Vanishing Brush Size in Photoshop
October 6, 2005 9:06 AM   Subscribe

In Photoshop, why does those dotted circle (brush size indicator) sometimes vanish?

It seems to vanish in my computer and my work... Seems to act up more when I am working on large size memory files. Most times it comes back on when I restart the program. What is the problem... It is annonying while I am working on an image and the brush size goes away. Is it a video card problem? i Have nvidia Quadro 900xgl and my work has Quadro 4000.... but I think it happens in other cards too...
posted by curiousleo to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Best answer: If you accidentally push CAPS LOCK, that is the shortcut for the target cursor rather than the actual brush size. Or are you talking about any and all cursors disappearing? For example, if you click on the pointer, do you get your normal cursor?
posted by spicynuts at 9:24 AM on October 6, 2005

Thank you for the CAPS LOCK info - I've been having this issue for years and thought it was just something finicky in my preferences!
posted by hsoltz at 10:39 AM on October 6, 2005

Best answer: Usually, it's the CAPS LOCK issue. Another possibility is that the brush size is bigger than the document (so the circle is outside the doc's borders).

You can also set preferences as to how Photoshop displays cursors. Go to Photoshop > Preferences > Display & Cursors (PC: Edit > Preferences > Display & Cursors).

Since the question has been answered, I'll mention a few extra tips:

1. Bracket keys change the size of the brush: [ = smaller; ] = bigger.

2. Use Shift + [ or ] to make the brush harder or softer (more transparent around the edges)

3. If your brush stops painting, check the following:
-- in the options bar, make sure Mode is set to Normal and opacity to something viewable (i.e. 100%),;
-- do you have a (hidden?) selection? You can't draw paint outside of a selection (command/control+D to deselect).
-- check your Layers palette. Do you have the layer selected that you intend to paint on?
--check your tools. Are you painting with the brush that you think you're painting with (i.e. don't try to paint with the eraser)?

4. press D to default the colors to black and white.

5. press x to default switch the foreground and background colors (which you can just think of as two colors you're currently painting with).

6. Command/Control + backspace = fill (selection or whole layer) with the background color.

7. Option/Alt + backspace = fill (selection or whole document) with the foreground color.

8. Command+Shift+Option+N (PC: Control+Alt+Shift+N) = new layer

Note: learn these shortcuts (and get a Wacom tablet) and painting in Photoshop will switch from being a pain to being fun. These tips work for ALL brushes (i.e. you can use the brackets to resize the Clone or Dodge tool.)

Once you've mastered these brush tools, learn how to (a) use the Brushes Palette (which you can pretty much figure out just by playing around) and how to create a new brush.
posted by grumblebee at 1:43 PM on October 6, 2005

Side note, you can in preferences PERMENANTLY set it to the target cursor.
posted by filmgeek at 1:46 PM on October 6, 2005

filmgeek (I'm sure you know this, but), the CAPS LOCK key will still override the preferences setting.
posted by grumblebee at 1:49 PM on October 6, 2005

Excellent question. I've had the same problem.

May I tack on a related question? Why do the bloody resize handles in Illustrator keep disappearing? I can be happily resizing a vector by dragging the handles, switch tools, switch back and... they're gone. And then I have to use the stupid resize tool until I restart the application. Hmmph.
posted by blag at 3:14 PM on October 6, 2005

Another thing - the gray surrounding the image is 50% gray (or close) - the brush outline is drawn in the inverse colour - that is, er, 50% gray. I quite often lose the brushes over this grey expanse, but ususally a thrash of the mouse, say, way over to the top-right, brings it back.
posted by cogat at 3:51 PM on October 6, 2005

In the current version of PS, you can change the pasteboard color (the area surrounding the image) by clicking it with the paintbucket tool.
posted by grumblebee at 4:03 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you thank you so.... much... you have probably saved about couple of days in year waiting for brush size to return or Photoshop to restart or my computer to restart.... thank you all
posted by curiousleo at 6:17 PM on October 6, 2005

« Older Racism   |   How shall I spend my Puerto Rican vacation? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.