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AI CS6 took away the Opacity sliders

May 14, 2012 3:30 PM

I just discovered to my horror that there are no opacity sliders in Illustrator CS6.

Seems like the program is going backwards now. Whatever.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 3:49 PM   in reply to John Stanowski

    Yeah, I didn't like the removal of the sliders either. I think they were much better than the 10% steps.

     
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    May 14, 2012 5:57 PM   in reply to John Stanowski

    I haven't checked CS6 yet, but I rarely use sliders in Illustrator. I use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard instead. This works with most input fields In Illustrator and in all programs in general at least on Windows, I'm not sure abut Macs but since someone mentioned that it works now on Macs with the Font menu may be they also made it work with all other input fields.

     

    With the arrow keys I get real time feedback from changing the transparency and when holding Shift it changes by 10% increments, while with the sliders I don't see any real time feedback,  I see the change when I stop dragging the slider so, what's the point then? I can type the desired value with similar effort.

     
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    May 14, 2012 6:31 PM   in reply to emil emil

    I agree the arrows are better.

     
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    May 14, 2012 7:20 PM   in reply to John Stanowski

    Yes it does, in the Round corners dialog (the effect). With Shift it is 6 pt increments.

     

     

    The up and down arrow keys usually work in any input field where you can type values or names of items like the font menu, it also works in some other manus that show the selected item highlighted. And remember, you can just hold the arrow keys down you don't have to press them multiple times.

     

     

    The arrow keys also work with the Rounded Rectangle tool as well with other tools that create segments like the Star, Spiral, Flair,Grids, and etc during creating of the objects but that's a different kind of feature which is not related to input fields and highlighted menus.

     

    edit: with all that said, even though I don't use the sliders and don't find them very useful, they didn't make any problems and Adobe should not remove features like that because different people like different things and more options the better.

     
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    May 14, 2012 8:30 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    

    Wade_Zimmerman wrote:

     

    I agree the arrows are better.

    Sure...if you have the use of both hands.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 8:59 PM   in reply to Frank Heller

    Frank Heller wrote:

     

    ...

    Sure...if you have the use of both hands.

    You can't press the up/down arrow keys with one hand?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 9:13 PM   in reply to emil emil

    You can't press the up/down arrow keys with one hand?

    You missed my point entirely. While this may be fine for two handed people, it is an inconvenience for the disabled. There was no reason to remove this functionality.

     
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    May 14, 2012 9:14 PM   in reply to emil emil

    emil emil wrote:

     

    Frank Heller wrote:

     

    ...

    Sure...if you have the use of both hands.

    You can't press the up/down arrow keys with one hand?

     

     

    You may be a bit more limber than most... I have a difficult time drawing a shape.. and hitting arrrow keys at the same time with one hand.

     
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    May 14, 2012 9:51 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    All you have to do is press the arrow key down and it will continue at a nice pace to increase or decrease the value.

     

    And I a usualy use my other hand to ht the arrow keys it doesn't reaally have much to do anyway except to hold the coffee cup.

     

    Don't get me wrong if people have a prefernce and it is reasonably doable I say it dshould be returned as well but I think the arrow keys are easier. for me.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 10:03 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Scott, aren't we talking about changing the opacity with a slider vs the arrow keys? We are talking about the difference between dragging a slider with the mouse or holding a finger on up or down arrow keys. With the other hand you can press Shift to speed up the change by 10% increments, but what will your other hand be doing anyway in the case of dragging the opacity slider?

     

    Or maybe you and Frank think that the conversation is about using the arrow keys with object and path creation tools like those found under the line and rectangle tools?  I briefly mentioned examples of using the arrow keys with these tools as a different kind of usage (not input field) and this doesn't have other interactive alternative like the slider for the opacity.

     
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    May 14, 2012 10:14 PM   in reply to emil emil

    emil emil wrote:

     

    Scott, aren't we talking about changing the opacity with a slider vs the arrow keys?

     

     

    Yeah but there was also a mix of rounded corners in there as well... that's where two hands may be needed.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 10:26 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Round Corners and drawing at the same time? I don't think so not in Illustrator!

     

    But to be fair the slider gives you the opportunity of visually observing the adjustment when it is not necessarily a specific measurement but a visual relationship that is more important at the sametime allowing you to make drastic changes much mroe quickly while amintaining that visual contact.

     

    It is not actually the hands that are the problem as much as trying to visually concentrate in two places at the same time.

     

    And it is a good point.

