Drop Shadow no longer works correctly

Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Tried applying other advice I found when googling this and nothing worked (and those threads were years old).

I work using drop shadow heavily. In the past 2020 and previous version of photoshop all I'd have to do is click drop shadow (in styles) and was good to go. Just one drop shadow, no stroke, looked crisp and fine. If I wanted to be more precise I could go into the layer fx and fiddle with it and any changes showed up in real time on the file.

 

But now with 2021 all drop shadows are fuzzy and it automatically creates 3 identically useless drop shadows and a stroke outline layer. If I go in to fx and fiddle with things it doesn't really show any difference and seems like sometime broke or got changed between 2020 and 2021. This happens wether the layer the drop shadow is applied to has a mask or not (the other day it wouldn't work AT ALL with a mask on a layer, which never was an issue before and completely ruins my work process). 

 

Here's the outcome (what previously on the first click would've been a crisp drop shaodw in dark grey or black is now a fuzzy mess...there's something there without  a mask, but only if the layer doesn't have a mask and even then doesn't keep my settings once I fiddle with them so need to adjust every single layer manually)

dropshadow_broken.jpgdropshadow2.jpg

and the second picture is a picture of my layers and how with just clicking drop shadow once it creates 3 and a stroke. Even if I go in and delete these it still seems to be a new default for when I click drop shadow.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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When you add the Drop Shadow from the Styles panel, you're applying a preset that's a combination of Layer Styles. There were a bunch of new styles added around Photoshop 2020. The one you're applying from the Basics folder is set to apply a Stroke and 3 Drop Shadows. I think the one you want is in the Legacy Styles. To get to the Legacy Styles, go to the Styles panel menu, and in the menu that appears, go down to Legacy Styles and More to load the older styles into the Styles panel. In the search bar in the Styles panel, type "Basic Drop Shadow" which should show the style inside Legacy Styles and More > All Legacy Default Styles > Legacy Default Styles. Click on that style to apply it.

An alternative would be to set the Drop Shadow in the Layer Styles (Layer > Layer Style... or double-click on a Layer to the right of the name in the Layers panel) and save it as a style by clicking on New Style in the Layer Style dialog.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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(I'm OP just for some reason can't seem to login except on my school account) 

This worked! I didn't realize there were legacy styles and I guess didn't see a legacy styles button anywhere and skipped over it. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 18, 2021 Jan 18, 2021

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edit: nope this didn't work. Came back to my work today, tried again, it still adds even in the legacy (and I'm well aware it shouldn't) 3 drop shadows and a stroke. Can't put my finger on what else is different too because it's been a few years since I've worked on this old project but something else about the drop shadows, even when adjust to make tighter/actual drop shadows, isn't quite right (not versed in what happens technically but my guess is something changed there). I tried fiddling with it even still and getting it as close as I could to how it looked in the old work I have using this (which I know all I did was click drop shadow, never went in and fiddled with spread/distance/etc) and can see from some older files that it only created 1 drop shadow, not 3 + stroke, and just resetting the default. Even then though something's off. 

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New Here ,
May 11, 2022 May 11, 2022

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Thank you so much Myra! This helped us figure out our issue. Not sure why Adobe changed the already perfected drop shadow. If they wanted to add a different drop shadow with a different look then add it to the list with a different name or add it to a different group that could be uploaded. That would've saved 100's of peoples time trying to figure out why it wasn't working the way we expected. Thank you again.

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