How To Fix Many Problems With Photoshop, ImageReady and Elements

Is Photoshop doing something strange that you just can't figure out? Then it may be time to trash your preferences! This simple procedure cures a good portion of problems with Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and ImageReady.

Difficulty: N/A

Time Required: N/A

Here's How:

  1. Before trashing preferences, check the color mode on the image you are working with. Some of Photoshop's tools and commands don't work in all image modes. (Menu: Image > Mode)

  1. If a tool is giving you problems, try resetting the tool to default settings before trashing all preferences.

  2. In Photoshop 6 and up, you can reset tool settings by clicking the tool icon on the options bar and choosing "Reset Tool" or "Reset All Tools."

  3. In ImageReady go to Edit > Preferences > General and click on "Reset all Tools." In ImageReady for Mac OS X, go to ImageReady > Preferences > General and click on "Reset all Tools."

  4. If resetting the tools does not fix your problem, try resetting your preferences.

  5. In Photoshop 6 and up, hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac) immediately after (or while) launching Photoshop. A prompt will ask if you want to delete the preferences file. Click Yes.

  6. In Photoshop Elements, hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac) immediately after (or while) launching Photoshop. A prompt will ask if you want to delete the preferences file. Click Yes.

  1. In Photoshop 5.0 or 5.5, locate the files "Adobe Photoshop 5.0 Prefs" and "Color Settings" and delete or rename them. They are in the Adobe Photoshop Settings folder in your installation folder.

  2. You may want to save a backup copy of your adjusted Preferences file so it can be restored if needed. This is not necessary, but if you want to avoid resetting all your preferences any time you reset them, it can be helpful to have a backup.

  1. To backup your Preferences, search for a *.psp file (i.e. Adobe Photoshop X Prefs.psp where X is your version) and make a copy. Note that not all settings are stored in this file, however.

Tips:

  1. If your brush cursor has suddenly changed from a brush shape to a crosshair, you probably hit the Caps Lock key by mistake. Simply release Caps Lock to return to the brush shape cursor.
  2. For other Preference file locations, see the Adobe Support Document 312917, titled "Photoshop and ImageReady Preferences Files" at http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/312917.html.
  3. Always install the latest updates to Photoshop. You can find updates on Adobe's Web site at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/.