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Illustrator History Panel...

Jan 11, 2011 11:31 PM

  Latest reply: captainentropy, Jul 25, 2013 3:44 PM
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    Dec 30, 2011 10:11 AM   in reply to [scott w]

    I actually work in software development. Granted I'm an artist not a programmer, I do work directly with the programmers and I understand the process. Yes it usually takes a lot more time to test and debug your code than to write it in the first place, but for something like a history panel which they already know how to write and debug, the process would be much faster than adding a completely new feature. Testing is also usually done widespread, (testing all features at once, together not isoloated), which means the time it takes to test is shared with the other new features. Furthermore I imagine a large company like Adobe has a team dedicated to testing, meaning this time would not take away from the programmer's time to write and debug. These two would most likely be happening concurrently.

     

    Adobe introduced ~35 new features with Illustrator CS5 and probably many more fixes, as you suggested. Adobe's typical 12-18 month product release cycle with the addition of maybe hundreds of fixes and features, I still think your 3-6 month estimate for a feature they already know how to program is way to high.

     
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    Dec 30, 2011 10:39 AM   in reply to TheOnlyKingArthur

    25+ of those "new features" were simply refinements to existing functionality

     
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    Dec 30, 2011 12:11 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Touché.

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 3:26 AM   in reply to [scott w]

    I don't want to really get into the dramatic sh*t storm that has been going on in this thread, but I find it amazing that you are critical about the fact that I even chose to share my opinion here. I am a programmer and I too must call foul to your time estimate. I know too well the fact that focusing on emphasizing the right features is an extremely important aspect of development. I also would hope that since Adobe has included such a feature in multiple products, that it would be less difficult to implement in this one. That being said, I don't think Adobe is really that kind of company. It feels to me like they throw in all sorts of features along with the kitchen sink. That's why their tools are a huge resource hog, and I think it's largely why they are such a crowd favoritve. For my own purposes, I am only here because this is a feature I would appreciate having, and I want to put my name in the +1 column.

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 6:19 AM   in reply to jwsimone

    Jw

     

    Scott is against any feature request. I have Nebraska known him to back one single feature request, except the Teddy Bear Tool!

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 1:18 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Wade, don't be an ***. You don't know me and I've championed many new featrues.

     

    And JW... I dont' even know you so how on earth could I state anything personal towards you??? Lighten up.

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 4:48 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    I've been on this forum since Illustrator v9 and you have been here longer and I cannot remember you even once being for any feature request suggested here on ths forum.

     

    I can remeber your were against transparency, mulitppages and multiple art bords, 3D support. more Flash and web support but I do not recall yyou ever actually makig a feature request orsupporting one tha someone else made.

     

    Enlighten us!

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 5:43 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Wade, you're old and your memory is obviously fading. I won't argue with you. You've become overly filled with megalomania.

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 6:37 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    I think that the other recent users contributing here understand the difficuty of trying to fight it out on this forum and that their time would be best if each one would submit a feature request here:

     

    https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

     

    The feture request orks if enough people chime in on the feature request page.

     

    If you see what I mean.

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 8:54 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Thank you Wade, that was very helpful; exactly what the forums are for.

     
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    Jan 1, 2012 10:01 PM   in reply to TheOnlyKingArthur

    You're welcome I put in my request for or five times and sometimes it takes a while but if people need the feature it shows up.

     

    About priorities that is very much and individuals own issues. And I think they should express.

     
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    Jan 6, 2012 6:04 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    I submitted a feature request for a history panel. All it allows is making  multiple undos in one click, and being able to see what undos are in the list.

     

    It would not, as it does not in photoshop, allow you to undo some steps and keep others. So I don't really understand the downside.

     
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    Mar 9, 2012 9:13 AM   in reply to joedansk

    No one on this thread is an Adobe engineer, so to argue against implementing a History Panel, speculating that it would be technically impossible or unfeasable (despite the fact that Flash has an integrated History Panel), is moot in the sense of having no practical relevance, and is not in the least bit helpful, is just a waste of time to read.  And to argue against someone's desire for a History Panel or anything else, for whatever reasons they desire it, is just plain absurd, let alone self-righteous and contentiious.

     

    I used Photoshop and Illustrator equally and find the lack of a History Panel in Ai endlessly frustrating.  Here is the CS6 feature request that I submiited to Adobe at https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform, the link Wade provided:

     

    "A History Panel would be exceedingly useful, the same as in Flash or Photoshop, and for all the same time-saving, workflow-simplifying reasons.  Please incorporate the feature in CS6.  Ai users have been asking for this for years.  I can tell you for sure that if CS6 does NOT have a HP, I won’t upgrade from CS5.  It’s the one feature that would tip it for me.

