5 Common Photoshop Errors and How to Fix Them

Even though it is one of the most used and preferred image editing programs, Photoshop can be surprisingly annoying to use. 

Adobe’s pride and joy, Photoshop is a treasure trove of techniques, tools, and libraries that any graphic designer would require to edit their photos. 

That said, Photoshop has also earned the reputation of being one of the most notoriously frustrating pieces of software to use. It is particularly true for beginners who are unfamiliar with the maze-like interface of the software. 

In this article, you’ll learn about the most common annoyances and how to fix them. 

Scratch disk full error

Errors relating to ‘scratch disk’ must be a common occurrence if you use Adobe Photoshop regularly. The software will refuse to open, and you’ll see the message ‘could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full.’

This error is so standard because Photoshop requires a lot of cache memory or virtual memory. This is where all the temporary files are stored and can be accessed. 

If you’re wondering how to empty a scratch disk to stop seeing this error on your Mac, you can start by clearing your Photoshop cache with the help of the CleanMyMac X tool. You also need to delete all your temporary files and clear your disk space. Finally, you can even consider getting a new SSD to nip the problem in the bud. Scratch disk problems occur due to two reasons – lack of HDD space and lack of RAM. Both of these can be addressed by buying a new SSD to be used as your scratch disk. 

Changing the Measurement to Pixels from Inches

By chance or default, graphic designers find themselves using inches as the unit of measurement in Photoshop rather than pixels. This can be highly frustrating when dealing with work designed for the Internet and not for print. 

To change the unit of measurement, you have to click Edit > go to Preferences > click Units & Rulers. The Preferences window can also be opened by pressing Control + K and selecting the Units & Rulers section on the side menu. 

From the Preferences window, you can use the drop-down menu to change the Rulers setting to Pixels. Then, click OK so that all the selection measurements will be in pixels. 

Photoshop Acting Strange? Reset the Software to Default Preferences

If your copy of Photoshop has been behaving strangely with menu items or panels disappearing, the chances are that the Preferences file has become damaged or corrupt. In some cases, you might even see program errors when working on every image file. 

The solution to this problem is resetting Photoshop’s settings to default preferences. You can do this by following these steps –

Close the application > hold down Command + Option + Shift and start Photoshop. A message box will appear saying ‘Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings File?’ and you will choose Yes. 

Then, the software will load with its default preferences. But, of course, you can customize the preferences to suit your requirements. 

Smart Object Layering

Say, for instance, you are applying filters to a layer to make it appear stunning. Generally, if you make a mistake, you would have to revert every filter and again use them to get it looking fabulous. 

But what if you don’t remember the specific value of a filter or forgot a filter entirely? What if you are facing issues with a filter but don’t know which one it might be? These problems can be resolved by converting your layer to a Smart Object. 

Smart objects enable users to list the modifications that they commit to a layer. Also, users are allowed to make changes, create or delete any modification without losing track. 

If you wish to convert a layer to a smart object, simply right-click on the layer’s name and choose Convert to Smart Object. In your layer thumbnail, a small icon will appear, and to delete or view a filter, you can click on the eye icon to the left of the listing. 

Bird’s Eye View

In Photoshop, most of the time is spent looking at and modifying minute details in a project. It can cause a lot of pain if you constantly have to zoom in and out to finish an entire canvas. 

The solution is to press and hold H when you have zoomed in on a particular part of the canvas and wish to zoom the same amount on another spot. Then, click and drag your cursor to place the magnifying square in the other place on your canvas. 

Wrapping Up!

Photoshop is the most prolific and influential application for graphic designers. But, it is not the most accessible application to learn. It might take you years to master the art of using this application. That said, if you ever face a problem with Photoshop, know that adjusting a few settings on the software is the solution rather than giving up using Photoshop altogether. Hopefully, the fixes mentioned above will solve your woes. 

You can also consider reading about: Are Presets Worth It?

William Adley

William is an expert and net-savvy and loves to share different skills related to the Internet and technology. He also writes reviews about games, gadgets, equipment, software, apps, utilities, and hardware. Previously, he was working as a news editor but his love for the internet and technology turned him into a writer. He has expertise in working with iOS and Apple devices.


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