From DN: Photoshop wish list

almost 9 years ago from , Creator of 2048; Freelance Designer & Developer.

I've noticed that a lot of Photoshop designers and engineers have been hanging around on DN lately, so I think it would make sense that we (the community) go through the effort to tell them really what we lack and what we'd love to see improve in the next few versions.

Personally, I think an "ideal" Photoshop is one that listens the most to the needs and opinions of its users, and since Photoshop is being used increasingly for the web, it only makes sense that we try to contribute.

If you care, please post one or more things that are either problematic (and if possible, suggest a solution), or leave any suggestions for features and improvements that you'd like to see in your "ideal" Photoshop.

To make the best out of this thread, let's try to abstain from discussion of Photoshop alternatives, unrelated criticism (such as generic remarks that wouldn't really help Photoshop improve), and pointless snark. There are other places more suited for that.

DN, what would be your Photoshop wishlist?

Here's my list: - Easier keyboard navigation of the layers palette: I'd love to be able to press some key combination and then be able to just use the up/down keys to select a different layer, and hold shift to select multiple layers. - Simpler ways to move layers in the layers list: currently, if you want to move a layer you are forced to drag it around the list, and when you have a well-structured document with many nested groups this can be troublesome. My ideal workflow here would be the ability to right-click on a layer or group, clicking on "copy"/"cut", then right clicking on another layer to paste. The copied layers would be pasted above the one selected (but pasting on a group would add them to the bottom of it). This would also work very well with the arrow keys feature mentioned in the first point. - A global (tool-independent) keyboard shortcut to edit the colors of anything (text, shapes, etc.), without having to click on the appropriate button. It's annoying to have to click on the swatch next to a shape to change its color, or to have to select text when you just want to change the color of the entire text layer (it's already possible but you have to grab the text tool, then click the swatch at the top. This feature would also be awesome if paired with multiple selection: select multiple layers, then CMD-F (as an example),


  • Daryl ClaudioDaryl Claudio, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    Good news! Much of these you can already do with Photoshop keyboard shortcuts out of the box:

    Select layers above/below the currently selected layer: Option (⌥) + [ and ⌥+]

    Select multiple layers above/below by holding ⌥+⇧+[ or ⌥+⇧+]

    Move selected layer(s) above/below the stack: Command (⌘) + [ and ⌘+]. ⌘+⇧+[ and ⌘+⇧+] will move the selected layers to the top/bottom of a group, or the top/bottom of the entire layer stack.

    For changing a shape layer's fill, you can bind a keyboard shortcut to Layer > Layer Content Options... which will open up the appropriate dialog (Color Picker, Gradient Fill, etc). I have mine set to ⌘+⌃+F.

    Unfortunately, I don't know of a way to bind changing text colours to a shortcut..

    There are tons of keyboard shortcuts in built into Photoshop, and if there isn't one, more often than not you're able to bind one through the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. It's really great to make the effort to learn them!

    Hope this is helpful :)

    9 points
  • Charles PearsonCharles Pearson, almost 9 years ago

    Awesome thread, thanks for starting it Gabriele! I'm a researcher with the Photoshop team and I'll definitely be watching it (as will a few others from the team who participate on DN). When the thread seems to have taken its course I guarantee we'll circulate all relevant feedback with the larger team. This is exactly the kind of well considered info that helps us set priorities so very much looking forward to seeing what turns up.

    6 points
  • Andrew LeeAndrew Lee, almost 9 years ago

    Can we please get guides attached to some sort of layering system? I would love to toggle between div / padding / margin guides, or like... toggle on and off baseline guides but keep on my column guides.

    I'm not a fan of using images or shapes for the grid.

    Thanks in advance :D

    5 points
    • Will BakerWill Baker, almost 9 years ago

      I second this in a big way, especially since I imagine it would include a way to copy/paste/duplicate/etc. guides from one document to another. Maybe even from one CC application to another…

      4 points
  • Steve McKinneySteve McKinney, almost 9 years ago

    I would really like the pen tools between photoshop and illustrator to be identical.

    3 points
  • Sam KingSam King, almost 9 years ago

    I would love for it to remain a photo editing tool and focus on that. Its trying to also be a tool for designers to create interfaces.

    I come from both worlds, photography and design, and photoshop has always been about photos for me. There are much better tools for UI in the Creative Suite such as Illustrator.

    So my wishlist for photoshop is to stop trying to be a tool for photographers and a tool for UI design. Just focus on the photos please :)

    2 points
    • Daniel FoscoDaniel Fosco, almost 9 years ago


      Adobe tries to overlap features between Photoshop and Illustrator without giving full power for either, because they want you to use (i.e. pay for) both.

      But on the photo editing front, what about Lightroom?

      0 points
    • Riho KrollRiho Kroll, almost 9 years ago

      I disagree entirely.

      The reason why Photoshop has become so popular for UI design is because of its versatility. Going from creating raster artwork to creating pixel precise layouts in one single product is incredibly powerful and lets designers do a lot of things, especially if they know the program really well.

      This is one of the key reasons why all the other efforts by both Adobe and other companies (Sketch) hasn't taken over UI design and is also the #1 reason why I haven't switched to another tool like Sketch that is quite clearly superior when it comes to layout and design.

