11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2013 8:05 PM by Trevor.Dennis

    Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it


      I have read through many forums from May 2012 right up through the current ones about this issue. There are a lot of Photoshop users who are complaining about the size of tool icons and other elements as being way too small. Then there are others who defend the size of Photoshop and some who say the icons haven't really changed. Finally, there are some who say Adobe will not do anything about this.


      Let me offer a perspective as a 15 year user of Photoshop and other Adobe products. Under the earlier versions of CS, Photoshop would follow the Windows sizing instructions inputed by the user. So if we wanted everything to be large and 150% of normal size, Photoshop would follow those instructions regardless of the monitors resolution. In CC especially, it appears Adobe has abandoned any connection in its software to what the user has defined in Windows about sizing. This isn't so much about the actual size as defined in Adobe's code but how those sizes vary or don't vary based on Windows settings.


      This is no minor matter. We are now working on a high resoltuion, 23" Apple Cinema Monitor at top resolution. We do that to get maximam clarity. At the same time, we know that we cannot possibly use any software that looks as small as it would in that resoltuion without adjustment. So we turn around and crank Windows up to maximum oversize in every setting that exist. The result is that desktop icons show at the size we want and other major software also shows at the size we want. The best example is Cubase which is a professional digital audio workstation. Cubase is to muisic what Photoshop is to images. Both highly professional tools. The difference is that even in high resolution, Cubase defers to the Windows sizing. All the icons, menus, navigation bar, track workspace and more are very large just like the icons on our desktop.


      This means that we know it is possible and not difficult for all software to follow the Windows settings inspite of the native resolutlion. So far Adobe has chosen not to do this. Below is a screen shot of PS CC on our monitor (actually 2 monitors with Apple Cinema on the left where PS is). Unlike all the screen shots that have been shown by others during the last 18 months, we made sure that our desktop icons could be clearly seen as well. Notice the size difference between PS icons, navigation and elements versus our desktop icons. Cubase looks like our desktop icons. So why can't PS?




      Photoshop Screenshot Apple Cinema Monitor.jpg


      It is our recommendation that Adobe do the following immediately. You can't ignore 18 months or more of complaints from a large number of users without addressing the problem. The world has gone to high resolution monitors but for many of us, we need the size of software to be larger than the native resolution we are using. It's not a matter of dropping the resolution. That is not desirable and not necessary based on our actual experience. That produces other types of problems with lack of clarity that don't work. Try to select a single strand of a sound wave when there are one hundred a second in low resolution. We need the resolution but we also need the software to show larger for those that want it. For those that don't, you may be happy but why should everyone else be unhappy or unable to use the new software.


      1. Provide a yes/no option to allow Adobe CC to follow the Windows sizing settings inspite of monitor resolution. Those that don't want to do this can leave it no. Those that want it can turn it on and make the entire program look bigger.


      2. Provide internal CC settings to increase the size of any and all visual workspace elements and tools on a percentage basis for maximum flexibility. There may be good reasons why some people don't want to change their Windows sizing but do want to increase the visual size of CC programs.


      Frankly, this is not rocket science and I'm amazed Adobe didn't jump on solutions after the 2012 forum discussions. To hear from people that nothing is gong to be done is scary for the user and should be scary for Adobe since it could result in losing customers and sales. Let's make this program work for all users on all resolution monitors in the way they need it to work. Other major software companies have done this. Why is Adobe the odd company out on this.

        • 1. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

          I most certainly didn't both to read such a long post, but I do wonder exactly what you have read about the problem?  There have been multiple threads explaining why it is taking so long.

          • 2. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
            donshapiro Level 1

            Sorry about the length of the post. It is what it is and provides an analysis that goes beyond other threads. I don't accept the explanations. Adobe went 100% to the cloud which was beyond a major software revision. They were aware of these issues long before they made that move going back to early 2012. I've discussed this privately with veteran software engineers I personally know. There is simply no reason for this and Adobe may not have considered the issues I bring to light in my post. I would highly suggest everyone read it. I prefer to be thorough and detailed. This post was written for Adobe's Product Managers to read. They need this detail and analysis.


