Most likely your color picker is off on another display - the dialog is still open, so you can't change tools, etc.
You are very astute and absolutely on target; I've been suspecting that as well due to the specificity of the problem relating to a single type of window (assuming the 'Duplicate' and 'Print Preview' windows are offscreen somewhere as well) but was not confident enough to ask about it yet. All the behaviour ('doonk! doonk!', multiple 'Enter' hits before it 'gets the message' and executes) matches what would happen if those windows (Color Picker, Duplicate Name/Edit, Print Preview) were extant but invisible.
What do I do? I do have two screens, but only two, and both are right in front of me now. I've scraped around the edges of both screens with my cursor trying to fish out the missing window but no luck. I tried playing with the resolution settings for the display with equal failure. I've tried everything I know that relates to display issues and even had to resist the human temptation to run my hand along the back of the flatscreen to see if I could feel the lost windows just out of sight.....
I forgot to mention in my last post (in case anyone else is reading this) that I already
un-and re-installed PS, I have reset all tool preferences, restarted and defragmented my computer, to no avail.
Any further help will be greatly appreciated.
Try resetting the workspace. Perhaps it is off the screen.
Firstly, thank you for responding.
Resetting the workspace does nothing except gathering the primary-access windows one can find under the Windows heading onto the right side of the workspace. Color-Picker, Print With Preview, Duplicate pre-edit, etc. are all [what I'm calling] 'secondary' functions, being that they only appear after using the features of one of the primary windows. (for those following this thread with the same problem. I've learned from discussions (and more trial and error) that this is a computer 'Federal' offense instead of 'state' (program specific) problem which involves general comuter Display 'juristiction' issues, and so this is outside the involvement of Photoshop. I've luckily figured out that the Color Picker and other secondary dialogue windows like this one are entirely out of Pshop's control (I already tried resetting all Tool preferences, reinstalling Ps, restarting computer, etc.) and I know this because I DID solve the Color Picker/Stroke/Fill and Duplicate problem (again, for those of you following this who have this same crippling problem) and the solution was definitely a Federal Computer Dept. issue. The saintly wizard on this lifesaving link identified and solved this problem, (to the eternal gratitude of many of the commentators):
and it involves using the general tools to control the positioning of anything on (or off) the desktop. Please read this link any of you who are stuck in the same quagmire.
However, I still am left with the crucial Print With Preview problem., as the PS program seems to immediately refer this window to the 'Federal Bureau of Printing' and let that program "Take it from here, folks" except that, like some high-profile diplomat-criminal, the lordly Photoshop 'Print With Preview' box seems to be some kind of special window not subject to lowly commoner window laws and is beyond the reach (literally) of the alt-tab>'m'>cursor/mouse dragnet and remains immune to its seizure. This singular, aristocratic Print With Preview window is obviously exclusive to Ps and other graphics programs do not use it, so, like some rogue Intelligence Operative, it seems to be in a grey zone with nobody feeling up to keeping it in line..
The exclusive and crucial feature of this window (for my purposes), and which cannot be improvisedly fixed by secondary printing programs, is the intuitive manual resize function which allows a human user to use common sense and drag the teeny copy of the image into the exact desired resize as it will appear, to scale, on the final page. I don't know why more image-viewing programs don't include this step, it's so natural and intuitive.
So, if you ever (hopefully not) have the same problem, don't bother going through the Ps chain of command. Print With Preview will evade your attempts at capture. So, how do I get this rogue window to work for me again? That's the big problem I still have.
By the way, in my attempts to follow other Internet advice, I discovered that all the windows under Pshop's 'Edit>Preferences' are also immune to anybody's control ('alt-tab>Move, and (obviously) Photoshop's)
Can you or anyone else help me (and presumably others who are also stuck with this)? It seems certain to me that the advice must involve extra-Photoshop know-how. Please help.
...and no, I'm not a legal professional despite all the law-enforcement metaphors I've been using to give an easier grasp of this problem.