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Illustrator History Panel...

New Here ,
Jan 11, 2011

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I've been reading that there is no History Panel in Illustrator even though it seems to be a commonly requested feature.  So let me get this straight... Adobe doesn't think that a history panel is necessary in Illustrator?  I get that I can ctrl-z to my hearts content... but what if I've done a string of changes that don't actually effect what I'm seeing on screen so I have no visual clue that I'm at the point I want to stop hitting ctrl-z.  Adobe would rather I try to figure out if I need to ctrl-z 6 times, 7 times, or 8 times or 9 times or 10 times?  Don't you think it would be a lot easier to have a history panel that we can look at and say "oh... that is the change I want to go back to"... Click... Done.  They'd rather we ctrl-z, check where we are, ctrl-z, check where we are, ctrl-z, check where we are, ctrl-z, check where we are and on and on and on?

Yeah... Makes sense.

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Correct answer by Monika Gause | Adobe Community Professional

Doug.S  schrieb

Also helpful in a real history panel: make an option for users to "group" a series of repeated steps in a row into 1 undo step.

Much like PC taskbar option to "combine" . . . . to reduce a long history list.

Or better still; make the group fold/unfold with a triangle icon often used to roll-up/down a list.

Add that to the uservoice page. No one will ever find it in this thread.

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Illustrator History Panel...

New Here ,
Jan 11, 2011

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I've been reading that there is no History Panel in Illustrator even though it seems to be a commonly requested feature.  So let me get this straight... Adobe doesn't think that a history panel is necessary in Illustrator?  I get that I can ctrl-z to my hearts content... but what if I've done a string of changes that don't actually effect what I'm seeing on screen so I have no visual clue that I'm at the point I want to stop hitting ctrl-z.  Adobe would rather I try to figure out if I need to ctrl-z 6 times, 7 times, or 8 times or 9 times or 10 times?  Don't you think it would be a lot easier to have a history panel that we can look at and say "oh... that is the change I want to go back to"... Click... Done.  They'd rather we ctrl-z, check where we are, ctrl-z, check where we are, ctrl-z, check where we are, ctrl-z, check where we are and on and on and on?

Yeah... Makes sense.

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Correct answer by Monika Gause | Adobe Community Professional

Doug.S  schrieb

Also helpful in a real history panel: make an option for users to "group" a series of repeated steps in a row into 1 undo step.

Much like PC taskbar option to "combine" . . . . to reduce a long history list.

Or better still; make the group fold/unfold with a triangle icon often used to roll-up/down a list.

Add that to the uservoice page. No one will ever find it in this thread.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 12, 2011

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To date, no one has posted any valid reasons why a history panel is necessary. You can not have non-linear history in Illustrator the way you can in Photoshop. A history panel in Illustrator would be exactly what you've described... steps that undo would back up to.Do you really need a snapshot to tell you to go back one more step?

In addition, it would be filled with

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

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Pen Tool drag

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Pen Tool drag

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Pen Tool drag

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Would that really be a useful place to expend Illustrator resources?

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2011

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This sounds like the History Panel in Photoshop when I create a clipping path with the pen tool... So really there isn't much difference. I rather Command+Z as many times as I want to than have a history panel

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Explorer ,
May 05, 2011

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How is this:

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool drag

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool drag

Pen Tool click

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Any different than this:

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

Brush Tool

???

I know I know. PS is non-linear, AI is not. I understand the whole linear history with AI and non-linear history with PS, and that's fine. Non-linear history aside, I find it extremely useful in PS to be able to quickly click back tens or hundreds of steps in history, essentially using the history panel as a list of undo/redo. In fact I use this far more often than non-linear history brush painting. What's wrong with adding this to AI? A visual list of LINEAR history steps that you can click forward or backward on without having to press Command/Ctrl+Z 147 times. How is this NOT useful?

Very few programs have non-linear history capability like Photoshop, but I can think of a handful of programs that provide a visual list of linear history steps with the ability to jump to any step in the list. I find this an incredibly useful tool and so do many others, which is why there are so many people baffled as to why Illustrator doesn't have this very common and very useful feature. Just search for "Illustrator History Panel?" and you get forum after forum post of users looking for this feature.

If Microsoft Word has this feature, then I don't want hear excuse after excuse about how Illustrator would have to be turned upside down to add this feature. That's all it is; an excuse. There is absolutely no reason it can't be added to every Adobe product. They may not be as powerful as Photoshop's history panel, but that wouldn't make it any less useful.

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LEGEND ,
May 05, 2011

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Because painting in non-destructive. Moving a vector path is destructive in all cases.

A brush simply changes the hue, value, and opacity of a number of given pixels, that's all. Moving a path or deleting an anchor point would require a complete rewrite of the object, not just a few pixels.

The difference is in how vectors and rasters are constructed. As I've posted a raster image is just a group of pixels. It's fairly easy to change any one pixel to something else and store that data. A vector image is a group of mathematical calculations. You can not easily alter one part of a math equation and get the same result. If you have 2+1=3... change a single number but keep the equation correct? You just can't do it.