     

    And I am not putting words in your mouth I am stating these concerns from my own point of view.

     
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    May 14, 2012 10:26 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Round Corners and drawing at the same time? I don't think so not in Illustrator!

     

    But to be fair the slider gives you the opportunity of visually observing the adjustment when it is not necessarily a specific measurement but a visual relationship that is more important at the sametime allowing you to make drastic changes much mroe quickly while amintaining that visual contact.

     

    It is not actually the hands that are the problem as much as trying to visually concentrate in two places at the same time.

     

    And it is a good point.

     

    And I am not putting words in your mouth I am stating these concerns from my own point of view.

     
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    May 14, 2012 10:33 PM   in reply to emil emil

    Or maybe you and Frank think that the conversation is about using the arrow keys with object and path creation tools

    I believe Scott and I are discussing the the same thing:

    CS5 Slider.pngCS6 FixedChoice.png

     

    ...again, you missed my point. If you are disabled....you may find the mouse more convenient as primary input for most operations. The slider permitted a full numerical entry range. Removing this functionality becomes an inconvenience for those who are "mouse-centric". Yes, the up and down arrows work fine (and did so in CS5) but jumping from the mouse to the keyboard interrupts a smooth workflow when you only have one hand to work with. Get it?

     

    There was no reason to remove this full range functionality and replace it with a "multiple choice" interface that requires further tweaking to get at the "tweener" numbers.

     
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  • Ivan David
    135 posts
    Jun 9, 2010
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    May 14, 2012 11:02 PM   in reply to Frank Heller

    Hi,

     

    I was wondering if you've tried using your mouse and scrolling in any of the numeric/editable fields in Illustrator CS6. One of the GUI tweaks in Illustrator CS6 is the ability to modify numeric/editable fields by positioning the mouse pointer on the field and then using the scroll wheel on your mouse to modify the value. If the increment values are too small, you can hold the Alt key and then scroll to increments the property in larger values.

     

    When you have a moment, please try this and see if it helps?

     

    -David

     
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    May 14, 2012 11:34 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    [scott w] wrote:

    ...

     

    Yeah but there was also a mix of rounded corners in there as well... that's where two hands may be needed.

    We talked about changing the radius in Rounded Corner effect dialog which has no slider alternative but only an input field that can be used interactively with the arrow keys. While this dialog is on nothing can be done with the other hand - no drawing allowed

    I also mentioned using the arrow keys with the Rounded Rectangle but this was kind of off topic example for another usage of the arrow keys and there is no other interactive alternative there too. Nothing has been replaced or changed there and no one is complaining.  This is about when dragging the Rounded Rectangle to create an object, holding the up or down arrow keys changes interactively the corner radius. The other tools that do that are Polygon, Star, Flare, Arc, Spiral, Rectangular and Polar Grid tools. Also all object creation tools can create multiple copies of the object being created while holding the ~ key which is another example of holding a key while dragging the mouse to creating objects - this is how these tools have been designed to works in the first place and there was never any other interactive alternatives

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2012 11:38 PM   in reply to Ivan David

    When you have a moment, please try this and see if it helps?

    I had a moment and tried it. Yes, it works. But here's the thing I discovered: the method is still not as fast as the slider. I have to scroll extremely slow in order to land on an exact value. If I scroll quickly, it overshoots values by 2s and 3s. And again using the Alt key (in my case, the Shift key: Mac) goes back to my original point: mouse-centricity.

     

    And to be sure I wasn't kidding myself, I had CS5 and 6 both opened and found that I could consistently get to a specific value faster with the slider. When you are doing hundreds of these operations daily (which I do) that extra second or two begins to add up: making the difference between finishing up a project a 15 minute job or a 20 minute job. Frankly, I don't find this substitution an improvement. Quite the opposite.

     

    You know, I can't help but get the feeling that the mission focus for this version was 64bits and "move the furniture". My problem with this is, although I appreciate the addition of HD resolution, I really preferred it when the couch was facing the TV.

     
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    May 14, 2012 11:42 PM   in reply to Frank Heller

    Frank Heller wrote:

     

    ...again, you missed my point. If you are disabled....you may find the mouse more convenient as primary input for most operations.
    ... Removing this functionality becomes an inconvenience for those who are "mouse-centric".

    ...

    There was no reason to remove this full range functionality and replace it with a "multiple choice" interface that requires further tweaking to get at the "tweener" numbers.