            We simply need much better answers than what Adobe has offered so far. We need them to finally push other things down their list and put this on the top of the to do list now.

            • 3. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
              JJMack Most Valuable Participant

              I don't even know if you know what resolution is even.   The screen capture you included look like you has two monitors they were different sizees and may or may not have the same resolution. The one on the left looks like it was your low resolution 23" Apple  Cinema Monitor with 1920x1200 pixels Windows display number 1 has around a 100DPI resolution and a 16:10  or (8:5) aspect ratio. The right display windows display 2 only has 1600x900 pixels a 16:9 aspect ratio and without knowing its size I can not calculate its resolution but most likelt it around the same 100DPI. As you moved the Photoshop window off display 1 onto display 2 the bottom portion fell off screen 2  and not displayed.  Because the screen only has 900 pixel height.


              Most desktop display have a resolution around 100 DPI like your Cinema.  There is no problem with Photoshop on these displays.  The resolution problem is on High resolution laptop display they have a resolution near 300 DPI. Photoshop user interface displays 1/9 its designed size.  It was designed for 96DPI displays. So text and icons display 1/3 as wide as they should be and 1/3 the height they should be. Adobe added support in the Mac version of Photoshop Apple laptops with high resolution retina displays. Adobe has not addressed the problem of Photoshop running on windows Laptop with high resolution displays.  On these displays Photoshop UI is unusable without a magnifying glass.

              • 4. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                donshapiro Level 1

                Put aside the monitor issues. In order to capture the screen, we had to include both monitors. Ignore the one on the right. The left is the Cinema monitor.


                You said there is no problem with Photoshop CC on desktops. It's only on high resolution laptops. You are speaking for yourself and definitely not for us. For us,  there is absolutely, definitely, without any question at all a gigantic problem with the size of display on the desktop computer we are using as is shown in our image. It is way too small to use for us. So, yes, it is a problem. Please do not tell us a major problem for us is not a problem. This is not helpful.


                We are reporting our facts and our real life experiences. This is what is happening with us. PS CC is too small to use for us and many others on desktops. For a monitor as large as we have, we should be able to see the application as large as we want to. We are able to do so with Cubase. When we compare Cubase to PS CC, it is night and day. We can see one and can't see the other. This is our reality.


                What bothers me on these forums is that some individuals who don't have a problem with the size issue think that no one else should have that problem. But we do. It is real and we face it the moment open the program.


                What bothers me more is why such discussions and justifications should even exist. Why is it so difficult to just say that a software program should be able to have its visual workspace size adjustable for each individual users needs. All the technical talk in the world about DPI and resolutions doesn't change the real world that our eyes see. Through our eyes, we can't use PS CC because its parts, tools and pieces are way too small as our image shows. Let's deal in those facts...facts that are not based on technical specs but the users reality because that's all that counts. The software should effectively work for 100% of its users.

                • 5. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                  JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                  The size and quality of thing are not confined to Photoshop resolution needs to be address by all applications.  Even the OS. If you look at your screen capture at  the icons displayed by windows.  You see that some are clearer and sharper then other.   Windows will scale icon to a desktop size the user wants.  Windows also support different size icons.  In fact some icon files contains sever resolution versions of the icon.  Windows will use the version best suited for the icon size the user wants.  If the creator of the Icon did not include a high quality high resolution version window is forced to scale up low resolution icon thus you see what you have captured.  When all displays had nearly the same resolution you only coded for the resolution high resolution displays did not exists.  It going to take time for all for  application to address high resolution displays.  It take time and resources. The problem is known and is being addressed.

                  • 6. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                    donshapiro Level 1

                    Thanks for your thoughtful answer. I do appreciate the issues here.


                    I'm aware of the problems in how applications work in an OS when that OS keeps changing (too much?!). Yes, this could be very consuming from a resource perspective and could take some time.