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Explorer ,
May 05, 2011

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I know that. I said I know that in my post. I knew that before I ever starting searching for Illustrator's History Panel. I never expected to be able to edit history non-linearly in Illustrator, nor am I asking why it can't be done. FORGET about non-linear history in Photoshop vs. Illustrator, that's not what I'm asking. The questions is, how is it NOT useful to be able to instantly jump around a visual list of undo/redo steps without having to press Command+Z hundreds of times? Rhetorical question. It IS useful. That's why the feature exists in many other software packages. So the real question is; why don't Illustrator (and other Adobe products) have this feature???

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2014

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My sentiments exactly! If Microsoft can let me jump backwards 25 steps, why can't Illustrator? What is "non-linear" about trying something, hating it, and backing up? How about Non-carpel tunnel by avoiding all of the ctrl-zs?

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Participant ,
Nov 19, 2017

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You're not listening.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2017

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ManOfNumenor  schrieb

You're not listening.

That user has stopped answering in this forum looooooong ago.

Also, as long as people are not marked "Staff" they are not Adobe employees and telling them they should implement a specific feature doesn't make that much sense.

You want a feature? Go to http://illustrator.uservoice.com and tell the engineers. There you can also vote for features. Make sure to outline your workflows in which you would use the feature. That way, if someone decides to actually implement the feature, it will be more meaningful.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2017

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the relevant post is here:

Introduce Undo History panel – Adobe Illustrator Feedback

add your votes and voices.

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Engaged ,
Nov 20, 2017

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Also helpful in a real history panel: make an option for users to "group" a series of repeated steps in a row into 1 undo step.

Much like PC taskbar option to "combine" . . . . to reduce a long history list.

Or better still; make the group fold/unfold with a triangle icon often used to roll-up/down a list.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2017

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Doug.S  schrieb

Also helpful in a real history panel: make an option for users to "group" a series of repeated steps in a row into 1 undo step.

Much like PC taskbar option to "combine" . . . . to reduce a long history list.

Or better still; make the group fold/unfold with a triangle icon often used to roll-up/down a list.

Add that to the uservoice page. No one will ever find it in this thread.

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Participant ,
Nov 24, 2017

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Thanks for the link. It redeemed your post. I have voted. There are only 19 votes there for this feature.

As to replying to someone who has 'stopped answering this forum looooooong ago,' it isn't likely or necessary for me to investigate a users activity or status on a forum before I make a comment. And it is also not necessary that someone be an Adobe employee for me to tell them that they are not listening. Adobe employees do not have a corner on being boorish- in fact the actual Adobe employees I have talked with at Adobe conferences have been really helpful people. Also, when replying on Adobe's forums, I have the right to talk about how I would like to see a product improved with other people who have the same views. That is the actual meaning and purpose of 'forums': to discuss.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2020

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> Also helpful in a real history panel: make an option for users to "group" a series of repeated steps in a row into 1 undo step. Much like PC taskbar option to "combine" . . . . to reduce a long history list. Or better still; make the group fold/unfold with a triangle icon often used to roll-up/down a list.

Doug_S-8jL39s, "option for users"? "A series of repeated steps"? "Into 1 undo step"? What are you talking about? What menu items, toolbar buttons, drop-down lists do you mean? I do not see any of you listed in the Adobe Illustrator 2020 interface.

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2020

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This makes zero sense. There is a ctrl-z, so what is the difference? It is just a visual list of ctrl-z steps. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 11, 2011

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İf its a unnecessary use of Illustrator resources, then why did they give the feature to Photoshop and not Illustrator?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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Ilkhan28 wrote:

İf its a unnecessary use of Illustrator resources, then why did they give the feature to Photoshop and not Illustrator?

You obviosuly have not read this thread.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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Scott believes that a vector program is not a workable app  for a history panel.

Even though Fireworksb has one that might serve as  model.

I admit illustrator is quite different than FW but I think the way you use FW  history panel to create an action

and the ability of Illustrator to record actions indicates that it is possible.

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2011

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Well Scott, you and others have obviously been avoiding the question. The question is not, "Why doesn't Illustrator have a Non-Linear History panel like Photoshop?" But rather, "Why doesn't Illustrator have a History panel, like many other programs?"

Yes we know that Illustrator cannot have non-linear history like raster graphics progams do because it is a vector program. However it CAN have a history list of steps, like many other non-raster graphics programs do.

The two common arguments against a history panel in this thread and elsewhere are: "I've been using Illustrator for x number of years and I've never NEEDED a history panel..." Or "It's NOT POSSIBLE for Illustrator to have a history panel like Photoshop, becuase it works differently than Photoshop."

