Photoshop CS6 Character Size Bugs

Over 3 months ago, Adobe released Creative Suite 6—a much anticipated upgrade. Many Photoshop users were able to download the beta on labs.adobe.com to test and comment, report bugs and get a feel for the new interface. It seems that even after reports of bugs in the character palette during the beta period, Adobe still hasn't fixed a major issue. Let me point out the bug in detail.

The Character Palette


Normally, when a text layer is selected, the palette will show current properties and sizes related to the text. You can change size, color, leading, and so on by changing the settings here. Above, you can see my font is Gotham HTF Bold, with optical letter spacing, 0 kerning, auto leading, etc.

Everything works the same when single layers are selected. Let's look at a situation when multiple text layers are selected.

Selecting Multiple Layers Bug


Above, you can see that I have created 3 new text layers. The first at 60pt, second at 40pt and the last at 20pt. When I select the 3 layers in the layer panel, the size showing is still 60pt. In previous versions of Photoshop, this field would be blank—showing that all 3 layers differ with this setting. The other fields behave this way still, but there is something strange with the size field.

After changing the size from 60pt to 20pt, all 3 layers now change to 20pt. This works as expected and the field now displays 20pt (which is now correct since all 3 layers are, in fact, 20pt).

Let's throw a wrench in this. I have a text layer that started at 20pt, but I transformed to 40pt (Command + T or Edit > Free Transform).

The top layer has been manually transformed to 40pt, while the other layers are 40pt and 20pt. When the 3 layers are selected in the layer panel, the size field in the character palette shows a random size. In my case it's 20.48pt.

In older versions, I would type in a new size here and the layers would all be set to that value. I went ahead and typed "20"pt to see what happened.

WHAT?

So it seems the 2 text layers that weren't transformed at all ended up becoming 20pt. But the layer I had transformed, changes slightly to 39.06pt. Why?

It seems someone at Adobe decided they didn't think the old way of adjusting text layers worked, so they tried something new. Here's a response from an official on Adobe's forum:

First, yes, starting with CS6, we've changed how transformed text is handled. It's now treated just like any other transform is -- that is it is applied AFTER any font size change. Therefore, if you have three runs of text all at 10pt, you transform one by 150% (so it's like it's 15pt, but still based off of 10pt input size, which would be an issue with very large transforms), but THEN you change all three to 16pt, you would wind up with two 16pts, but the one you transformed would be 50% larger or roughly 24pt. Does that make sense?

The second issue with unusual font sizes appearing is a different issue and actually a bug we're trying to track down. There was a scaling bug during the Beta, but it was fixed, although this could be an unexpected consequence. If you have RELIABLE steps that do NOT include a transform, I'd love to hear 'em, in fact.

It seems the odd size shown is a bug that is being worked on, but the intended "transform" is another issue altogether that I hope gets worked out. In the forum, they ask users this question:

Starting with CS6, if you had two text boxes at 18pt and you transformed one to be 200% larger, that one would appear at (roughly) 36pt, but you could also select them BOTH, change the font size to (say) 22pt, and one would go to 22 and the other 44 (200% of 22).

Is this a useful change or do you want the old way back:

If you have two text boxes at 18pt and you transformed one to be 200% larger, that one would appear at (roughly) 36pt, but you could also select them BOTH, change the font size to (say) 22pt, and BOTH would go to 22pt.

We definitely want the old way back and they seem to be open to changing it.

Here's the thread if you want to reply and throw in that the old way should be the way it is.


10 comments (Add your own)

1. Jonathan wrote:
This is the stupidest update ever made since Steve Jobs introduce the first personal computer.

Tue, October 16, 2012 @ 4:00 PM

2. Gui wrote:
There's a solution for that, it's not the IDEAL, but works. At least it shows how BAD this BUG it... and thanks Adobe for taking so long to fix this...
1 - Create an ACTION that resizes the font the the size you want.
2 - Select all fonts you want to resize and run the ACTION.

Sun, November 4, 2012 @ 6:32 PM

3. margaux wrote:
very much looking forward to an update on this - the change (as described in numerous threads) is horrible to work with. i therefore went back to cs6 v 13.0 and cannot upgrade since this new 'feature' (that i honestly first thought to be a bug (since i could not come up with a reason why this makes sense) and had a long exchange with adobe support about) is driving me insane. it's not even about completely reverting, i think a simple checkbox in the settings to choose between the classic and the new way would make everyone happy.

Fri, April 19, 2013 @ 2:08 AM

4. margaux wrote:
very much looking forward to an update on this - the change (as described in numerous threads) is horrible to work with. i therefore went back to cs6 v 13.0 and cannot upgrade since this new 'feature' (that i honestly first thought to be a bug (since i could not come up with a reason why this makes sense) and had a long exchange with adobe support about) is driving me insane. it's not even about completely reverting, i think a simple checkbox in the settings to choose between the classic and the new way would make everyone happy.

Fri, April 19, 2013 @ 2:09 AM

5. Steve wrote:
I noticed that this was posted in 2012. Has this bug gotten fixed since then? Is there a work around?

Tue, June 11, 2013 @ 9:07 AM

6. HellCortez wrote:
It hasn't been fixed, I just discovered it yesterday and it blew my mind as to why someone would do something so STUPID. If it ain't broke DON'T FIX IT! It's the most annoying thing to work with on a daily basis.

Fri, June 14, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

7. Rolf Wilkinson wrote:
It's a disaster. I thought it was a bug. I still don't really understand it. But, Adobe, I hope you're reading this. Here's my use case. I'm having to deal with a psd someone else created. I'm seeing text objects with mixed sizes in one text object. There just doesn't seem to be any way of guaranteeing the text size I'm looking at without going and manually recreating every text size on it's own object.

That this is all intentional is so absolutely baffling to me. Are you telling me you've done user testing on this, and users understand how to deal with this? Please, just make it stop. It's torture.

Tue, June 25, 2013 @ 12:35 PM

8. Antoinette wrote:
I'm glad I'm not the only person who has encountered this problem - it seems you all have at some point. I encountered it last night for the first time and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. I did a bit of searching and the main issue appeared to be a bug. Adobe recommended updating Photoshop and this would fix it - WRONG! They really need to fix this issue.
It's so frustrating!

Sun, July 28, 2013 @ 3:25 AM

9. Jay wrote:
The Photoshop 13.0.5 (perpetual license) update appears to have fixed this issue for my company.

See the update page for instructions on how to update on the photoshop.com blog here:
http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotcom/2013/06/photoshop-cs6-13-0-5mac-13-0-1-2win-perpetual-license-updates-now-available.html

Thu, August 8, 2013 @ 4:25 PM

10. Nacho wrote:
I've created a video with this same bug and using character styles - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EHJ1zvCed0

Wed, October 2, 2013 @ 5:11 PM

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