     

    Because designing is not a clear-cut linear process - ideas come to mind as you go along - I use the History Panel in PS constantly to either backtrack or test out new ideas and compare them to each other; a similar History Panel in Ai would be invaluable. 

     

    It’s not just the list that’s useful to go back 500 steps if necessary with one click instead of 500, or to instantly compare two states that might be 500 steps apart, but I also use New Snapshot to save multiple history states to the top of the panel that I can return to and work on non-linearly (a history options option), and New Document which instantly opens an identical copy of the entire project with layers preserved in a new tab. 

     

    Ai is woefully lacking in features to aid in the testing and quick comparison of ideas within the document.  Aside from the cmd+z limitations, having to endlessly save copies, search for them, open them in new tabs, then switch back and forth between multiple tabs is a grossly inadequate, cumbersome workaround.

     

    Thank you."

     
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    Mar 9, 2012 9:57 AM   in reply to woods54

    Bravo! Well said!

     
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    Mar 9, 2012 10:10 AM   in reply to woods54

    Fireworks also has a history panel which can also be used to crete an action out of the various commands you have already used and you can even skip some of the commands when creating such an action.

     

    Very useful.

     
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    Mar 9, 2012 12:02 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    if I wrote a script to Undo / Redo X number of times, would that help? that's within my powers

     
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    Mar 10, 2012 12:56 AM   in reply to CarlosCanto

    CarlosCanto wrote:

     

    if I wrote a script to Undo / Redo X number of times, would that help? that's within my powers

    Out of curiosity I looked at this thread, and while reading the reasons for the request, my first thought was "they may be better off with faster accelerated redo/undo than a history panel".

    I think with a history panel won't be that easy to find the desired history step in a long list of similar steps. There will be a lot of trial and error clicking to find it. Also for those how don't know it, have in mind that you don't have to press Ctrl + z multiple times, you just hold Ctrl and z keys and the changes will be animated pretty fast. I think this animation makes it easier to get to the desired step in the process than if you have to guess where to click in a long list of steps with the same names. So far holding Ctrl + z hasn't been terribly annoying but the best for me would be accelerated undo. One way this could be implemented is while holding Ctrl + z to also press a number on the keyboard that will accelerate the undo animation that number of times. As for comparing stages I like the Photoshop functionality with Ctrl + Alt + z versus Ctrl + z. Something similar in Illustrator will be great. I'm not sure if a history panel will be better for this - imagine you have to scroll several screen pages through the panel to compare two states, although I've seen interfaces where long lists can be split like several instances of the panel but that still will be a lot of user effort to make the arrangement. With all that said I'm not against a history panel feature and I'm sure it will be useful for a lot of people but I think for what is needed there are better ways.

     
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    Mar 10, 2012 5:07 PM   in reply to emil emil

    I agree with Wade...would be a very useful tool for some people.

     

    My solution....don't call it a history panel, just call it an undo list!

     
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    Aug 31, 2012 10:02 AM   in reply to [scott w]

    And what if I re use an existent file because of the layout, so I change many photos and such. Then accidentally save it on top, and the ctrl+z aren't enough?

     

    Is there a way to use a button to open the original document as in the top of the history panel on Photoshop?

     
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    Aug 31, 2012 10:15 AM   in reply to Patricia Arce

    If you want to use that workflow, then the first thing you should do is to use Save A Copy of the existing file and give it a new name before you start changing things.

     
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    Sep 1, 2012 2:13 PM   in reply to Patricia Arce

    Patricia,

     

    this thread is about a hypothetical feature. It's not there at the moment.

     
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    Sep 10, 2012 7:47 AM   in reply to Kurt Gold

    Ok, thanks

     
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    Sep 10, 2012 7:48 AM   in reply to Larry G. Schneider

    I know that, but sometimes one can get distracted, just saying.

    Thanks anyway for the advice.

     
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    Oct 17, 2012 8:25 AM   in reply to joedansk

    I have to say that the History Palette is an incredibly needed accessory; I apologize for the redundant and senseless disagreers running around this thread. Apparently the 1960's software crew were released from the zoo and allowed only to post on Adobe's forums from the confines of their cages.

     
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    Feb 23, 2013 9:11 AM   in reply to joedansk

    great thread, though when searching for "illustrator history panel" one would expect a simple keyboard shortcut or some deep-buried menu item, not a long and complicated thread about a feature that is not there yet... anyway, the reason I signed in (not up, though I might have) is to point out that the History Panel is much more than a quick way to jump many undo states, or quickly compare previous choices, however valid both arguments and uses are. The HP is *visual,* it's like a map, or a trail. It gives you an overview of the time you spent and the actions you performed, and it gives you security, because it's all under your eyes. You might not use it, but it's a different feeling knowing that you have the ability to go back in time, not just going backwards "blindfold" as you do with Ctrl-Z but return to any specific, exact point in time... Considering how little effort it would take to add it (I can't see why it could be difficult), it seems to me that this feature is long overdue.