I have two things for those people who say they don't need or want a history panel; If you don't need or want to use a history panel, then DON'T. The option always exists in Adobe products to turn panels on and off. Everyone has different workflows that they prefer or are most efficient at. It won't effect your workflow at all if a history panel is added to Illustrator. You would still be able to continue using Cmd/Ctrl+Z if you prefer it that way. Just because a feature added to a piece of software isn't useful or practical to you, doesn't mean that it's not useful to others.

As for the other argument that a history panel is not possible, that is just completely WRONG. A Non-Linear History panel like Photoshop's might be impossible, but a History panel is very possible.  It exists as of right now in many software programs including; After Effects, Premiere, Encore, Soundbooth, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Solidworks, 3DS Max, Blender, Audacity, Nuendo, all Microsoft Office products and tons of other software, all of which are not raster graphics programs like Photoshop. It even exists in... wait for it... Adobe Flash. Which is, you guessed it... A VECTOR based program.

The pitiful arguments against a history panel in Illustrator are null and void. There is not a single good reason why it is not a feature of Illustrator, expecialy since almost every other Adobe product has this feature, except Illustrator. With so many programs implementing this feature, (including vector based ones), it is obviously both very possible and very useful.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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It's been answered.

Becuase all a history panel would do is show the next undo operation. Which is pointless.

Some simply refuse to accept basic logic.

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2011

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If it was pointless, then why does it exist in: Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Soundbooth, Adobe Encore, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Flash, etc. etc. etc. ???

Some simply refuse to admit when they are wrong. You are wrong. Period.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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Yes Scott is mistaken o n this issueandsimple cannot picturw hoq this would work. But once Illustrator has it he will champion the feature

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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No. Adobe often builds in a crutch for the lazy user. That's what the bounding box is in Illustrator - a crutch for users switching from CorelDraw. But, just like a history panel, the bounding box is pointless and serve little purpose. You can turn it off and never miss it.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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Wade_Zimmerman wrote:

Yes Scott is mistaken o n this issueandsimple cannot picturw hoq this would work. But once Illustrator has it he will champion the feature

Very doubtful.

How are those typing lessons coming, Wade?

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2011

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You nailed it Scott!

I'm really just being lazy when I use a history panel to go back multiple steps at once out of efficiency, rather than hitting undo 137 times. Time is money and I'm all for any feature that will help speed up the process. Besides, as I listed earlier, the history panel is not a unique feature to Adobe products. Tons of other software products use a history list or something similar. When is a feature designed to speed up efficiency considered a blessing or a crutch? Your argument is akin to saying shortcut keys are added to software as a crutch for people too lazy to use their mouse... That's some great basic logic there. You sir, are brilliant.

It is incredible how normally reasonable and intelligent people can be in such total denial like children - "hey kid, criticism doesn't mean we don't love you, we're just trying to help you so you can be better."

Well Scott, like the bounding box, if a history panel were added to Illustrator you could turn it off just as easily and never miss it. So why argue against it??? Some people want the feature, some people don't. That's why there are multiple ways to do things in Adobe products, and there is no such thing as the "correct" way. If it works for you, then it is correct. If it works differently for someone else, that is also correct. Who cares! It's a just a tool. Why anyone would ever argue AGAINST adding features to software is beyond me... There is no such thing as a perfect product that has no room for improvement.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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A valid reason why a History Panel is needed has yet to be posted.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 11, 2011

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[scott w] wrote:

How are those typing lessons coming, Wade?

Nw that's a low blow! Ouch!

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Explorer ,
Jun 11, 2011

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I never claimed it was needed. There's no reason why ANY feature is NEEDED. I don't NEED Illustrator or even a computer to draw. I can create art with a yellow #2 pencil with a pink eraser on a piece of printer paper.

Having a history panel is a "nice to have" additional feature that I would use if it was there, it is not needed. I can't think of any feature that has been added to Adobe products in the last ten years that was NEEDED. However there are tons of features that have been added which are very useful.

A valid reason why you or anyone else would argue AGAINST additional features that would not affect your preferencial workflow, has yet to be posted.

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New Here ,
Jun 22, 2011

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I am new to Illustrator. I guess I didn't understand how Illustrator worked because I too was looking for the History panel. In fact, I specifically created a username and password just to reply to this thread, because something was bothering me about everyone's answers.

Regardless of how Illustrator  works, there is one thing nobody here other TheOnlyKingArther has  addressed. He made the very valid point of the practicality of pressing  Ctrl+Z 100 times vs. merely clicking to a history state 100 changes ago. The  time aspect. It's impractical and a waste of time to press Ctrl+Z 100  times when you can simply click on the state of the document 100 times  ago. One click vs. presses of Ctrl+Z. The problem is that our only  option is the Ctrl+Z, so we are forced to waste time. The "valid reason"  for a History State panel is practicality vs. impracticality. Some  people might not mind pressing Ctrl+Z 100 times—that's fine, they don't  have to—but for those of us who do care about time (plenty of us) I see  no reason why this feature can't be added.

Thoughts?

