PSD Icon Previews Not Displaying Correctly on 27" iMac

New Here ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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Hi there,

 

Hoping someone can help with this weird issue!  I recently upgraded from a 21" iMac (2019) to a 27" iMac (2020) and now the thumbnail previews of both my old PSD files and any new ones I create do not properly display on the desktop.   Instead of showing the entire image, the preview now appears to be partially "masked."   I'm running Catalina and issue affects both CC 2019 and current CC 2021.  Issue also happened on Big Sur... I actually downgraded to Catalina, hoping to fix it, but it's still happening. 

 

At desktop icon size 94 x 94 or smaller, the thumbnail shows the whole image, as it should.   But if I try to increase the size of my desktop icons any higher than 94 x 94 then the preview reverts to a "masked" view...which is super annoying, because I work with hundreds of PSD files for work, and need to be able to quickly see which file I'm opening!   I upgraded from a 21" to a 27" monitor to be able to have larger icons/easier viewing, but now none of my PSD file thumbnails will display properly, unless they are tiny!

 

Attached is a pic of what the icon looks like at 108 x 108 (masked and useless) and how it displays correctly at 94 x 94.

 

Additionally, I'm using a Wacom Cintiq 22, and when the preview icons are dragged onto that monitor, they preview perfectly at any size, so this is definitely just an issue with the 27" iMac.

 

The only other thread I could find that was similar was from 2007, and referenced an issue with alpha channels and the OS only reading the first layer in a file, but I have literally hundreds of PSD files and deleting every alpha channel in them is not a viable solution!    My 2019 iMac ran Mojave and there were no problems with that.

 

Thanks for any help!

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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I think when you are dealing with multilayer PSDs, "Maximize PSD and PSB compatibility" under Preferences > File Handling in Photoshop should always be set to "Always". If you already saved a file without that setting, then make a "non-destructive change" such as toggling the visibility of a layer and re-saving the PSD. Try that and let's see if that helps. "Always" provides a flattened image to go with that layered file for use outside of Ps.

 

The details:

http://asktimgrey.com/2019/02/22/maximize-compatibility-unnecessary/

 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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Hi Tim, thanks for the fast reply!  My "maximize PSD etc compatability" has always been set to Always (and still is) so unfortunately that's not the issue in this case.  And I've tried turning layers on and off, adding/deleting layers, etc and tried both save and save as, replacing existing files, renaming files, etc., and it has no effect.     

 

As mentioned, the previews/icon thumbnails display the flattened image perfectly on my Cintiq monitor, no matter how the size of the icon...it's only on the Mac desktop that they revert to being masked by the alpha channels whenever I try to increase the overall icon size past 94 x 94!  It's a super weird and annoying bug. 

 

If I go into a file and delete the alpha channel, the issue disappears totally, but I use those channels and every one of my PSD files has them, so that's not a fix. 

 

I've also tried deleting the com.apple.finder/plist file, restarting in safe mode, and a bunch of other fixes mentioned online, but no luck  😞

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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My name is actually Gene, but if you owe Tim money, I'm Tim. 😉

 

Here's something interesting I found by rooting around. Give it a shot:

 

When Apple creates a preview, it uses the first channel after the color channel as an alpha channel, whether you want it to or not.

For example, if your channels are Red, Green, Blue, Alpha 1, Alpha 2, etc., Alpha 1 will be used to clip your preview. This is a Mac OS problem, not a Photoshop problem. It also affects PSD files.

The only workaround I found is to place an empty (completely white) channel in that position. Apple will still use it, but it won't clip your artwork.
 
I know you have hundreds of PSDs, but work on a small batch at a time. You can ask Apple Support since it is related to their system, but I don't know what else to suggest.
 
Well converting them to  tiffs is viable since tiffs can hold the same layer and channel info as PSD. Then you can batch convert if it works.
 

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New Here ,
Jul 19, 2021 Jul 19, 2021

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Haha, thanks Gene, AKA "Tim!"  

 

I did find that same tip about adding the white channel and it does work, it's just a bummer that I now have to do that to every one of my old PSDs, everytime I need to work with them.  It's such a pain, especially when they are visible on my Cintiq monitor.  Hopefully it's a bug that will eventually be worked out somehow.   

 

It's definitely something to do with having upgraded to this new 27", because I was running Catalina on my 21" iMac 2019, and had no issues there with thumbnails resizing correctly.  Maybe a graphics processor thing?  Thanks again for your help 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 19, 2021 Jul 19, 2021

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It is what we call a "kludge", but will do if you don't have time to work it out with Apple Support.

If you can, blank channel a small batch at a time.

 

I'm not proficient in the ways of Apple hardware and MacOS, but Apple Stackexchange has people who are. https://apple.stackexchange.com/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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Oh and if you are brave, you can actually have larger thumbs in the Finder Open/save dialog box:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop/increasing-size-of-thumbnails-for-mac/m-p/12128735#M555587

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