What Happened To The Clone Tool?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 23, 2019 Jul 23, 2019

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Hi,

I have been using Photoshop Elements since 2004 (PSE-2). The Clone tool, which I use extensively, has worked the same way and quite well for these 15 years and 4 (or 5) upgrades..until today. Always the same steps: choose the area I want to sample, click>alt>left-click and paint away. Never a problem. Today, in the middle of editing photos Clone decided to change how it operates, or it simply bugged out on me. Worked one minute, didn't the next.

--->

Open new image in PSE 15>choose Clone tool>choose area to sample from>Alt>left-click> then, when I attempt to paint-over my intended area, the area being sampled is not the one I chose but an inch or more away.  I also get an "..area has not been defined..." popup  although I am "defining"-away...

When I try define another area it "picks up" a chunk of pixels I'm clicking over in the image and then "follows" my cursor around the image, like a little shadow I can't shake off. It also carries over to other files opened in the program. I have to close the file out for it to go away.

I think (?) this "ghosting' could be a component of one way the clone tool works, but it is never the way I've used it. My method has always been straight-forward, precise..never involved dragging around a chunk of pixels stuck to my cursor tool.

Clone settings are on default with "Clipped" being the only checked box. I am not working in layers, just the original jpeg files.

What was once a very streamlined way of editing photos has become a clunky, unusable mess.

I have shut-down and restarted PSE, reset Tools, cleaned and rebooted my PC, updated Tool preferences, examined and clicked and perused and researched and tinkered until my eyes bugged. Then I went to the Adobe Help Chat and, although the person said my version was no longer eligible for chat/phone support, tried to help anyway. He and his "team" spent over 2 hours on remote access trying to solve the issue. They could not.

Any help or amount of enlightenment is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Windows 10

PSE-15

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 23, 2019 Jul 23, 2019

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Moderator - please move this thread to PS Elements Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 23, 2019 Jul 23, 2019

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Sorry...site is new to me, thought I had the right place.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 23, 2019 Jul 23, 2019

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I can't seem to stay logged in to Adobe...sorry I posted in the wrong place...I give up.

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 09:32:43 PM EDT, Bob_Hallam <forums_noreply@adobe.com> wrote:

What Happened To The Clone Tool?

created by Bob_Hallam in Photoshop - View the full discussion

Moderator - please move this thread to PS Elements Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 23, 2019 Jul 23, 2019

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Moved to PS Elements forum.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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A simple reset will often do the trick. Go to this link and select the clone tool:

Fix Tool

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Mentor ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Sometimes PSE problems pop up for no apparent reason and which are not fixed by Reset Tool. It could be that the preferences file has become corrupted.You can restore all preferences to their defaults.

To restore this file in PSE 11 and later:  Edit>Preferences>General and click "Reset Preferences on next launch".

For earlier versions, press and hold Alt-Ctrl-Shift (Option-Command-Shift on Mac) immediately while starting PSE. The timing is critical; you may have to try this several times. A dialog box will pop up with the question "Delete the Adobe Photoshop Elements Settings file?" (or similar message depending on your PSE version).  Click  YES.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Thank you, 99jon & Mark Sand.

I have done all the things I dare do.. I even tried system restore (although am unsure pertinent files in the PSE program would have been affected) but, after around 25 min of the restore process at work got some kind of error to do with virus protection being on (restore points are gone so I think it restored nonetheless..?) anyway it didn't affect clone tool, still as buggy as before.

I've noted many others have had the same issues with Clone from years past to recent and no one (including Adobe rep's) have had a workable answer, so...life goes on

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Mentor ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Check out this old post. Apparently some people had the same problem and got the Clone Tool to work properly.

In particular, messages 10, 11, 16.

Alt-click not working for clone stamp. Frustration ++++

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Thank you, Mark Sand, although I don't use CC (PSE-15) that was a helpful thread.

Mention was made in that thread as to the ALT key itself being a possible issue..although this does not, I believe, have anything to do with PSE's clone tool instability, it gave me an idea to try pressing both the left and right the ALT keys on my laptop simultaneously, and this made the difference!  I thought clone was "fixed" but it lasted only a few clicks&paint strokes before each new sampling (little cross-hair) moved further away from the spot I clicked on from which I need to clone.

In the example I'm working with there's a pew that runs along the lower portion of a group shot (groomsmen in front of sanctuary) that has obstructions I'm attempting to remove. The vertical clone/strokes I need to do (bringing pant-leg down to-cover obstruction) were "manageable", however when I tried to sample&paint along a horizontal plane in the same area, the cross-hairs kept popping up in the area I'd clicked previously, up above.

Once again, I reset all that could be reset in PSE, closed it out and restarted. This only served to bring me back to square one, the popup: "Could not use the clone stamp tool because the area to be cloned has not been defined. (Alt-click to define a source point)."


Every which way I've tried to do what it's telling me but this notification keeps popping up. 

I have not added any new apps or programs in the past month or more. I keep my system clean and updated regularly. As I said I have been using clone tool for 15 years, across several PSE programs and a few pc's with no problems. I'm in the midst of processing a wedding shoot I did for a friend when this issue showed up. Clone worked great in the am, by afternoon it tanked. No rhyme no reason

Thanks all! 

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LEGEND ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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In the tool options bar do you have aligned checked or unchecked. It needs to be unchecked to sample from the exact same spot otherwise the sampling will move as you brush.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Align is checked.

Edit/ I believe it was checked by default I have tried both ways...every which way I have covered

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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I was able to get it out of .."Could not use the clone stamp tool..." pop up mode and resume painting with the tool, albeit with a very different look and feel than what I know how to use effectively. I have to figure out (apparently?) how to align the clicks and manipulate the brush in place...feel like I have my right hand tied round my back and am looking in a mirror at my workspace..

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Another weird thing is when the clone tool is 'active' in the image and I'm just moving the brush around, not clicking anything, there is a grouping of pixels taken from the image and, sort of like a rag mop, this little blob on the brush goes wherever I drag it.. (though I suspect this activity is a component of the/another tool I'm unfamiliar with or don't use much, like healing brush and pattern stamp).

Still, it does not stamp & sample at the precise points I click.  The way I have always used this tool is very basic and straight forward. Without layers involved in the process (directly).

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LEGEND ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Is Caps Lock on?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 24, 2019 Jul 24, 2019

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Hahaha.....no

-but I'd forgotten the greatness of spot healing brush, actually faster for the odd cleanups..so that has been a saving grace. There's a whole lot more I don't know about what's in this program than I do...or have cared to learn (sigh)

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 25, 2019 Jul 25, 2019

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Soooo..

On the laptop I am now using (refurb old Dell I've had less than a year after previous pc had an "accident"..) there are 2 sets of left/right click keys available to the user..(it would seem)

This keyboard is different from the old one. Where I used the "main" (lower) left-click key with alt on my previous laptop, this one has a left-click key just under the alt key.

Just now as I was editing I needed a more precise covering that only clone, as I used to use it, could do. So I tried again, only this time using the lower left click key, as on my old laptop (which did not previously work) and walah! Back to cloning precision joy. I hope this is it!

I still get the "Could not use the clone stamp tool..." several times over on newly opened files...I forget how I get rid of it but I do

..with fingers crossed ~

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