND RENDERING OF 3D GEOMETRY BUT NOT THE ABILITY TO SYNC KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS BETWEEN TWO MACHINES?  Who decides the priority list of most-pertinent features again? I thought this would be the worst possible justification for exclusion of a feature (how hard is it really for the end user to sync settings?). Then I read the other two:

2) Roadmap changes: Adobe wants more of a focus on CC Libraries.

What does that even mean? Is an alternative to "sync settings" coming via CC Libraries? I'm all for it if it fills the same need, but I'm struggling to see why 'sync settings' has to be dropped so libraries can be focused on. This is like taking your toddler to the landfill because you have a new baby. Aren't they two different things with individually unique merit?
3) Technical issues: the servers used for the feature are going away.

Ummm, use different servers? Use more servers? You can store bazillions of  CC Adobe stock images and video but don't have the server capability of storing kilobytes of preference data? This point is perplexing.

I can, of course, at any time, cancel my Creative Cloud subscription and go back to MS Paint. Of course I'm not likely to do that because there are a thousand other things that Photoshop excels at. I just want Adobe® to feel like it's not resting on its laurels, but rather working to satisfy customer needs like this one. 

Is this post a bit ridiculous, facetious, and sensational? Admittedly, yes. But so is the removal of sync-able settings in Photoshop. Just returning like for like. Only problem is I'm easy to ignore. Please do respond Adobe®. Show me where I'm wrong and help us all understand the real motivation behind this. A little honest transparency will bring so much more customer loyalty and much more understanding on our part. David, did you get permission to post more details on this? I really want to be a happy customer posting worthwhile feature requests instead of cathartic rants. Thanks for bearing with me.