      I think the solution is to make a tool that directly integrates with Photoshop, but is all about design. And for the love of God doesn't have anything to do with auto-generated HTML or CSS.

      1 point
  • Heath ShowalterHeath Showalter, almost 9 years ago

    Adding the ability to tag/categorize fonts maybe into folders would be a great typographical feature for Illustrator/Photoshop.

    Then when I want a Techy, Comic, or Script font I would quickly have them all grouped for easier browsing.

    2 points
  • Daniel ClellandDaniel Clelland, almost 9 years ago

    I spend 90% of the time that I don't spend on the actual canvas on the layers menu. I just want it to have smooth scrolling.

    (when you scroll on it using a macbook trackpad it jumps around ~30px at a time and makes me lose track of what layer i'm following with my eyes)

    1 point
    • Seth ShawSeth Shaw, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

      Hi Daniel,

      Do you make use of Auto-Select? http://imgur.com/8blcxiG

      I find it helps to turn on Auto-Select when working with .PSDs with many, many layers. Cuts down on scrolling in the layers panel. It can also be toggled on temporarily by holding down the Command key while using the Move Tool.

      I'll bring up scrolling tweaks to the team. Thanks!

      0 points
  • Paul TrottPaul Trott, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    I'd love to know why, transforming a Marquee selection with a width less than or equal to 30px, STILL prevents the pivot point from being adjusted

    1 point
  • Seth ShawSeth Shaw, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    Thanks for starting this thread. We've shared this with the team. I'll be going through everything on here in my downtime.

    0 points
  • Yigit PinarbasiYigit Pinarbasi, almost 9 years ago

    A better asset exporting tool for mobile designers. Can give 1x, 2x, 3x or etc dimensions with. It's enough for me.

    Btw, can be cheaper sure.

    0 points
  • Riho KrollRiho Kroll, almost 9 years ago

    Of course there are a lot of nit-picky things I could point out (align layer to canvas without having to select the background layer), but the most critical thing for my work is the performance when it comes to files with a large amount of layers. This actually slows my work down significantly.

    Documents can quickly become unusable because how long simple things like move actions take.

    And you might say, well, I can just separate the PSDs, but in some cases it's a really bad option to separate a project into multiple PSDs (mainly because of the layer comps and having to export from multiple PSDs + making global changes means going through multiple PSDs, etc). And before someone says it, yes, I have my cache set up to deal with documents with a large amount of smaller layers.

    Something needs to be done to make larger documents more manageable. And I'm not even talking about documents that are gigabytes in size. I'm talking about 100-200 megabyte files.

    Currently this is my #1 issue with Photoshop, as far as design is concerned.

    0 points
  • Matt CannellMatt Cannell, almost 9 years ago

    Awesome thread!

    I personally think peeps should only use Photoshop for image editing – I don't find it a very useful design tool.

    That said, I would really appreciate decent type tools, like InDesign and to a lesser extent, Illustrator have. For example: being able to update styles; do a find and change for text and styles; good text rendering, etc.

    0 points
  • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, almost 9 years ago

    I would love to have the same gradient tool and its adjacent controls and features I have in Illustrator, but in PS.

    PS: I haven't used CC ever, so I might be asking for something that's already in CC.

    0 points
  • Edvinas A., almost 9 years ago

    Loved linked embed idea when Adobe announced it, but it's not usable at current state, here's an example:

    layout.psd has linked navigation.psd inside. navigation.psd has tabs.psd linked in it. Someone makes changes to tabs.psd, you open up layout.psd, hit update modified content on navigation.psd layer and nothing gets updated, you see old tabs.

    So, recursive update of nested linked objects is feature I give my vote to :)

    0 points
  • Name HName H, almost 9 years ago (edited almost 9 years ago )

    I'd like to start by saying that I'm a happy Adobe customer, and I'm generally excited about Creative Cloud. I also happen to prefer using Illustrator for design, along with various web tools.

    The major thing with using Photoshop for design for me has always been the type tools, and with the recent updates, they've been greatly improved.

    The color tools are also vastly better.

    The other major thing is support for multiple pages/artboards. I know many people use layers and groups for the same purpose. At the very least, it'd be nice to be able to see and place objects outside the canvas area.

    But Photoshop is the best tool for photo editing, and I think my ideal Photoshop would continue to focus on that. It's a professional tool, but it might benefit from some of the more consumer focused features of popular image apps. Like I find myself searching for actions to recreate image filters from iOS apps. Not that you can't do that with curves, levels, channels, selective color, etc--in other words, knowing what you are doing. But so much effort has gone into easing tasks that used to take a lot of expertise and many hours, like content aware move for hours of painstaking cloning. It'd be great to have a fresh interface for using some of the powerful traditional features and making them a little more intuitive or 'consumerized' maybe.

    If anyone from Adobe DOES read this, thank you for your continued great work.

    0 points
    • Will BakerWill Baker, almost 9 years ago

      Have you worked much with Lightroom? It's essentially a distillation of the most useful broad-stroke photo-editing features. I do probably 90% of my photo-editing in it, and only bring stuff into Photoshop for spot-corrections, like you mentioned with content-aware. It also handles RAW files much more gracefully and works as a photo library/organization catalogue.

      0 points