Any way to restrict Brush Types in Brushes Context Menu

Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

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One of the absolute worst things to happen to Photoshop was when the developers decided that we associated brushes with a specific behavior provided by a single tool. Rather than acknowledge the utility of being able to erase and paint without changing your brush, for example, they assumed that you would want a different brush for each tool. That wasn't enough. 


Now, they have decided that some of the features of a brush should be unique to the tool associated with that feature. In fact, they decided that rather than viewing the metaphor as:

  • you picked a brush that you would then use your tool selection to determine how that brush was used (i.e. erase with the eraser, smudge with the smudger, clone with the cloner)

to now be

  • You pick a brush and THEY WILL DECIDE which tool you wanted to use.

So if you pick a brush that some random assortment of Millenials decided would be cute to only be able to smudge with, it didn't matter what tool you had selected, click that brush will, without warning, equip you with the smudge tool. Sure, you can now go back and select a different brush, hoping that you will get one that works with the tool you have selected, but NEVER REALLY SURE if it's going to change your tool or not, but hey, that's the decision and if you don't like it, go ahead and go with the competition...oh, there is none? Then, just give us your money and stfu. 

 

Does anyone know of any way to restrict the brushes available in the context menu of a specific tool (HENCE THE CONCEPT OF CONTEXT MENU) in such a way that all I can see are brushes that work with the tool I am using? If I want to look at brushes for the smudge tool, I'll select (wait for it) the smudge tool. 

 

I would like to be able to select a new brush for the paint tool without having to sort through all of the smudge-only brushes or the mixer brushes. I don't want to change tools.

 

There is no other feature in Photoshop that says "Select a different tool from the context menu of your current tool", but since that's the way it has to be, could we at least filter out all of the brushes that don't fit the current tool's context?

 

Either that or does anyone know how to get Photoshop to ignore dedicated-tool assigned brushes and enable all brushes for all tools? 

 

Don't suggest that I put in a feature request if you don't know the answer, please. I am very familiar with the feature request process.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

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Ctrl (Cmd) click the preset to stay with the current tool.  

 

I was not entirely sure what your other points were.  If you could be more concise in describing your issue(s) I/we will do our best to answer.

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Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

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Thanks for the response. I would love to be more concise. Unfortunately, I have never quite developed that skill. Your gracious help is much appreciated.

Do you know of any way to override the default tool selection for all brushes?

Can I convert brushes to be used by all of the brush-enabled tools instead of just certain brush-enabled tools?

Thanks again for your gracious help. Don't worry yourself over the rest of this response, it may prove too taxing.

[begin rant--dry run for Adobe Feedback to be submitted soon]

This is the problem:: It is a violation of common sense as well as the extended metaphor used by Adobe in Adobe Photoshop to require two modifier keys to be added to the click action to get the current tool's context menu. This is simply not how it is done with any other interface and it is a poor decision.

While it would be nice to have the option to change tools in the context menu, that should be standard throughout all the tools and should be clearly indicated. The fact that there is no indicator that you have suddenly switched tools because you selected a new brush is a violation of common sense user interface rules. Imagine if you switched tools every time you selected another non-contextual option like color. Surely, you can't select a color with the erase tool, so if someone selects a color, force them to use a mixer tool. 

 

In fact, none of the other tool options cause you to change tools when you select them.

 

If I select a paragraph option with a non-text-based tool, by this ridiculous logic, Photoshop should require me to use the text tool and should switch me automatically. Of course, that's not what you want, so why would think selecting a different brush would indicate that you wanted a different tool.

 

And fine, if you insist on having that clear violation of common sense, make it optional and require a couple of modifier keys that let you automatically pick the tool most often associated with the brush you selected. Otherwise LEAVE MY TOOL CHOICES TO ME and give me the brush in the context of the tool that I am using.

[end rant]

Thanks again for your gracious help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

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Did you not see my advice to Ctrl (Cmd) click presets that are set to other tools?

How do you have your right click brush panel set? If you have Show Additional Preset Info checked then you can see when presets have spcific tools set, and can chose to Ctrl click those presets if you absolutely want to use it for another tool type.  Or you can select presets better suited to that tool.

image.png

 

Do you appreciate how powerful the Photoshop brush engine is nowadays?  When creating new presets you can chose to Include Tool Settings  which will include tool types.

image.png

So if you like a preset that was designed for another tool, Ctrl click to select it maintaining your current tool, and choose New Brush Preset and check Include Tool Settings.  You then have a version of that prest that uses your chosen tool.

 

Note:  In order to keep such new tools you MUST create a new brush group and drag your new presets to that group. Then open the Preset Manager and SAVE that new group will save it as an .ABR file in the brush presets folder on your OS.

 

Unfortunately for some morer casual users, Photoshop is a powerful application designed for professional image creators, and those users demand features that make life easier for them.  For the most part you can ignore or choose not to use features you find too complicated, or you can use a non professional image app like Elements or Gimp, or Afinity etc.

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