I have the same problem all of the sudden and it's accross all of my Adobe programs. I assumed it was the 2021 update. I first noticed in Photoshop, but it's the same in Illustrator and InDesign as well. I can only have one panel from the right side open at a time. VERY frustrating to have the layers dissappear every time I try to use the properties panel...
I do not see any way to reset the properties (per some of the suggestions) for InDesign and I tried the reset on Illustrator and it did nothing. Also the "auto-collapse icon panels" is not and was never selected for any of the programs.
I was thinking it may be because the panels on the right became "pop out" ones (forgive my ignorance of the terminology). I was able to resolve the issue of only one panel at a time by expanding the panels (clicking the double arrow at the top right, see photo), though they still only open one at a time when collapsed...
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Your issue is not the same, so I'll branch this to its own thread from
What you are seeing is the normal behavior for panels. The icon you circled in "expand.png" will collapse or expand the panel dock. When the panels are collapsed, you will see one panel at a time as in "before.png". When they are expanded, they will be stacked as in "after.png".
Your second screen shot, btw, is called "expand" and that is what Adobe uses instead of "pop-out", although as a user you are not bound to that. 😊
In all three applications, go to the Window menu > Workspace where you can reset the current workspace, switch to another one, or create your own named workspace(s) with the panels arranged as you prefer. You will find all panels in the Window menu. Read the help files (above) and see how to create new docks and drag the panels to where you want them to be. In InDesign, for instance, I drag my Pages panel to the left and dock it next to the toolbar when I am working on long documents.
Ask again with screen shots if you have trouble arranging the panels.
Hi @jane-e ,
Thank you for your reply and suggestions.
Just to clarify, are you saying that when the panels are collapsed you always see only one panel at a time? Was that always the case? Perhaps I am misremembering, but I thought even in the collapsed form I could have both the preferences and layers (for example) visible simultaneously.
I have been using these programs for well over a decade and never had an issue with seeing only one panel at a time. I don't think I had been working exclusively in the expanded form, that's why I thought the 2021 update was the reason more than one panel can not be open (in collapsed form).
Regardless, I will try to get in the habit of saving custom workspaces as you suggested.
"I thought even in the collapsed form I could have both the
preferences Properties and layers (for example) visible simultaneously. "
You can if they are in separate Docks.
(preferences is not a panel — I think you meant properties)
You are asking about PS, AI, and ID in the Photoshop forum. I've left it here, but your images are in Illustrator, so I'll use that. Notice that in your screen shot the Properties panel is in the same dock with the other panels.
Here (in AI) I have just reset the Essentials workspace. Notice there are two docks. The one on the far right has one panel group consisting of two panels that extend top to bottom. The one on the left has multiple panels. When you click these, only one will appear at a time. This is what you remember.
In addition, you can click the double arrows to expand/collapse each dock. You can also resize each dock wider or narrower.
Play with this a bit. Choose the Essentials workspace > Play > Reset the workspace > Repeat.
also check your Preferences settings.