I can stop griping now – Adobe has finally fixed Photoshop!

Blognosticator Head

For eight years I have been complaining loudly (the blogger’s “pen” is mightier than the sword, but much slower) about the “feature” in Adobe Photoshop that causes your type to be erased – without an undo that will replace it – when you strike the Escape key.

Escape feature

The reason that this was so irksome is that Adobe, always so proud of their unified user experience allows us to strike the Escape key when we finish using the text tool in Illustrator and InDesign, the result being that the text you were just working on is now complete, and you want to move on with another tool. Striking the Escape key in those two applications causes the text tool to be deselected, and replaced by the solid arrow selection tool.

By contrast, in Adobe Photoshop, you could spend minutes crafting some text, applying a typeface selection, size, leading, tracking, color, minor adjustments here and there, and then, when finished, hit the Escape key to have the program erase your text from the screen. Poof! Gone! And, one could not get it back with the Undo command. No, it was gone for good, and had to be remade.

This was aggravating, especially for the more sophisticated user who became efficient with keyboard commands.

I felt for years that this was a bug, but I was advised by several Adobe representatives that it was actually a feature, one consistent with using the Escape key while using other commands in Photoshop – the effect was to cancel what you had been doing. And, though I agree that the Erase-Your-Type-With-No-Undo feature was consistent within Adobe Photoshop, it was aggravating because it was not consistent with the same tool in the other Adobe Creative Suite applications.

I am happy to announce that quietly, in the middle of the night, somewhere between CS 6 and CC 2014 (I wasn’t paying attention until yesterday) they made the user interface consistent, or at least more consistent than it was. Now, when I strike the Escape key in Adobe Photoshop, instead of the next four-letter word out of my mouth starting with an F, I exhale and smile, and continue with my work.

Thank you, Adobe, for repairing the unified user experience in Photoshop. Seriously. Thank you! OK, Adobe seems to be paying attention. Now, Adobe, please listen to this next request, one I have been advocating for over a decade: When saving from Adobe Illustrator, and let’s just say the original file was made in a previous version of that software, instead of giving us the mind-numbing error message:

Illustrator Legacy dialog

How about making it easy to convert to the latest format by clicking a button in that dialog box (and perhaps that could be the default button). That would make is simple to keep Illustrator documents up to date, and would allow us advanced users a simple path to keeping our files current. Would that be so hard? How about this:

Save in latest format

I would be ecstatic if the Illustrator team would provide this level of support to us users. It would simplify our lives and help us to keep our files current.

I’ll get back to you in eight years to tell you if this request has gotten any traction at Adobe.

About Brian Lawler

Brian Lawler is an Emeritus Professor of Graphic Communication at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and was a Guest Professor at Hochschule München from September, 2021 to September, 2022. He writes about graphic arts processes and technologies for various industry publications, and on his blog, The Blognosticator.
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