Clicking on a type layer in the layers palette selects the layer mask by default

Explorer ,
Jun 08, 2022 Jun 08, 2022

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When clicking on a type layer in the layers palette, the layer mask is selected by default. Nine times out of 10, if I click on a type layer I want to do something to the type. If I wanted to edit the mask, I can click on it to highlight. For example, I waste so much time accidentally filling the mask with a solid colour because it was given priority over the type content. This has bugged me for ages!

 

Clicking on a normal image layer that has a mask selects the layer first, as is logical and expected.

 

If it's intentinal, I'd love to know the reasoning for type layers with masks behaving the opposite way. If it's a weird bug/oversight, can it be changed?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2022 Jun 08, 2022

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Your comment may be more directed toward staff as a feature request, but in the meantime, maybe the following will help:

  • You can click a second time (not double-click as that opens the Layer Styles) on the text layer if it has a layer mask to have it select the Text thumbnail.
  • If you have Auto-Select: Layer enabled in the Options bar, then you can click directly on the text on the canvas to select it.
  • If you have the Move tool selected and double-click on the text on the canvas, then it will highlight the text and switch to the Text tool for you.

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 08, 2022 Jun 08, 2022

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Double-clicking does not open Layer Styles where I expect he would click, neither on the name; only in the right part. I guess our expectations are different... 😉  Double-clicking on the icon might actually be usable to him.

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2022 Jun 09, 2022

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Thankyou Myra, appreciated.

Option 1 is what I do, but it's annoying to have to click twice, avoiding the double-click. 

Option 2 still selects the layer mask, not the Type. On my machine anyway.

Option 3 works if editing the text, but the edit I do most to my Type layers is to change the colour by alt-shift-backspace (shortcut for fill with foreground colour, preserving transparency). Doing this with the mask selected (by default) is the main cause of my issue with this behaviour as I keep filling my textured masks with solid colours. 😞

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2022 Jun 08, 2022

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Modification of this behavior is possible using a script:

#target photoshop

var s2t = stringIDToTypeID,
    t2s = typeIDToStringID;
try {
    var target = t2s(arguments[0].getReference(s2t('null')).getDesiredClass());
    if (target == 'layer') {
        var id = arguments[0].getInteger(s2t('layerID'));
        (r = new ActionReference()).putProperty(s2t('property'), p = s2t('layerKind'));
        r.putIdentifier(s2t("layer"), id);
        if (executeActionGet(r).getInteger(p) == 3) {
            (r = new ActionReference()).putProperty(s2t('property'), p = s2t('hasUserMask'));
            r.putIdentifier(s2t("layer"), id);
            if (executeActionGet(r).getBoolean(p)) {
                (r = new ActionReference()).putEnumerated(s2t("channel"), s2t("channel"), s2t('RGB'));
                (d = new ActionDescriptor).putReference(s2t("null"), r);
                executeAction(s2t("select"), d, DialogModes.NO);
            }
        }
    }
} catch (e) { }
if (!target) {
    var f = File($.fileName),
        del;
    for (var i = 0; i < app.notifiers.length; i++) {
        var ntf = app.notifiers[i]
        if (ntf.eventFile.name == f.name) { ntf.remove(); i--; del = true }
    }
    if (del) {
        alert('event listening disabled!')
    } else {
        app.notifiers.add('slct', f, 'Lyr ')
        alert('event listening enabled!')
    }
}

Script uses notifications, so it needs to be saved to disk before the first run.

1. Save the code to a text (.txt) file, after saving change its extension to .jsx

2. Save the code to your Photoshop presets folder (\Presets\Scripts\). After restarting the program, it will appear in the script menu, from where you can run it.

 

The first time the script is run, it enables tracking of layer selection events. On each selection it checks if the layer is a text layer and if it has a mask. If so, it switches focus to the layer itself. Selecting a mask manually still works. The next time you run the script, it disables event tracking and everything works as before.

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2022 Jun 09, 2022

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Wow, that's a very in-depth solution! Thanks!

Would still like to know if the behaviour is intentional on Adobe's part and if so, what's the thinking?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2022 Jun 09, 2022

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I think this behavior is intentional. The point is that the text layer is not pixel layer, i.e. not available for drawing tools. It is assumed that since the text layer has a mask, it is more convenient to activate it immediately upon selection in order to cover more interaction scenarios at the same time.

 

To be honest, I have been working with text layers for many years, but until you wrote this post, I did not even notice that when the layer is activated, the focus switches to the mask (despite the active mask, the layer is still editable and moveable without switching focus to the RGB channel , that is, it practically does not affect the usual interaction with the layer).

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Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2022 Jun 10, 2022

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Perhaps it's just my particular workflow that makes it irritating to me. 🙂

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 08, 2022 Jun 08, 2022

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Nice observation. Seems that has never bothered me. I set the layers to not automatically add masks, as I don't like the clutter. That could relieve some of the problem, but will need some small scripts and adjustments to actions you are using/buying, as many expect a mask to be there w/o checking for it.

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2022 Jun 09, 2022

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My layers don't automatically have masks either, but I use them a lot in my work and this odd behaviour on Type layers is driving me round the bend now. 🙂

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