     

    Still, I'd be very interested to know the historical reasons why AI is different from Photoshop (and most other software) in this respect, I'm sure there were (maybe still are) good reasons for this...?

     
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    Mar 11, 2013 11:56 AM   in reply to joedansk
    1. Someone here said no one has ever given a valid reason for a history panel.  How about 1 hour wasted Control Z-ing to get back through about 25 actions that each required applying multiple art brushes, drop shadows and effects - about 10-15 seconds for each control Z, and it won't take multiple commands at once.  A history panel would have let me go back several steps at once and save this valuable time in my busy day instead of wasting it in the revision stage of a project that the pesky client can't make up her fricking mind, while other pressing (PAYING) projects are waiting.  This is extremely annoying, and I wouldn't mind what else has to go to make room for a history panel.
     
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    Mar 11, 2013 12:06 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    …and at least 5-10 broken features, such as the inability for AICS6 to drag-n-drop global color swatches from the color panel to gradient panel.

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 10:44 AM   in reply to rcraighead

    I've read through this endless discussion on the history panel feature and am amazed. I'd like to simplify the discussion. It's good enough for Photoshop. I've used it for years. I'd love that same functionality in Illustrator. And why not? Why is it everyone looks for reasons NOT to do something? If you're so good and don't need it, fine. If you're good enough, like me, and like the functionality, why should my need be belittled from those that are self-proclaimed PhotoShop Masters. And, I don't even want to hear the developers reasons. There reason's have nothing to do with what the user needs. Sorry, but I've worked with them for years and know how they operate. If an average user needs a history panel, stop looking for reasons NOT to do it.

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 11:13 AM   in reply to Meyercom

    I also found a little odd that many posts in this thread were focused on developer's reasons. Besides, software developers can be actually very interested in what users really need, and to be honest I can't even see why their reasons, such as keeping code compact and elegant, should ever come in conflict with user needs...

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 12:29 PM   in reply to Meyercom

    Meyercom wrote:

     

    I've read through this endless discussion on the history panel feature and am amazed. I'd like to simplify the discussion. It's good enough for Photoshop. I've used it for years. I'd love that same functionality in Illustrator. And why not? Why is it everyone looks for reasons NOT to do something? If you're so good and don't need it, fine. If you're good enough, like me, and like the functionality, why should my need be belittled from those that are self-proclaimed PhotoShop Masters. And, I don't even want to hear the developers reasons. There reason's have nothing to do with what the user needs. Sorry, but I've worked with them for years and know how they operate. If an average user needs a history panel, stop looking for reasons NOT to do it.

     

     

    Okay.. Illustrator is NOT Photoshop. Photoshop uses pixels. Please explain how a history panel would function with vector objects (NOT PIXELS). Keep in mind non-linear editing of vector objects. Check how Photoshop handles non-linear history with vector shapes.... see any problems?

     

    My points were NOT trying to find reasons a history panel would fail. But an exploration as to what value it would have if it only listed undo states due to the limitations which already exist with vector objects. If you can explain what features would be useful and how they would operate EXACTLY based on vector objects, I'm all ears. So far, no one has posted anything but "It would work like Photoshop." But even Photoshop's History Panel has little use with Vector shapes. Seems this is a simple pie-in-the-sky request by many without any real thought to functionality. From what I've read here, many want a History Panel in Illustrator to function similar to how History works in Photoshop... but no one is exploring it enough to understand that basically, you'd get all the limitations of Photoshop's History panel with almost zero benefit.

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 12:50 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    You know that funny thing called a "Ctrl-Z" function. The one in PhotoShop? And the History panel, in PhotoShop? Basically a visual representation of your "undo" states available? Well, it's that simple in Illustrator. Nothing more, nothing less. Please, have a user-friendly person instead of a developer respond in the future. If I was a developer, I obviously wouldn't be using Illustrator. I've written for developers, and snagit and Visio is the extent of there creativity. This is for real-word production-minded users simply looking for a graphical representatation to streamline the "undo" or Ctrl-z" process. I understand exactly what a pixel is, and a vector object. It has NO bearing on me wanting a graphical "undo". Please, don't make a mountain out of a mole-hill... it's an ugly developer trait to basically say why they don't want to do something...

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 12:56 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Oh, and you "zero benifit" is based on what? Productivity or ROI? Please...

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 12:58 PM   in reply to Meyercom

    I'm not an AI developer. I am an Ai user with over 25 years experience with the application.

     

    So essentially all you want is a list of undo steps?