     

    Of course, if  you want to use the mouse only and using the keyboard is harder for your then yes, it will not be as easy. My initial reply to you was based on the fact that you will need one hand anyway regardless if you are using the slider or the arrow keys.

     

    And as I already said earlier, Adobe should not remove features like that, the slider doesn't do any harm to those who don't use it.

     
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  • Ivan David
    135 posts
    Jun 9, 2010
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    May 15, 2012 3:41 AM   in reply to John Stanowski

    Frank and Emil, I'm sorry that this slows down your workflows. While I cannot speculate on why the slider was removed, I hope that this new way will become more convenient and a better experience as you use it more.

     

    John Stanowski wrote:

     

    W.O.W.

     

    Using the mouse wheel to adjust opacity is bloody brilliant! And I think it's WAY better that using a slider. Being able to do this is a lot closer to how we use our hands and watch what we're doing with immediate feedback when we sketch or mold clay in the real world. THIS is what AI should do more of. Holy cow. Fantastic!

     

     

    John, yes, this tweak is enabled on all editable/numeric fields that have values that can be increased or decreased. I'm glad that you find the feauture so useful.

     

    Thanks, Ivan David!  Is there somewhere we can see a detailed list of all the other changes??

     

    Please let us know if there's a list somewhere of all the other tweaks, I can't wait to see it.

     

    About a list... interesting that you brought it up - because I am working on a list of all the smaller (but useful) tweaks that have gone into the Illustrator CS6. I promise to have it out and update this thread as soon as possible. Appreciate the feedback.

     

    Cheers,

    David

     
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    May 15, 2012 3:58 AM   in reply to Ivan David

    I think it is very useful and I guess I accidentally noticed it but then could not figure out what I had done I thought It was working  like scrub adjustment, then I thought I imagined it but now I know what it actually is.

     
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  • Ivan David
    135 posts
    Jun 9, 2010
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    May 15, 2012 4:07 AM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Okay, so I wasn't hallucinating... I knew I had written about it: http://helpx.adobe.com/content/help/en/illustrator/using/ui-interface. html.

     

    I'll have to find a way to make this information more discoverable. In any case, the list that John talked about is in the making, and will be useful to have. Will keep you posted on that! Please keep the feedback coming, guys!

     

    Thanks,

    David

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 4:57 AM   in reply to John Stanowski

    This was THE first thing I noticed when I started getting into AI6. It baffles me that they did this. Any artist worth their weight will be absolutely appalled at the missing sliders, and for good reason. And using the mouse wheel to scroll is a great addition - for artists that draw un-intuitively with a mouse, but what about the pile of artists that use tablets???

     

    C'mon, Adobe. Start sending your Beta's to high end artists for feedback and blatant faux pas's like this will never be made.

     

    I'll stick with 5.5 til they fix this, thanks.

     
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    May 15, 2012 1:25 PM   in reply to jeffermac

    Well i see that the arrows are better.

     
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    May 15, 2012 9:46 AM   in reply to John Stanowski

    John Stanowski wrote:

     

    ... Why in the world don't you publish this stuff? Every time I searched for information on what is new in CS6 all I get is the same old stuff: pattern maker, gradients on strokes and stuff aimed at new users...

     

    But this is nothing new, at least on a pc. Changing values in input fields with up/down arrows and the scroll wheel of the mouse can be used in input fields in most programs on Windows, and this has been like that all the time. It will look funny for the Windows users if Adobe publish this as a new feature.

     

    I prefer the up/down arrows because I'm using a Wacom pen and also I can use the Shift key to speed up the change using higher increments in input fields that take use of the Shift key.

     
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  • Ivan David
    135 posts
    Jun 9, 2010
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    May 18, 2012 6:08 AM   in reply to Ivan David

    Ivan David wrote:

     

    ... the list that John talked about is in the making, and will be useful to have. Will keep you posted on that! Please keep the feedback coming, guys!

     

    Hi,

     

    While the comprehensive list of feautures is still being compiled, here is a blog post on the missing sliders, and the new way of working faster by just scrolling on your mouse: http://blogs.adobe.com/ivandavid/illustrator-cs6-use-your-mouse-to-wor k-faster/.

     

    Cheers,

    David

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 6:21 AM   in reply to Ivan David

    I stopped drawing in Illustrator with a mouse years before they even thought of adding a wheel to them.

     

    Am I the only one here that is super-frustrated that the slider is gone?

    Nothing beat the ability to drag that thing and watch your live preview.

    How is removing this considered an 'improvement'???