Chris

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Explorer ,
Jun 22, 2011

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Thank you Chris. That is exactly why a history panel is very useful--because it saves time. It is also precicely why a history panel exists not only in all of Adobe's other products, but also in many other programs as well. Microsoft Word has it for f&%# sake!

I would also like to add that in addition to a huge time saver, using a history panel is a much more precise way of working with the history states of your document. When you use ctrl/cmd+z or click undo, it is a blind way of moving back a step, and the more steps you need to go back the more obvious this becomes. You essentially have to eagle eye your document and watch for any subtle changes you may have made as you press undo numerous times to get to the history state you want to be at. As artists, the majority of changes that we make are very subtle, so blindly landing on the history state you want to be on is way more difficult than it needs to be. With a visual list of past steps, moving back a large number of steps becomes very easy to navigate.

It is also much easier to toggle between two states of your document that are many steps apart. For example if you made a bunch of changes to your document and you want to quickly toggle back and forth between the new state of your document and the state it was in before you made all those changes, or any other previous state, a history panel makes this an easy process. Click once. Yeah sure you could save different versios of your document, make your new changes and load up an old version, but that would bring us back to the time argument. A history panel makes this process much faster. You also would never save a new file for EVERY step you do. With a history panel, you don't need to. You can easily go back to any step you want.

I too created a forum account just to respond to this thread because I was baffeled that people refused to look outside their little boxes to see how a history panel is useful, even to go as far as arguing against adding a history panel to Illustrator, or any new feature for that matter. Of course the answer is obvious now; It's not that people like Scott W can't see or refuse to see why a history panel is useful, it's just that they like to argue for the sake of arguing. There's no logic or valid points brought up by these type of people, they're just trolling away. So for anyone else who stumbles on this thread wondering where the hell the history panel is in Illustrator, I would suggest you submit a new feature request to Adobe as myself and many others have done. Then hopefully if we can outnumber the aging douchebags who argue against progressive change, we will see this very useful feature in a future version of Illustrator.

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New Here ,
Jun 30, 2011

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Great thread and discussion.  It is interesting, I have been using the Adobe suite for years - I guess not as much as others and today I found myself looking for the History tool as well.  Maybe I've never needed it in the past, or rarely did and slipped my mind.

Why was I looking for it.  Well I accidentally Saved a changed drawing instead of Save As.  I had made plenty of new edits past the XX number of redos I was sure.  But instead of holding down CMD+Z until it stopped or I got back to my old drawing, I wanted to just check History as far back as I could.  Again, a time thing.

I know, bad practice, idiot, etc.  But, someone in the thread asked for a reason ... this is my reason.

#necroFail #brainFreeze

-gabe

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New Here ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Very good points all of them. The ability to toggle between two states several steps apart to compare them is key to an artist I should say, and one of the things I've missed most since I started working with Illustrator in 1999. Seventeen years later you still can't find no history panel, what a shame

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2018

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Thank you for breaking up the nerd-athon and outlining the basic logic behind why we are even looking at this thread.

I haven't used Illustrator since college and it seems that i don't remember much after 10 years.  After scouring functions/options for 20 min. (solely looking for the history/undo/edit fx) I knew that the answer would be clear with a quick search.

NOPE.

I'm still unsure how to do a simple back step edit.  WHY would there not be an obvious solution to remove sections of work that didn't fit as you are creating?

(Before one of the previous members jumps...Please do not respond with opinions that lack a solution. *)

TIA for any tips/help!

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New Here ,
Aug 31, 2012

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And what if I re use an existent file because of the layout, so I change many photos and such. Then accidentally save it on top, and the ctrl+z aren't enough?

Is there a way to use a button to open the original document as in the top of the history panel on Photoshop?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 31, 2012

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If you want to use that workflow, then the first thing you should do is to use Save A Copy of the existing file and give it a new name before you start changing things.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2012

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Patricia,

this thread is about a hypothetical feature. It's not there at the moment.

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New Here ,
Sep 10, 2012

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Ok, thanks

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New Here ,
Sep 10, 2012

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I know that, but sometimes one can get distracted, just saying.

Thanks anyway for the advice.

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New Here ,
May 03, 2014

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Object>Transform>Rotate>5deg>OK

Pen Tool Click

Pen Tool Click     // Adjusts the spinning iris back to the center of the eye

File>Export>       // Hop out of one drive and into another via several folders (lately it hasn't been remembering the last folder to receive the export...)

After 360deg worth of this, I'll see if I can knock out another 360deg for the whites of the eyes.  

// This four line formula is basically repeated for 144 iterations to get the two circles, and then expounded upon for all the animation in each separate part as they spin, fade, and recede.

Pen Tool click     // Selects the iris

Object>Transform>Rotate>10deg>OK

Object>Transform>Scale>95%>OK

Transparency>( [current] - 6 )>RETURN

File>Export>(Dirs, Dirs, Dirs) ...ad nauseam.

Anyway, once people start coming home it doesn't take much to distract me just long enough to forget which step I was on.  I'm sure there are countless better ways to do what I'm doing, but I'm not interested in learning animation software - I am going to control all of the animation through code. 

