Define Pattern Not Enabled - Why???

Explorer ,
May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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I follwed the simple instructions in the help system to the letter. I make a selection using the rectangular marquee tool, but the Define Pattern menu item under the Edit menu is not enabled. What do I have to do to define a pattern? Why is such a simple thing so diffucult?

-Steve

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Guru , May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011
..then why WOULDN'T inverting the selection delete everything that's not within the dashed border that you see?I'm not saying it doesn't!What I'm proposing is that some of the pixels WITHIN the marching ants selection you show might have some transparency in certain pixels that is  causing Define Pattern to be unavailable.Can you put that pattern over an area with dark and light values (NOT the transparency checkerboard you have) and re-post it?Or better yet, Cmd+Click on the problem layer and S...

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May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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Possibilities:  You're in a modal state, you have no selection, the selection is too large, or you've reached the maximum number of pattern presets.

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Explorer ,
May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Chris, but none of those apply. The selection is 31x31 pixels. The app is definitely not in a modal state. In fact, the Define Brush Presets item is enabled, but Define Pattern (just below it) is not. This is the first pattern preset I've tried to create, so I'm certainly not at the max. FWIW, I'm not a PS newbie. I've been using the app for nearly a decade. I just don't understand this behavior. Does the document have to be in a certain color mode or something?

Any other ideas? This is quite frustrating. I might be an update behind, so if this is an issue that's been addressed in a recent update, let me know.

-Steve

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May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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The only other things that can disable the new pattern command:

If the selection is discontiguous (not a single area).

If you have channels targetted other than the composite channels.

If you have a path active and visible.

If the document is 32 bit/channel.

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Explorer ,
May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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Well, here's a real oddity. If I make the selection by command clicking - even if it's rectangular with no transparency and not discontinuous - the menu item remains disabled. If, however, I drag select the exact same region using the rectangular marquee tool, the menu item is enabled.

I even drag selected the region, inverted the selection, and then pressed delete to remove any trace of content outside the region. After doing that, command clicking to select still results in the menu being disabled.

Why? I don't understand. It seems that selecting the exact same region in two different ways yields two different results. Is that how it's supposed to be?

-Steve

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May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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I'm really not sure.  I haven't been able to reproduce that problem so far, so it may depend on your document.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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Hmm, I'm not able to reproduce either. Can you post the document in question with steps to reproduce? That may give us more clues.

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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> Can you post the document in question with steps to reproduce?

Sure, if you tell me how to post a document. I see no way to attach a file to a forum post.

😕

-Steve

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LEGEND ,
May 17, 2011 May 17, 2011

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Instructions for defining a pattern clearly states to select an area using the marquis tool.

So use the marquis tool to select the area to be used as the pattern.

In other words there is only one way to select the area t be defined as the pattern.

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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On May 17, 2011, at 11:54 PM, Wade_Zimmerman wrote:

In other words there is only one way to select the area t be defined as the pattern.
But in fact, command clicking does indeed work just fine as I have already mentioned in this thread and as others have confirmed. The curiosity is why it doesn't work for this one layer. Either there's something I don't understand about the layer, or there's a gremlin in the document.

-Steve

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Adobe Employee ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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Yeah. It would be good to see what's special about the document, so if you can post, we can investigate.

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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Did you transform (scale) the pixels on the layer you want to define?

(I can duplicate what you are seeing, but it seems to be related to resampling introducing some semi-transparent pixels on the edge of the area  to define.)

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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> Did you transform (scale) the pixels on the layer you want to define?

Nope.

-Steve

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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Well, here is how I’m duplicating what I think you are seeing:

• Create new doc 1000 X 1000

• Make new layer

• In new layer create 100 px X 100 px rectangular selection, fill with solid color

• Note now any method of selection will show Define Pattern

• Transform-Scale the new Layer 200 percent.

• Cmd+click selection of that layer has grayed out Define Pattern. But Magic Wand selection (at 32 tolerance) of same pixels shows Define Pattern available.

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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Well, here is how I’m duplicating what I think you are seeing:

Now proceed as I've described in my previous post (i.e. select with rectangular marquee, invert, delete) and see if command clicking still works.

-Steve

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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No. BUT if I do the same thing with rectangular selection just a few pixels inside the area (so that the semi-transparent pixels introduced in resampling get deleted) then Define Patern is availble.

I realy think this has to with the edge of semi-transparent pixels that can get introduced in resampling. But I'm not sure WHY! (or how much it realy matters.... )

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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I did some more testing...

Looks like Cmd+clicking selection respects partially transparent edge pixels, while Magic Wand (at default tolerance anyway) does not.

So, I bet dollars to donuts for some reason you have edges on the area you want to define that are not fully opaque.

Those semi-opaque edges probably make the  selection look like it is not a true rectangle, so Define Pattern is unavailable.

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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On May 18, 2011, at 10:26 AM, charles badland wrote:

So, I bet dollars to donuts for some reason you have edges on the area you want to define that are not fully opaque.
I suppose that's possible, but then that raises another interesting question. Why would marquee selection + invert + delete NOT actually remove the pixels it should?

-Steve

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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I suppose that's possible, but then that raises another interesting question. Why would marquee selection + invert + delete NOT actually remove the pixels it should?

That would delete any non-contiguous pixels, but why do you think it that would affect some the the semi-opaque pixels on the edge?

Here is a very exaggerated example of what I think is happening. Note the edge pixels have some transparency:

late_launch.jpg

Cmd+Clicking to select the gray square creates a selection retaining the transparency. The Rectangular Marquee and other selection tools do not.

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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That would delete any non-contigous pixels, but why do you think it that would effect some the the semi-opaque pixels on the edge?

Because if this is my selection made with the rectangular marquee tool...

pixelselection.png

...then why WOULDN'T inverting the selection and deleting remove everything that's not within the dashed border that you see?

-Steve

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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..then why WOULDN'T inverting the selection delete everything that's not within the dashed border that you see?

I'm not saying it doesn't!

What I'm proposing is that some of the pixels WITHIN the marching ants selection you show might have some transparency in certain pixels that is  causing Define Pattern to be unavailable.

Can you put that pattern over an area with dark and light values (NOT the transparency checkerboard you have) and re-post it?

Or better yet, Cmd+Click on the problem layer and Save that selection. Then post its alpha channel.

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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Ohhhh, I see what you're saying now!! I'm embarrassed to admit that it didn't occur to me to simply change the info panel to opacity and hover over the edge pixels!

Indeed you are correct! That's the issue! Some of the edge pixels are less than 100% opacity!

Thank you for using Drain-O on my mental block! Sorry to have wasted so much time on this.

-Steve

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Guru ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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Ohhhh, I see what you're saying now!! I'm embarrassed to admit that it didn't occur to me to simply change the info panel to opacity and hover over the edge pixels!

Good idea! I should have suggested using Eyedropper for Opacity earlier.

But this was new to me too. I did not know Photoshop behaved this way until I started poking around trying to figure out your problem!

Always something to learn....

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May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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If it doesn't work for command clicking one layer - there are probably some non-transparent pixels in a location you don't realize.  That would create a non-contiguous selection...

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2011 May 18, 2011

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If it doesn't work for command clicking one layer - there are probably some non-transparent pixels in a location you don't realize.  That would create a non-contiguous selection...

That's what I thought initially, but as I've already described, I used the marquee tool to drag select a rectangular region. Then I inverted the selection and pressed delete to remove any and every pixel outside the initial rectangular selection. That should remove any trace of a pixel outside the original non-inverted selection, right? Yet the problem persists.
I still don't know how to attach a document to a forum post. Surely there's a way, isn't there?
-Steve

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