     
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    May 18, 2012 8:34 AM   in reply to jeffermac

    jeffermac wrote:

     

    I stopped drawing in Illustrator with a mouse years before they even thought of adding a wheel to them.

    me too

    jeffermac wrote:

    ...

    Nothing beat the ability to drag that thing and watch your live preview.

    ...

    As I said before, the slider never gave live preview and as such was useless for me. It only updates the screen redraw after releasing the mouse which is not much different from the effort of typing the value  - the effort with using the slider is described well in the blog link:

    1. Select the object, and click the arrow of the Opacity field in the Control Panel
    2. Click and hold the Opacity slider control, move the slider, and release slider to view the new opacity of the object
    3. If the opacity is not exactly the one you need, repeat the previous step until you get the right opacity.

    Typing a trial and error values is not more effort, at least for me, and gives the same interactivity - no live preview. Again using the up/down arrows on the keyboard when the transparency value is selected gives live preview and holding the Shift key, increases the increments, at least for me this remains the best way so far.

     
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    May 18, 2012 8:46 AM   in reply to emil emil

    Yes, my bad. But imho, anything that requires more effort is a step backwards in user experience. Placing your pen on the slider and drag-lift, drag-lift is as close to a live preview as anything. No need to get your 'keyboard' hand involved, superfast previews.

    I shouldn't have to start using more keys to get back functionality that required less. Trying to say that using more keys or adding more steps to an existing method is an improvement defies logic - at least in the realm of user experience.

    I do ultra-detailed realistic drawings in Illustrator. And despite how much I like most of the 'improvements' in AI6, I'm keeping it's predecessor installed and foregoing updating the balance of the 35 licenses to CS6 in my dept. Why? Because my sampling of 20 artists came back with exactly the same criticism - yes, all 20 of them! And no amount of 'extra steps are just as easy' will change the fact that everyone agreed it was an incumberance at a very significant level.

     

    To all that think this is an improvement: good on ya!!! To those who miss this feature: I hear ya.

     
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    May 18, 2012 8:56 AM   in reply to jeffermac

    As I said, I agree that options like that should not be removed when new options added do not fully cover the previous experience. Once people get used to something, they still could be faster with it even after a new faster feature is added but requires change of habits which may take a long period to adjust and for some users it may never feel  equally intuitive.

     
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    May 18, 2012 9:52 AM   in reply to emil emil

    With a stylus the mouse wheel trick is more cumbersome, not really helpful. I can use the touch ring on the tablet, but that means I have to lift the stylus up, away, from the tablet so the cursor stays in position while I move to the ring. I just want sliders back at some point

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
    Jan 11, 2006
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    May 20, 2012 12:39 PM   in reply to [scott w]

    Getting scrubby sliders like Photoshop's would be useful for stylus users, and help cross-program learners.

    But this is the first step in the new Illustrator UI, akin to foundations works, so I hope that we can expect more to come in the future

     
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    Jul 12, 2012 2:48 AM   in reply to John Stanowski

    Nobody mentioned the fact that the command key (mac, I assume ctrl on PC) will increment the mouse-wheel by .1 for fields that allow decimals. Stroke width, scale, round corners effect etc.

     

    It has been mentioned that the shift key increases the steps to 10 (for most numeric fields) but I'm finding a very strange behavior on my mac (snow leopard). The shift key increases the steps, but it also reverses the direction of the change. For instance, if I'm adjusting opacity by scrolling back (mouse wheel towards me) the numbers step down 100, 99, 98... Then I add shift thinking I'll jump down to 80, 70... but it doesn't. It goes back up to 100. I have to press shift and scroll up (away from me) to continue down in 10s. Thats wonky. Is it the same for everyone else?

     
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    Jul 12, 2012 11:19 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    There is one more way: Hover the pointer over the field and use the scroll-wheel to increment/decrement the value. You don't even have to click.

    Personally, I find it quite useful.

     
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    Dec 18, 2012 1:19 PM   in reply to Vikrant Rai

    I would hope that Adobe products would have conistent interactions, in the future. I use both Photoshop and Illustrator. CS6 Photoshop still wisely employs the slider. I frequently use a stylus, as many artists and designers do, and the removal of the slider is unfortunate. If possible please bring this facility back.

     
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    Jan 23, 2013 10:18 PM   in reply to Adam Wilbert

    Yes I`m getting the same, the shift key jumps by 10 but again in the opposite direction to what your doing. using arrow keys with shift keeps it in the right direction,

    thanks for the CMMD .1 incriment tip.

     
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