Rare as an instance such as this may be, I keep losing my train of thought unexpectedly and not remembering where I left off.  I've never even looked for the command history, found this thread when I tried.  Guess it's the kind of thing that would be nice to have maybe once or twice in a lifetime, but I would agree that it's addition wouldn't really be much value added.



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Contributor ,
Aug 20, 2014

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"Would that really be a useful place to expend Illustrator resources?"

How in the world would this waste resources (especially when people are asking for it).  There is obviously a database that keeps track of actions (for the undo command).  Simply make it visible.

If lots of people are asking for this feature (and they are), it's at least worth considering.

Here's one place it's useful: you're getting ready to shut down Illustrator but there is an asterisk next to the file name you were working on.  You can't remember having done anything since last saving.  If only there was a history panel to tell you what had last been done!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 05, 2014

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I found this thread because I TOO was hoping there was a history plug-in for Illustrator.  The first Adobe product I learned to use was Photoshop so I was accustomed to SEEing my previous steps and going back to a certain point easily without having to Control-Z a hundred times over.  If you're over 40 and easily distracted it can be very easy to get mixed up as to whether you've just gone forward or backwards when you're toggling between several changes to see if you prefer them.  At least the addition of a snap-shot feature in Illustrator would be nice.  It seems so obvious as to why this would make sense that I find it rather comical the arguing going on here!  I guess some people just like to stir the pot.  I can tell you InDesign was incredibly frustrating to me when I first began using it until I discovered a history plug-in for it, the plug-in totally made me a much happier user of the program.  The only downside to the InDesign history plug-in is that as some of the others mentioned, it records every SINGLE change, so if you move something over one cursor step at a time you can get lots of repetition in your history panel that just says:

move

move

move

move....

However, this is much better than not even being able to see anything and endlessly click Cntrl-Z while wondering if you'll ever get back to where you wanted to go.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 06, 2014

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what's worse than no history is a revert to last save shortcut which is almost identical to undo.

I just found this out the hard way by clicking by mistake and lost tons of small incremental changes which I cannot recover.

There is no undo revert, in photoshop even if you revert and you haven't saved yet you can go back to where you currently are before the revert.

I'm raging mad right now ... hours of redoing ahead of me

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2015

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Re: Illustrator History Panel...

[scott]

To date, no one has posted any valid reasons why a history panel is necessary. You can not have non-linear history in Illustrator the way you can in Photoshop. A history panel in Illustrator would be exactly what you've described... steps that undo would back up to.Do you really need a snapshot to tell you to go back one more step?

In addition, it would be filled with

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click
Pen Tool click
[ad continuum]

Would that really be a useful place to expend Illustrator resources?

well, it would then have to be auto grouped.  simple couple lines to detect those immediately adjacent to other instances of the exact same tool and command (obviously different coordinates)  so all those [pen tool create anchor point]s would be displayed as a single line with a number and an expand key.  probably not too much code, what is the architecture?

as for resources. assuming you mean 'way' not "place" this really wouldnt be too dificult or resource heavy i think.   this is all referenced info so it already exists.  i think it is in Unicode form as a table or db and the main code takes that and populates a text field so no translation and unicode data is really really small.  thered be minimal raster UI changes so its more a thing of man hours.  all my guesses.  let me know if you disagree

it would add a lot of functionality to actions, select by (big one there) and other stuff should they choose to add the code for that functionality
id personally get a LOT of use out of it.  never gone back 200 states?  300?  i think ive gotten to 500 before

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New Here ,
Sep 11, 2015

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I'm in architecture school and not having a history panel is a pain. Clicking Ctrl Z is not a good solution and their should be a history panel, photoshop has it AI can have it easily.

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Participant ,
Oct 22, 2015

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This is really one of the most baffling threads I've ever seen.  Like many others, I came here shortly after beginning to use AI because I wanted to know if there was a history function. Why?  Because I NEED ONE.  It would make my life so much easier.  Yes, I've used Photoshop for 20 years, but no I have never used non-linear history (almost never).  That's not what day-to-day history use is typically for.  It's to save time and make work easier by showing you the entire sequence of actions and making it easier to find the spot you want to revert to.  But for some reason, an obstinate, arrogant group of "experts can't seem to grasp the very basic concept and keep insulting anyone who tries to explain this "silly" feature.  So try this, here's an argument against history:

===========

In addition, it would be filled with

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool drag

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click...

Would that really be a useful place to expend Illustrator resources?

=============

Uh, yes.  Your example is actually what we want, except you have ignored the logical use for it.

Instead, imagine this

APPLY SWATCH

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool drag

Pen Tool click

Pen Tool click...