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 1:02 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    It is that simple...

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 1:05 PM   in reply to Meyercom

    Fair enough.

     

     

    But, in my opinion, rather pointless waste of resources.

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 1:46 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Adding a standard visual interface to a system that is already there so that users can have a more intuitive and enjoyable experience, not to mention save time and efforts, doesn't sound like a waste to me. And maybe, once it's there, we will be in a better position to find ways to make it more useful for vector drawing...

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 5:05 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    [scott w] wrote:

     

    Okay.. Illustrator is NOT Photoshop. Photoshop uses pixels. Please explain how a history panel would function with vector objects (NOT PIXELS). Keep in mind non-linear editing of vector objects. Check how Photoshop handles non-linear history with vector shapes.... see any problems?

     

    My points were NOT trying to find reasons a history panel would fail. But an exploration as to what value it would have if it only listed undo states due to the limitations which already exist with vector objects. If you can explain what features would be useful and how they would operate EXACTLY based on vector objects, I'm all ears. So far, no one has posted anything but "It would work like Photoshop." But even Photoshop's History Panel has little use with Vector shapes. Seems this is a simple pie-in-the-sky request by many without any real thought to functionality. From what I've read here, many want a History Panel in Illustrator to function similar to how History works in Photoshop... but no one is exploring it enough to understand that basically, you'd get all the limitations of Photoshop's History panel with almost zero benefit.

     

    So what you are saying then is that you haven't read any posts but your own? Not one person in this thread has asked for non-linear history in Illustrator. Not one. In fact YOU are the only person who keeps bringing it up. The original poster along with myself and many others have simply asked for a History Panel, NOT non-linear history. Two very different things.

     

    We have all listed many reasons why this is benefitial in different ways and for various workflows. Perhaps you need to read through the thread again since you believe that no one has offered any possible reasons why this could be useful. Please keep in mind that just because you don't see the value in this feature personally for your own workflow, does not mean that there is no value for others.

     

    As I've stated several times before in this thread, and as you have conveniently chosen to ignore, I will reiterate again that the entire Adobe Suite of products each have a History Panel (except Illustrator); very few of which have non-linear history capabilities (only Photoshop that I am aware of has this additional capability). The rest of Creative Suite products which have History Panels are using it as a SIMPLE LIST OF UNDO STEPS. Gasp! What a waste of resources! Obviously this features was not considered a waste of resources nor a useless feature without non-linear capabilities by the development teams thus far. Given the fact that people keep looking for a history panel in Illustrator, it is obviously a feature that people would find useful as well.

     

    The real question is since a history panel function has been written into every other piece of Adobe software, WHY was it omitted from only Illustrator, and WHY has it not been added since they could likely copy and paste a majority of the code with only some minor tweaks to get it to work. It truly wouldn't take very many resources to add this simple function.

     

    Please don't respond with your nonsense of vector this and non-linear that. No one is asking for non-linear history, and the History Panel already exists in Flash which is...wait for it...vector based!!! If there is a technical limitation that prevents this feature from inclusion in Illustrator then the Adobe developers could likely explain what that is, but you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

     

    Stop being a turd Scott. It is simple request, for an easily added feature, that many people would find useful. Period. Why do you try so hard to argue against it?

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 5:19 PM   in reply to kileytoo

    I'd like to repeat what Wade posted earlier. For all those who would like to see a History Panel function in a future version of Illustrator, please submit your request:

     

    https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

     

    Hopefully we will eventually outnumber the people who believe that software improvement is impossible. Thankfully Adobe's dev teams are not composed (at least not entirely) of Scott W's, and so we continuously get access to improved software which does things I could not have imagined the year before.

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 9:28 PM   in reply to TheOnlyKingArthur

    Forget about the nay sayers there will always be that type around. Now might be a good time to chime in on the wish list as it seems Fireworks is not being developed and it has a history panel which works well with the pixel based and vector base functions and a combination of the two. I even allows you to creat actions from the steps in the panel and even delete steps out of seauence without destroying the other steps taken before and after the deleted step.

     

    This might be the right time topush for it.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 12.22.16 AM.png

     
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    Jul 23, 2013 9:53 PM   in reply to TheOnlyKingArthur

    *******Enhancement / FMR*********

    Brief title for your desired feature: History Panel or a visual interface for the Undo system

    How would you like the feature to work? List all available undo states and allow you to return directly to the desired state.

    Why is this feature important to you? It gives you a visual overview of your recent work history and, when needed, lets you undo changes more quickly, intuitively, and accurately compared to the shortcut key (Ctrl-Z). The shortcut key is a convenient way to undo the last action, or maybe the last few, but a visual interface gives you complete control over your work, all the time.

     
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