P: Surface Dial Brush Menu not Working with Photoshop 2022

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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After the recent update of Photoshop I'm having an issue with my Surface Dial's function in the app. The brush menu isn't working, if I select the brush icon my on screen dial becomes temporarily transparent and then disappears without pulling up the secondary brush menu which allows for brush size, opacity etc to be selected and controlled by the dial. I use these functions constantly in my work flow so it is certainly annoying although not impossible to work around. The dial seems to be functioning normally outside the app and can still for example control volume level or zoom in and out, but the primary function I use it for is brush control; particularly brush size. Does anyone have any ideas on how to solve this? 

I have tried:

Unpairing and repairing the Surface Dial to the computer.

Removing batteries to reset the device.

Resetting the computer and resetting Photoshop.

I am using the ~spaces plugin work around to prevent touchscreen crashes that came with the new update.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

Custom code in the Spaces Plug-in, which Dial uses is being discontinued. Photoshop has other supported API for external hardware controllers. Companies like Palette Gear,  Logitech and a few others have written plugins to manage their specific hardware with Photoshop and other CC products. Microsoft will have to do the same if they wish to maintain support of their hardware in Photoshop.

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Adobe Employee , Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

Sorry, I had to confirm with another product manager whether this was intentional and whether it would be coming back.

See: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/whats-new/2022.html

Deprecating support for Surface Dial
For technical reasons, Photoshop v23.0 and above will no longer support Microsoft's Surface Dial.

To learn more, see Microsoft Dial support in Photoshop.

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21 Comments
Community Beginner ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Thought I'd just pop back in here to follow up. I worked with customer support and ultimately we just switched back to the previous version of Photoshop and the Dial is working fine. So if the Surface Dial is a big part of your workflow like it is for me, I'd just roll back to the previous version and turn off auto updates for a bit. 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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Seems the Photoshop 2022 update lost the surface dial integration present in the previous verisons. Not fixed by today's "bug fix" update. Is this intentional, or a bug? (it will probably double my editing times)

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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Hey, @Jeffrey Tranberry , while you're busy merging these, could you perhaps respond to the question if this is a bug, or intentional discontinuation of the dial support? Can we expect this functionality back or should we adjust our workflow to Adobe having deprecated our gear?

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Seems the solution is to revert to the Photoshop 22.x branch, until such time as Adobe sees fit to release a less regressed version of the 23.x branch. Neural filters looked nice, but when the price paid is doubling the time spent in workflow, those new features rapidly become "Whistles and bells".

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Sorry, I had to confirm with another product manager whether this was intentional and whether it would be coming back.

See: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/whats-new/2022.html

Deprecating support for Surface Dial
For technical reasons, Photoshop v23.0 and above will no longer support Microsoft's Surface Dial.

To learn more, see Microsoft Dial support in Photoshop.


Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging
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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2021 Dec 01, 2021

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Ok, thanks for the answer. Adobe's actions here will certainly impact my future decisions regarding where I spend my money. It seems spending it on a company that on a whim decides to deprecate my hardware is rather risky. (It's not just the dial. It's the arrogance).

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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I find the "for technical reasons" explanation extremely vague. Especially when "see here for more info" from the what's new, results in the exact same sentence being repeated. That is NOT more info in my part of the world. It's also rather odd that this text was added several patchlevels into the release, not at the actual release where it broke. Given how you announced when integraton arrived, this looks a lot like an unintended consequence of a program library choice, not anything planned. Is there any reason to expect adobe not to break compatibility with other products like the loupedeck? Or should we read this "for technical reasons"-lack of explanation as "you really cannot expect any hardware you buy to make our user interface more efficient to remain compatible, we will break compatibility on a whim, and notify you after the fact" (because that is in essence what has happened here). Is there ANY reason not to expect "technical reasons" to break other things?

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Contributor ,
Dec 02, 2021 Dec 02, 2021

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Jeffrey, I think users that bought this hardware deserve more information than just 'because of technical reasons'. You just stopped supporting it abruptly. Please reason this problem.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2021 Dec 19, 2021

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So, mr @Jeffrey Tranberry , any chance you can elaborate on those "Technical reasons", and how those only showed up after users started complaining, and seemed unworthy of making the actual release notes? I sincerely think we deserve a better explanation, as this behavior does the opposite of inspiring confidence that ANY hardware bought specifically for making the use of Photoshop a less timewasting workflow, will continue to work after the next whim your developers have. I'm fairly certain ANY of the actual reasons can't do much more PR damage than your LACK of answers are already doing.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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Custom code in the Spaces Plug-in, which Dial uses is being discontinued. Photoshop has other supported API for external hardware controllers. Companies like Palette Gear,  Logitech and a few others have written plugins to manage their specific hardware with Photoshop and other CC products. Microsoft will have to do the same if they wish to maintain support of their hardware in Photoshop.


Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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So, basically you're telling us that any other such hardware is at similar risk, because Adobe can decide to discontinue those apis WITHOUT WARNING as well. I guess I'll be looking at alternatives to all my adobe software, then.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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No. Only Dial used the Spaces plug-in.


Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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You missed my point entirely, either by accident or intent. My point is that Adobe never gave any heads up it INTENTIONALLY sabotaged compatibility. Not until after users pointed out that "hey, this is no longer working, is it a bug?" did you even bother to update your own documentation stating that it should work.

Given this track record, why should your users have any faith that you won't break (either intentionally or by incompetence) the APIs other plugins depend on? And neglect informing until the users kick up a fuzz about it?

Would you be as blasé about breaking stuff in the Apple ecosystems too, or is it that you know that Microsoft no longer does retaliatory block-offs of software houses that pulls this kind of stunt after that antitrust debacle?

Look at the timeline.

1 Adobe breaks the spaces plugin
2 Users start noticing things doesn't work as a consequence
3 Adobe remains schtum
4 More users start complaining
5 A single Adobe Employee starts asking questions about why things are broken
6 Adobe fixes their documentation that they INTENTIONALLY broke compatibility (up until then the documentation was that this should work)
7 You dismiss the users with "it's for technical reasons", which can be summed up as "you are too dumb to understand"
8 Users start telling you that this arrogance is doing PR damage
9 You explain what plugin you broke and that only the dial used that plugin and how other hardware uses their own plugins (and we all remember how much notice everybody got before you redid the ENTIRE plugin ecosystem a few years back breaking every plugin ever made)
10 You ask us to trust you
11 I say "no" to blind trust, and type up this timeline.

It takes years to build up trust. But you can tear it down very fast. So far, NONE of the actions of Adobe regarding this update has done anything but erode the shards of trust even further.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2021 Dec 20, 2021

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This is actually one of those times I wish Microsoft would have the guts to simply update their APIs for human interface device integration with software. Basically giving companies like Adobe the option of being limited to keyboard + mouse _OR_ proper integration with the whole shebang (including drawing tablets, wheels, etc). And at the same time force hardware vendors to work through the same API. That would make companies like Adobe either go away, or put away their arrogance. Or atleast put down some of their more arrogant rabid dogs.

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2021 Dec 22, 2021

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Necesito ese hardware, es parte importante de mi flujo de trabajo. Y me parece ridiculo pagando tener que devolver el sistema a una version anterior sin actualizar.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 22, 2021 Dec 22, 2021

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I've taken the liberty of pointing out the problem over on Microsoft's community as well

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/surface-accessories/dial-support-in-adobe-cc-products/m-p/304...

I'm sure they atleast can make sure that Adobe's products are removed from the list of stuff compatible with the surface dial, and stop giving your products some extra free advertisement. Let's hope they also invest some time in making good, solid, alternatives to the real cash-cows of Adobe, such as the Acrobat ecosystem (now that flash is as dead as the social life of Adobe's programmers).

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 29, 2021 Dec 29, 2021

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Yeah this is absolutely absurd that y'all just discontinued it. I use my surface dial extensively daily, it is such a time saver on my Surface Studio 2 for allowing me to quickly change brush size with my left hand while still using the pen in my right hand to draw among other things... i am just using the 2021 version of it because the surface dial is such an integrated part of the way i work and to be without it seems like a petty move on behalf of Adobe. I understand technologies change over time, but this one is very disappointing.

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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Yes this is really sad Adobe, thatyou won't support Surface Dial anymore. The reason why I bought Surface Studio 2. 

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New Here ,
Aug 10, 2022 Aug 10, 2022

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I am a little slow to this post but figured I would still respond. I sort of dislike the design of the SurfaceBook for programs like Photoshop since it feels awkward drawing on a wobbly screen when in laptop mode, and difficult to use without shortcuts when in tablet mode. I have the Dial as well as a Midi keyboard and am currently in process of creating macros to map with Photoshop keyboard shortcuts with the aid of a program called "Midi Keyboard Macros" (https://www.mediachance.com/midimacros/index.html#xl_features). There are other Macro programs out there, even free ones, but this one seems to be working better for my situation. Maybe this option will help me or others out in the future. 🙂

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2022 Aug 14, 2022

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I just had to revert to the previous ver. of PS because of the dial feature no longer working...this problem had me baffled for a few days and slowed down my workflow for work I had.

Either Microsoft or Adobe at some point need to re-address this problem once its solved with some update and announcement of it so we can have the latest ver. of the product we pay so much to use.

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2022 Aug 14, 2022

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LATEST

This is so disappointing. I was starting to love having it in my work flow

 

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