So, what if I know that "apply swatch" is exactly the point I want to "undo" to?  Following the naysayers logic, I have to click ctrl-Z over and over and over and over while watching to make sure I stop at the right spot.  Why do all that when I can just look at a single list of my actions -- a history of "do's" -- and find the exact spot I want to go back to? Saying this is not useful is inane.  Perhaps it doesn't fit your workflow, but it sure would make mine (and lots of other people's as this thread proves) much, much easier. It's just another convenient way to do something in two strokes instead of 20 or 50.  Sure I could have saved a backup at each critical step of my process, but what if I didn't?  What if I didn't know that I was at a critical step until later?  What if I don't work exactly the way you experts do?

Most of the arguments against adding this useful feature are ludicrous (e.g., it would slow the development of "more useful" features?  Well this is the useful feature I'm already waiting on).  Ultimately, they all boill down to "I don't see the need for this feature, so you don't need it either."  And all this stuff about not understanding how a vector program works or how AI isn't like PS -- come on.  The naysayers are the ones who refuse to look up and see what people are actually saying. But here is the bottom line -- you are wrong.  A linear history feature -- by which we simply mean a list of the previous "X" number of actions that can be undone -- is a viable option and would be a valuable addition to Illustrator.

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Explorer ,
Oct 22, 2015

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It seems some people want a history panel, and some do not. A few seem to have taken the stance that they are anti-history panel. If you get access to this tool, they will be displeased. They are upset that you even asked about it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 22, 2015

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It's a great idea who's time is over-do. Being able to jump back in "history" without doing it "one-step-at-a-time" would be a great time-saver.

Unfortunately, having a "History" panel will not persuade me to give up using AI CS5 since features have been lost in the latest versions of Illustrator. Here's one example:

Pencil Tool "Keep Selected" different in CS5 vs. CC 2014

And because AI CS5 and CC 2015 don't work well on the same Mac OS, I'm forced to choose between them. I choose CS5.

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Explorer ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Scott is completely BS'ing anyway. As as actual software developer (not with Adobe but have worked with vecor software algorithms), I know for a fact that non-linear history as it works in Photoshop is ABSOLUTELY possible, and heck probably without any sort of deep/fundamental change to Illustrator's codebase or how it records history states either assuming it was made in a remotely sane and modular way.

 

The main thing I want is to be able to skip through the Illustrator history timeline easily without repeated button presses, and to capture 'snapshots' with thumbnail previews that can be jumped between easily.

 

You can even replicate the functionality with the roundabout method of doing a few edits, copying the whole layer, then undoing back to a previous state, then pasting to a new layer. Then you can then switch between these 'snapshots' by turning on and off the visibility on the two layers. A more formal snapshot system would really help out though, being able to switch between them with one click and knowing that all my formerly saved snapshots won't get erased and can be jumped back to no matter how many edits I add to the history stack.

 

This is extremely useful when drawing artwork and trying to get a good feel for which of two different attepts at drawing the same feature/body part looks better. (Tip: For me the blob brush plus the smoothing tool works best for doing nice clean vector inks, also you can enable pen pressure under the properties panel)

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2016

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I agree that that information in a history panel wouldn't be much help (by what you presented to us). Although, do you think that there is a better way to identify what the user is doing better, so Adobe may build a proper history panel, and how can we contribute to this?

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New Here ,
Jun 09, 2017

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Another pro- history panel question:

I am working on a surface pro tablet with a stylus pen - how am I going to undo my edits without a keyboard attached?

Ctrl+z 100+ times obviously would be a bit difficult without the keyboard...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2017

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Does the stylus have a programmable rocker switch? That's how I "undo" using a Wacom.

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New Here ,
Feb 12, 2019

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Yes, so I can jump 50 steps instead of clicking Command + Z 50 times. You don't want to use it, don't. Some of us do. Give us our history panel!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2019

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snehesh  schrieb

Yes, so I can jump 50 steps instead of clicking Command + Z 50 times. You don't want to use it, don't. Some of us do. Give us our history panel!

Post to http://illustrator.uservoice.com

Engineers don't read your vote here.

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2019

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Yes. Sometimes you accidentally did something wrong and don't know what it was or exactly when you did it.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 12, 2011

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I agree with Scott. For such a panel to make sense, AI would have to be turned upside down, that is get away from treating everything as paths. It would have to express a lot of stuff truly parametrically for later non-linear adjustments, but even then conventional path operations would be expressed as Scott already typed - endless, meaningless lists of individual operations. And a history doesn't realyl solve all problems - if bad comes to worse, you could just as well have exhausted all steps liek you can exhaust undo steps and then it will leave you just as frustrated...

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2011

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These are smart people at Adobe... I'm guessing... Is blindly clicking ctrl-z really the best they can come up with?  If so, then maybe I'm making the wrong assumption about how smart they are.

I'm just saying, if a traditional history panel ala Photoshop doesn't work... come up with something... put those brains to work.  Earn your upgrade money.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 12, 2011

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It is not so much th need for the feture as it for the users to see how it might work and benefit the. for instance SW thinks that click click click is not workable or at least useful.

Of course for Photoshop no one thinks there is anything wrong with click click click but the history panel records every pen click, PS also has a limit to the number of history states it records.

