Okay, I'm a couple of versions behind, but there was a hotkey I could always count on. When using the marquee tool, clicking and dragging would create and resize the selection marquee. Holding down the space bar, without releasing the mouse button, would then temporarily allow me to reposition the marquee, and releasing the space bar would allow me to go back to resizing the marquee.
Well, I just had the opportunity to tutor somebody in Photoshop, and she had the newest version. I went to show her the above trick, and all that happened was the selection got frozen and its x and y values got displayed.
So tell me, all you who have been fortunate enough to remain current: how do I do it now? It's a pretty important thing to be able to do.
Works just as you described it should in Photoshop CS6 13.0.1 on a Windows 7 x64 system here, with a new document with only a Background layer, or even an old document and multiple layers.
An extra X and Y measurement appears when the space bar is down and I'm moving the selection marquee to show where the upper-left corner of the selection is located.
No, it didn't work as I described; otherwise, I wouldn't be posting this question. As I said, the marquee froze in place when I held down the space bar. It was a new document with only a background layer and no content.
OK, it shouldn't be anything peculiar about the document that's a problem. The usual advice is to first try resetting the tool, and if that fails then try resetting Photoshop completely. If that doesn't work then someone may be able to advise about checking for latest driver for the graphics card if it's a Windows machine.
Reset tool from the right-click menu as in image:
Reset Ps by holding down Shift+Alt+Ctrl or Shift+Opt+Cmd immediately upon launching Ps. If Ps fully opens without a prompt for reset, then you were too slow holding down the keys and will need to try again.
I wasn't trying to refute your claim, o elf/Spock, just to let you know I tested it and happily it's not broken everywhere - which pretty much says it wasn't a design change for the worse that made it fail to work for you and your student.