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Shape Layers, the vector Shape Path and the obtrusive active path default

Apr 3, 2012 4:09 PM

Tags: #photoshop #development #paths #shapes #feature_requests #shape_layers #photoshop_cs6 #cs6_beta #vector_layer

There have been a few discussions and comments on this topic already, and as many suggestions as to how to deal with it, but after giving several days and hoping to just get used to it, I've arrived at the decision that it totally blows.

When you select a Shape Layer to edit it's Effects, it's Path, it's contents, or anything else, the Path (formerly the Vector Mask) is automatically active. I believe I speak for a lot of people when I submit that the way this works now makes that path totally obtrusive. No matter what I do, the path is automatically active. Not 'selected' with points visible and all that, but just active and visible, making any kind of adjustments to Effects, especially strokes and bevels and anything that is dependant on the edge of the shape or path, very hard to view and work with.


In all the past versions of Photoshop, you would simply shift-click on the Shape Layer's thumbnail to activate the Path, or Vector Mask, to view it or work with it directly. That was a sensible approach to working with the path. The way it is now makes the path active every time I try to adjust an Effect. As soon as I click on the Shape Layer, the path is active and visible. If I double click on the Shape Layer to add or edit Effects, the path is automatically active and it cannot be deselected when you are already in the Effects dialog panels, so the path stays highlighted and interferring with every Effect I attempt to edit.


I suggest that we go back to something similar to the way it was before. When you select a Shape Layer, only the Shape Layer is active until you actually select the Shape Path specifically to work with it. Either way it's an extra step, an extra click, etc., but I would rather have that option to make the path visible by selection rather than by default.


It's a serious bummer because of the amount of time I spend working with Shape Layers and Paths.


On a positive note however, everything else about the new Shape Paths features works great and I love it. The paths are more integrated like regular Layers now and I find it very functional and easy to work with.

I've been working CS6 really hard over the past few days and haven't had a single critical issue. I've had nothing to post, submit or discuss! This is the most stable beta I've worked with to date.

Great job, Adobe!

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 4:08 PM   in reply to Jeff Holter

    Thanks for the feedback Jeff. Glad you enjoy the rest of it aside from the shape layer path visibility workflow. I've passed your feedback on.

    Thanks again.

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    Apr 3, 2012 4:35 PM   in reply to Jeff Holter

    I agree with Jeff.


    As Jeff notes there are multiple threads discussing aspects of the vector / shape layer changes. If you read them I think you'll find a strong consensus on this issue of default shape path visibility - that it should be off by default.

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    Apr 4, 2012 10:41 AM   in reply to Jeff Holter

    Hi Jeff,


    Thanks for the feedback - this issue is something we are actively investigating, as we are aware of the breadth of user issues with the way things are now.


    On a related note you can disable the viewing of the shape's path by going to the View menu -> Show -> Target Path with a shape selected in the layers panel. This is more of a workaround than a solution, and the next time you create a shape it will turn itself on (again, something we are also investigating.) All the same I hope it will ease some of the pain points you are seeing.


    Thank you again for the feedback, I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the rest of the shape feature additions!

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    Apr 4, 2012 11:28 AM   in reply to Jeff Holter

    Hi Jeff,

    that darn path just comes right back on every time you go back to a Shape Layer


    That's really strange as the setting should be sticky, and to my knowledge it only reactivates when a new shape is created. Are you doing anything between selections of various shape layers, or is it simply a matter of selecting another shape layer that causes the setting to reenable?

    ~ On another path related subject, I'd also just like to throw out there my one other wish for paths which is a folder/grouping feature for paths in the Paths panel. It would be huge help in organizing paths. It's a minor feature request I've been requesting since CS3! I know it's probably too late in the game for this release, but as long as I have your attention, could you please pass it along to the team?


    I'll pass this along, thanks!

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    Apr 9, 2012 1:19 PM   in reply to Jeff Holter

    I agree with everything Jeff is saying as it also impedes my productivity. I have CS6 sitting on my dock, waiting to be used more but I can't until that one thing is fixed. As a UI designer, a majority of my layers are vector shapes with layer effects on them. So, seeing a vector outline every time i select the layer ruins the flow.


    Please keep us posted on this specific update. I've been religiously checking the adobe updater and these forums for more news.



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    Apr 9, 2012 6:05 PM   in reply to tgines2

    I know it's not the reply you're looking for yet,

         but you're still able to hide the path using the Enter key while the target path is visible.


    It will hide the path for the layer your'e currently working on, enter again will show the path.

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