What's wrong with Photoshop?

I'm just thinking about when I started using Photoshop. I can't remember, though. It must have been many years ago. I'd better not talk about the early sources. Then I convinced my employer that we really needed a Photoshop license. And since the Creative Cloud subscription model, I afford it myself. I think the 12 euros per month is fair and doesn't put much strain on the budget.

Now in October 2020, the new version 22.x came out, Photoshop 2021. And with it, new bugs and old problems that are really annoying. Before I go into that, a few words about my PC, so that you can perhaps better classify some issues. With its almost 6 years, my computer is certainly no longer high-end hardware. It is equipped with an Intel Xeon E3-1231 CPU, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, a 10 TB hard drive and an Nvidia Quadro K620 graphics card. That should still be enough for image editing.

But now to the problems. The first error occurred recently when saving an image for another article. "There is a problem with Generator". The error message appears when using the "Export as..." function.

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Fortunately it works with "Save as" too. I could not identify the cause, especially since the problem does not occur with other images...

I had a really strange problem with a Photoshop file that was saved as Photoshop 2020. The file consists of only a few layers, otherwise it's not very exciting. I wanted to change a few little things so I could order a photo print. Then when I saved it, I got the telling error message "Could not save as ... because of a program error.".

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This time, unfortunately, there was no workaround. Neither "Save as", nor create a copy brought anything. Only after I deleted some layers, the image could be saved again. I hope that this will be fixed soon, I would like to be able to edit my old photos.

Unfortunately, Photoshop does not need a specific reason for an error. It can also crash just like that, completely unmotivated. This has happened a few times lately, and the recovery didn't always work. So all the work was gone.

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At least I could still send the crash report.

Another error, again concerning export, reports the following: "Your element file was exported, but an error occurred while adding metadata".

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Again, I don't know what the real problem is. The photo was saved and can be opened without any problems. But at least now I know that Photoshop is on a first-name basis with me.

Another funny bug, or maybe this is supposed to be a feature, I noticed when exporting a blank transparent image. For a Python GUI I needed a transparent pixel as a spacer. As you can see from the screenshot, Photoshop simply refuses to export this image. There is nothing technically wrong with saving the image this way.

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Now these were some bugs that I have noticed while working with Photoshop 2021 so far. Some are just annoying, but others can really cost time. One can only hope that soon updates will be delivered that solve these problems instead of putting too much energy into "neural filters" that are mostly only available as beta version or even only offer the option "I'm interested". But that's a topic in itself.

Besides Photoshop, though, I'm actually more annoyed with Adobe Bridge. I don't know if it's because of my old hardware, but often that's the only way I see the app.

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That means I wait. No idea what Bridge is doing at this moment, since the indexing actually happens in the background. And this happens not only with directories with hundreds of RAW files, but also with a few small files that are used for the gallery, for example.

But even though I can finally use Bridge again, and according to the status bar it's done generating thumbnails, that doesn't mean it's running smoothly now. A look at the task manager shows why.

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Bridge consumes almost 100% CPU time. And that for minutes. That means not only Bridge is terribly slow, but the whole PC is more or less paralyzed. At this moment I don't have many options except waiting. But since I do as many settings as possible in Bridge or Camera Raw, this is really tedious. A small workaround in this case is an option in ProcessExplorer or ProcessHacker. Here, under the "Affinity" item, you can specify the CPU cores that a process is allowed to use. Here I then click away all cores except for one or two, then at least the rest works normally again. Unfortunately, this setting is only temporary and the next time I start Bridge, it picks up all the cores again.

While the sluggishness of Adobe Bridge is not a new issue, the Photoshop bugs really are. Except, like it or not, there's no real alternative. A while back, I installed Affinity Photo in search of a Photoshop replacement. The program is really good and already comes very close to Photoshop. But importing RAW images doesn't hold a candle to Adobe Camera Raw, and most importantly, it doesn't save RAW settings. And a counterpart to Bridge doesn't exist at all, unfortunately.

But there is some good news. It's no problem to install multiple versions of Photoshop with Adobe Creative Cloud. So in the meantime, I'll just keep working with Photoshop 2020. After the next update, I'll look at the current version again.

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