Photoshop's new transform behavior needs to be reverted

over 4 years ago from , Lead UI/UX Designer

Adobe has recently made some changes to Photoshop, which includes changing the undo shortcut and the behavior of the shift key when transforming layers.

Now, changing undo to match the behavior of other tools does kinda make sense. Yes, it will take me time to get used to it, but at least it's now aligned with the rest of the Adobe products.

The transform behavior is not something I can get behind though. Not only is it now inconsistent with Illustrator, it is inconsistent within the application itself.

Vector shapes require holding shift to scale proportionally, while raster layers (and smart objects, etc.) do not. Even further, grouping a vector layer reverses the behavior. Yet, if you have multiple vector layers selected, it works the old way. While if your selection includes a raster layer, it works the new way.

The result of this is that now I have to think about what type of layers I have selected, in order to scale something. This is not a case where people can "get used to the new way", because now I always need to worry about what type of layers I have selected.

This has a very real impact on my daily workflow, since now I can't be sure if my transform was correct or not. With the new version, I often find that I have mistakenly done the wrong transform (since I am in the habit of moving the mouse roughly to the same proportion anyway when scaling).

If any PS team members are reading this... I would urge you to reconsider this change. For the time being, I have to switch back to PS 2018.


  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 4 years ago

    I agree it is bad. Here’s how to fix it:

    Create a text file called PSUserConfig.txt that just contains the text TransformProportionalScale 0. Save it to this location:

    • macOS: ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings/
    • Windows: \Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings\

    I have sent Adobe feedback on this. Posting on feedback.photoshop.com or sending a message to @photoshop on Twitter might help, too.

    19 points
  • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, over 4 years ago

    thanks for posting this... I generally use Figma now for just about everything, but still pop open photoshop a few times a week to do some work.... had just upgraded to 2019, and for the past few weeks have thought I was going insane... 'why is this working like THIS now?' type thing.... thought I was going nuts....

    I REALLY dislike this....

    4 points
    • Account deleted over 4 years ago

      Same with me. It was super confusing.

      0 points
  • Bill Addison, over 4 years ago

    Adobe has made some spectacularly bad updates lately. In Illustrator they introduced an "Actual Size" zoom feature. It shows the actual size of the design on screen for print. Then the made cmd+1 be shortcut be "Actual Size"... so basically for anyone that designs for screen in Illustrator, there was no way to view 100% pixel size anymore. It was the dumbest thing I've ever seen Adobe do. Literally made the app unusable for anyone designing on screen.

    1 point
  • Account deleted over 4 years ago

    So they've fixed the thing that has been getting on my nerves for years. I'm loving it. But I do agree that changing a trained behavior out of nowhere is the most annoying thing ever. There should have been another transition training through the ux of this change. It should have started with as an option and then it should become a default -maybe a year later.

    1 point
  • Adam Fisher-CoxAdam Fisher-Cox, over 4 years ago

    I always immediately changed my Undo/Redo keyboard shortcuts to Cmd-Z and Cmd-Shift-Z so that doesn't bother me, but the transform behavior is infuriating.

    1 point
    • Account deleted over 4 years ago

      what's changed with the transform tool? I can't see any difference

      0 points
  • Tom GantzerTom Gantzer, over 4 years ago

    +1, this was a nonsensical change. I like the change to Step Back Undo, however.

    1 point
  • stephen fstephen f, over 4 years ago

    Genuinely thought i was going mad, this is so frustrating!!!

    1 point
  • Gracjan ZlotuchaGracjan Zlotucha, over 4 years ago

    Agree! Btw. Good luck with Control, Riho :)

    1 point
  • Mike MulveyMike Mulvey, over 4 years ago

    This is bad.

    Temporary solution: In the Creative Cloud application manager click the dropdown arrow next to OPEN for Photoshop. Then select: Manage > Other Versions. I'm reverting to Photoshop CC version 19.1.7 (2018).

    screen grab for reference

    0 points
  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, over 4 years ago

    The least performed action should be the one that requires the modifier.

    For me, personally, in Adobe I am almost always holding shift to scale proportionally.

    As annoying as the inconsistency is I personally think this should be the default across the board. Instead of reversing this preference, I think they should just bring all the others in line with it.

    0 points
  • Radu VilcuRadu Vilcu, over 4 years ago

    Tought it was just me getting frustrated, hope this will get to Adobe.

    0 points
  • Sir KailaSir Kaila, over 4 years ago

    thats ma boy. first whos complaining. adobe listen to riho, he is right!

    0 points
  • Onur SentureOnur Senture, over 4 years ago

    Same here. https://twitter.com/w00f/status/1064118647164207104

    I'm considering to cancel my cloud membership if they won't fix this.

    0 points
  • Marcel M., over 4 years ago

    We see the side effects of agile development. "Bring new features to the user, the earlier the better" got totally wrong. Product Managers nowadays just use their customers to "try and test" new things. That works for beta users or early adopters.

    Doesn't work for people that use the tools on a daily base and have their workflows.

    As long as it is not consistently executed, people won't like the new "shift-paradigm" cause it makes everything super messy.

    That's what happens with all new features introduced by Adobe, they'll never learn unless people cancel subscriptions.

    0 points
  • John PJohn P, over 4 years ago

    It doesn't need to be reverted it just needs to be consistent. having to hold shift to correctly scale images in a photo editing app was always dumb.

    Consistency between apps is also overrated, if all you use is Adobe apps maybe this is something you think you need but when your ecosystem moves out of one company you realize apps just need to be designed to do what they need to do best

    0 points
  • Manase Fidimalala, over 4 years ago

    It's a feature that appears in Affinity Designer. When I first use the tool, it was really confusing, but I got used to it by the time. I agree it is a good feature to speed up workflow but I consider the old method better suited for flexibility. Depends on the results but I hope Adobe will bring it back.

    0 points
  • Kirill ZakharovKirill Zakharov, over 4 years ago

    Glad to see that I'm not alone.

    Tweeted at them when this rolled out. They told me to go change my keybindings. Ffs Adobe.


    0 points
  • James LaneJames Lane, over 4 years ago

    Agree soooo much! When I 'have' to use Photoshop, it's become really inefficient because of this and like you say... there's absolutely no consistency with the rest of the suite!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for change, as long as it's something that only needs to be learnt once. As soon as something needs a lot of repetition to learn, it's a bad user experience. Makes you wonder if they tested it first?!

    0 points