                    That's why my second recommendation addresses this problem without having to worry about the OS. It is not a huge resource or time issue for Adobe to provide internal sizing controls for all aspects of its software that have nothing to do with the OS or the resolution of monitor. We've had that sizing control for how big the file we are working with shows on the screen since Photoshop 1.0. I am aware of applications that added such sizing controls over 10 years ago and one of them over 15 years ago. This isn't new.


                    So let's put aside the disucssion about the OS and just focus on a way to define how big the entire PS program shows including all tools, elements and navigation on a percentage basis. Just an addition to the internal Preferences of the program itself. If I want PS to show at 200% or 300% of it's standard size, let me do it


                    The time and resources to add this to the program are not huge. Further, since this issue has been discussed for a long time, it should have been much higher on the priority list. If I was running product development, I would have made this a mandatory part of the introduction of CC. The number of complaints are simply too high to ignore this or say that it's going to take time. That tells me it's not a high enough priority on the development list.


                    Let's remember that for every person who does complain on these forums, there are a hundred or more that don't but are experiencing the same thing. The small size of PS tools, icons, elements and text is simply unacceptable to too many users for it to have gone on unaddressed this long.

                    • 7. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it

                      Being not such a savvy computer techy as the writers above, but an avid photographer and creator, the small and difficult icons, etc, have held me back from upgrading my Photoshop Elements programs since Photoshop Elements 8.  I don't intend to purchase the upgrades until they toot their horn that the format and size of icons have been greatly increased to where a normal person doesn't get a stiff neck looking and searching and squinting to death to find the correct selection.  I have a Mac 23" Cinema screen and believe me that's not big enough for visibility of Photoshop buttons.  I am foregoing all the benefits of new  PE editions because of the size, so if that doesn't tell the marketing people at Adobe something, then they're not listening to their public or reading feedbacks.  

                      • 8. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                        I'm sure that they haven't revamped the entire UI in Photoshop because it likely cuts so deeply into and and so far across the software that it's a very expensive and risky task.  I'm sure they've weighed more than once the chance of ruining Photoshop for all against making it more accessible to some


                        Trouble is, the size of the some category is growing rapidly.


                        We can note that Adobe has already dealt with this problem for Retina displays.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they doubled the size of everything in each dimension on such a display.


                        But beyond that there are 4K displays coming (nay, already available today) that radically increase the pixel density - and these are things graphics pros using both Windows and OSX are going to use to create content.  It's not just an "Apple Retina" anomaly any more. 


                        However good your eyes (or glasses) may be, many of the fixed-size Photoshop UI elements become very difficult to use at pixel densities of 150ppi and beyond.  Pros are certainly going to need to be able to use their new pixel-dense displays without a microscope.


                        You may have perceived me as being a nay-sayer in past conversations on the subject, but you have to understand that in many of those conversations people were calling for unconditional size increases.  I'm all for configurability.



                        • 9. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                          I still wonder why folk buy 13 inch laptops with a 3200 by 1800 pixel display, and expect to use it for Photoshop?  Don't people do any research before spending their dollars?  My 30 inch main screen is only 1920 x 1200, but Photoshop is very easy to use, and I feel sure my tired old eyes would be OK with a 2560 x 1600 30 inch display.  Do they make computer monitors bigger than 30inch?

                          • 10. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                            Noel Carboni Level 8

                            Some interesting ppi values shown in the "List of 4K monitors" table here:





                            • 11. Re: Tool icons, navigation, elements need to be larger for those that want it
                              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                              Wow. Check this out.  An 80 inch display for a mere $30,000, and still only 1920 x 1080.   I guess this sort of extravaganzer would be for gamers?




                              [EDIT]  2560 X 1600 @ 30 inch the best I could find without being silly.  I almost wish that yellow line I asked about recently, had got worse so I had an excuse to upgrade.




                              But just as Noel said, the future is indeed 4K, and according to this report, coming in 2014 abd costing less than $1000.   I sure hope Chris and the team make Photoshop fully scalable when they do the high dpi fix, because these screens look _very_ cool.


                              http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2318897/dell-to-launch-4k-uhd-monitors-in-2014-fo r-well-under-usd1000