Then there is the ability to fill a document or section with an opacity of the history and the ability to fade an action you have just completed. So it is not so much the need for the feature as it is for the users to see the potential and the way it might work. One the feature is defined so that say those posting here can comprehend it better then they have always embraced the feature but the question remains is that it is not defined well and the goal of those who feel they need it require.

Here is what I have proposed in the past something akin to the Appearance panel  in which you can add strokes, fills and effects and turn them on and off at will. So my proposal is object oriented and each element is treated as an object, it own little mini document and in say the appearance panel you can turn on history of course in order to work the way Illustrator writes this history has to be different from illustrator. I cannot actually write the steps it normally would do it has to work more like LR which unlike Photoshop never actually does anything to the file just to the preview and only when outputted or export it does it actually do anything to the document itself. It is all just mathematics, like O Foto.

If Illustrator would work that way then memory issues and the like would be less problematic as well and so would file size.

now saying illustrator doesn't work that way is not a good argument as the way that illustrator does work is a source of frustration for many users they need a more hardware friendly way to work.

History on an object by object basis and the ability to turn on and off states independent of other objects can be a very useful way.

The argument about the memory issue for such a feature is mute since this feature has to be implemented as a mathematical aray of information and not executed processes which will eliminate the need for hugh amounts of memory.

And since you can turn on and off appearances, strokes, fills gradients and the like this should be possible for object oriented history.

Perhaps it should be an enhancement of the appearance panel.

BTW if i recall I think some of the user here who do not see the use of this feature may have been against the need to turn on and off appearances.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 12, 2011

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The argument about the memory issue for such a feature is mute

Not at all! You would still hold that info in memory, just in a different data structure. You could argue that you could dump it to a (temporary) file for inactive/ unselected objects, but depending on how different objects interact with each otehr, this may not be possible, so just the opposite could be true - the combined amount of the per-object histories could well exceed a linear undo queues requirements. It's really not that simple and dumping such data selectively also would require a different document handling and file format to begin with...

Then there is the ability to fill a document or section with an opacity of the history and the ability to fade an action you have just completed.

Again a case of where you still hold at least 2 states in memory to blend. And since we are talking about vectors, I don't see how you would "blend" selectively. If you e.g. had a path edit operation that added or removed anchor points, this would automatically break continuity. Similarly, there is no simple way to blend colors like you would in PS - PS merely treats history states as pixel buffers and when painting you apply a mask to each buffer as if it were a layer. that wouldn't work for vectors, as it isn't resolution independent. There's really a lot to consider...

Mylenium

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LEGEND ,
Jan 12, 2011

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I do not think you understand for instance in LightRoom you can spot out dust a hundred times and you can undo to your hearts content as well as redo, but you can always delete a healed or clone spot instance without effecting and other spotted area. Even after you relaunch, the actually function is never actually performed except on the screen the info to perform the function is only performed on output.

It would take thousands of such spot brush incidents effect the size of the file significantly.

Same for cropping the image it is never actually done and can always be changed, adjustments to the perspective of the image content as well.

So if you did this in Illustrator essentially you would have a blank document except when you view it on screen or preview it on the desktop and when you output it otherwise you have a blank document.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 13, 2011

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Wade, you are referring to non-linear editing.... as I understand things, that is something Illustrator can not allow due to the nature of vectors. The History Panel(s) are really only truly beneficial when it comes to non-linear editing (as you've described) otherwise they simply list undo steps. Since Illustrator can not support non-linear editing..... a history panel would be useless.

imagine.....

You have a history panel that looks like this:

  1. Pen Tool Click
  2. Pen Tool Click
  3. Bezier Curve
  4. Pen Tool Click
  5. Select Objects
  6. Pathfinder > Merge
  7. Object > Expand
  8. Pen Tool Click
  9. PenTool Click
  10. ShapeBuilder Tool Plus
  11. ShapeBuilder Tool Plus
  12. ShapeBuilder Tool Minus
  13. Set Fill Color
  14. Set Stroke Weight
  15. Set Stroke Color

Now what happens when you attempt to edit at step 4? You lose everything after that step and start over. This is the same thing as undoing. You can not expect to edit step 4 and still retain the Pathfinder command. I mean, the objects that were merged and expanded would be completely different now. I can't even begin to fathom how one would even attempt to write logic that would allow such non-linear vector editing.

With pixels (Photoshop, Lightroom, et. al) it's easy - "pixel at x500y200 is #000000 and 50% opaque" - store that as history, then change it when needed. You can not do that with vectors. The information that would need to be stored is much more complicated than a single pixel. Vectors are purely linear in nature. They are created in a linear fashion, and are edited in a linear fashion. Altering any single part of a vector image results in other parts being edited as well. You can't pick and choose exactly one pixel of a vector image to edit or store as editable content.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 13, 2011

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First of all a history panel like Photoshop's works exactly that way and works with the pen tool as well, so you can take a look at Photoshop to see how that works.

