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With the Move Tool (V) selected (Auto-Select unchecked in the Options Bar) ctrl-alt-shift clicking them lets me select multiple Layers on the Canvas.
Are you sure you're not actually referring to Illustrator?
I'm pretty sure it's photoshop, I've used cs5.5 frequently, maybe I'll reinstall cs5.5 to see how it works again. When I select items the transformation box doesn't appear, so I don't know more than one object is selected.
Re-install rarely solves problem. First try to reset preferences. On Mac start PS then immediately hold down Cmd + option + shift keys, you should get a reset window. If you see splash screen you are too late with keys.
I was able to use the direct select tool to select mulitple items ... I am trying to select multiple layers of text along with shapes.
The Direct Selection Tool cannot operate on the characters in a Type layer. It can operate on a path or shape that you may have flowed the Type along. Is that what you mean?
Also, the DST can operate on Paths which have been made from Type by "Type > Convert to Shape" or "Type > Create Work Path"
My recommendation is to slow down, take a deep breath, and deal with each issue separately. There are a number of preferences that can affect the things you're trying to do.
Rest assured that while there are some changes from Photoshop CS5, they're not as likely to be what's getting in your way as differences in settings that you've changed over time.
As you change preference settings in Photoshop, you might want to make notes. Then next Photoshop upgrade you'll have a script you can work from.
Noel Carboni wrote:
…As you change preference settings in Photoshop, you might want to make notes. Then next Photoshop upgrade you'll have a script you can work from.
What I do is to record an action while I set all my preferences the way I want them. That way, if I have to trash my preferences because of corruption, I can restore them to a pristine state just by playing back the action.