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 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.


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.

comments powered by Disqus