Secondly you clearly chose not to read what I wrote or failed to understand it, I cannot make you read it or understand it.

If you have a LR has a way of removing edits that have been made regards of when they were made and regardless of the order they were made. You can undo as well while the session is still open, that works the way you understand undos and history but undoing a step or removing an edit can also be undone.

What Illustrator can and cannot do is quite frankly something i think you do not know or understand, I am proposing a way that might be explored and  from my experience putting the feature up for consideration requires that you show how it can benefit and how it might be accomplished. If the suggestion rings a bell with the team or at least one or two members of the team it seems they are able to do something about it.

Since you cannot see the possibility and understand what I am proposing I have to say it is good fortune that you are not on the team as very little would be accomplished since you have always taken this same position of not seeing the possibility and have always been against such feature request, for instance multiple artboards that can be used as multiple pages,which turn out to be ver,y useful for many AI uses even if it is not useful to you.

However on the other hand your reluctance to embrace a new thought is very helpful in that it usually contrasts with the idea at hand and often shows how the old thinking is not as clear as one would think and the idea becomes more practical.

The team may eventually see the possibility of this feature and find a way and I personally think if they do find this way it will change Illustrator dramatically and it function on very large files as well as as on files not so large and will have less memory problems or none at all.

I think this will come about, regardless of what you understand.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 13, 2011

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Secondly you clearly chose not to read what I wrote or failed to understand it, I cannot make you read it or understand it.

En contraire, I think Scott (and ultimately I myself) understand it all too well. I'm afraid the flaw really is with you - you are mistaking LR's non-linear workflow for history, which it isn't. It truly is like Scott said - record a few paintbrush blobs here and a few adjustments there and you can all do it with the tiniest bit of human-readable text in metadata. For sake of argument, you could do the same with AI's brush tools, but still, as soon as you apply a "destructive" operation after that, it would not work. Similarly, we could have things like the round corners effects or non-destructive pathfinders for many things, but again, as soon as you apply another operation that requires expanding or otherwise destroying this parametric relationship, it's all gone. The problem is not getting individual parts to work with history, but to create a system that requires as few of these destructive operations and keeps the "history" intact. Trust me, I have used 3D programs with and without history, with and without parametric objects and it's not that simple. At one point, any history breaks and converts your 3D stuff to otehr entities to "freeze" a specific state or alow further editing. Whether it's a NURBS sweep surface in Maya that will lose its relation to the curves forming it initially after a trim, a history stack in MAX needing to be collapsed for Dynamics to work or a sphere object in Cinema 4D needing to become polygonal for selective texturing - there's a good chance you will hit one of these obstacles during any given project.

Also, you are too bound on the visual side of things - it's one thing to blend pixels, another to work with vectors. You cannot apply history operations to vectors on PS, can you not? You cannot revert path adjustments by brushing on some history nor can you apply history to smart objects, if you edited the vector data inside. It's only consequent and highly logical for a program that still primarily works with pixels, but if AI worked this way (i.e. only on the rendered appearance), it would be useless since then equally the slightest transform operation would enforce a re-render of the result, eradicating any history relations.

And finally some friendly advice: I know you and I will never get along (and I presume neither will Scott), but seriously, what's gotten into you? Everybody knows by now that you are secretly married to John Nack and the PS and AI teams, but frankly, you are ridiculing yourself with comments like "it is good fortune that you are not on the team as very little would be accomplished" it is definitely out of line and it doesn't befit you. I always thought I have the premium around here on shouting at people... Really, I'm shocked and dismayed and this single comment has made me lose all of what little respect I may ever have had for you. You are acting like a schoolyard bully and allow yourself to be turned into Adobe's apologetist. Reversing your argument: What were to happen, if you and exclusively you had the sayso in AI's future? It doesn't bring up cheerful images in my head, frankly... So for what it's worth: Take it back a notch! Let us nerds be nerds and yes, let us be cycnical and sarcastic about Adobe. We will gladly leave all that kissing of certain body parts and that "constructive" fluff to you, if you think it achieves anything. Otherwise give us some leeway here - we may not always be nice, but just like you we have worked in the trenches for years used a ton of programs, so clearly we know at least a tiny bit about what we are speaking...

Mylenium

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Participant ,
Jan 27, 2015

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Call it an Undo Panel if you like.

We want a history panel so we can select x number of actions and undo them in one click. Instead of clicking undo 100 times (or Cmd + z). Do you not see the value in saving clicks or keystrokes?

I cannot understand why this is not clear.

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New Here ,
Feb 16, 2015

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I'd like a history panel too. Often times my changes to a document are very subtle and I cannot tell if they took place. I open the history log to be able to confirm they happened.

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Engaged ,
Jan 12, 2011

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I've been using Illustrator for many years and the lack of History Panel has never bothered me.

In fact I've never really thought about it or missed it.

Using cntl + z has been enough for my purposes

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New Here ,
Feb 25, 2016

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what a pointless comment

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