CS4’s offset drop-down menus not tablet friendly

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Posted By
BJNicholls
Jan 20, 2009
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975
Replies
13
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Closed
It’s less annoying when using a mouse, but I find one of the changes to the interface quite unfriendly for pen/tablet use. The drop-down menus for File, Edit, Image, and Layer are offset to the right of each menu item’s live area. That means having to be extra careful when moving the cursor down the list so the menu doesn’t accidentally snap closed. The remaining drop down menus are flush right with the item’s live area, so they don’t present the same problem.

I killed the annoying tabs feature and that doesn’t affect the offset pull-downs. Illustrator has the same behavior, so I assume the offset behavior is consistenet through the CS4 applications. Nope. Bridge CS4 doesn’t have the offset. Nor does Acrobat Pro.

It’s nice that in an era of multiple and large displays that Adobe’s interface designers were inspired to try and free up interface workspace. But a little interface design detail like this offset is a daily aggravation that doesn’t have any benefit that I can discern.

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CF
chris_farrell
Jan 20, 2009
Latest tablet drivers?

You might need to recalibrate your tablet?

Look in to it….as my tablet (wacom intuos3) has no such issue.

It would be interesting to see if others have this issue.
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BJNicholls
Jan 23, 2009
I’m running a Wacom Intuous3 with the latest tablet driver. Tablet calibration relates to area mapping, I’m pretty sure the application handles the drop down API without referencing the tablet drivers. I reset preferences and rechecked mapping but that had no effect on the jogged drop down menu alignment.

Here’s what I’m talking about as a screen capture:

<http://bjnicholls.zenfolio.com/img/v6/p717700008.jpg>

You’re saying that the drop down menu on your system has a different alignment to the File menu title than this?

<http://bjnicholls.zenfolio.com/img/v6/p717700008.jpg>
WE
Wolf_Eilers
Jan 23, 2009
BJ, I do not have the offset you show in your screen capture. On my system the menu flyout appears directly below the menu item. I use an Intuos2 tablet with standard CS4.

< http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1XAPRwReShtRDeOL1I BYF2jOapvGa>
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Steve Sprengel
Jan 23, 2009
I have never used any sort of tablet and am using Vista 32 and my File menu is left-algined with the left-size of the word File the same as Wolf Eilers’.
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BJNicholls
Jan 23, 2009
Thanks all, I really appreciate the information you’ve provided!

I shouldn’t have mentioned the tablet in the post heading. I don’t think the tablet has anything to do with the alignment problem, it’s just harder to deal with using a stylus as opposed to a mouse. This must be something peculiar to my system. I see the same behavior in PS CS4 64 and 32 bit versions. And undocking my tool palette doesn’t help (grasping at straws).

Specifics on my system: Vista Ultimate x64 with aero features enabled (and Vista tablet features). Looks like there’s a new video driver for my Nvidia GTX 280 card. I’ll install it and see if that has any effect.
DN
David_Nicol
Jan 23, 2009
I also don’t have the problem, using either mouse or Intuos 3, in Windows XP SP3. Mine looks like Wolf Eilers’, perectly left aligned. It’s very odd that you’re having this issue.
RK
Rob_Keijzer
Jan 23, 2009
BJ,

In your screen capture, extreme left, right below the Tools Panel there’s the edge of some sort of balloon, or tab. It casts a shadow to its right.

Could that be some sort of utility recognised by the O/S and forcing menus to keep some clearance?

Very wild guess of course.

Rob
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BJNicholls
Jan 23, 2009
Rob,

Thats’s the Vista tablet PC input panel. I tried moving it to the other side of the display to no effect. The new as-of-yesterday video driver had no effect.

I’ll look into the tablet PC settings. These became active after installing the Wacom driver, but since they’re part of the OS perhaps they affect the interface display.

BJ
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BJNicholls
Jan 23, 2009
Okay, I figured out a fix. Here’s the deal:

The Tablet PC Settings control panel has radio button options for Right-handed and Left-handed menu appearance – the menus are supposed to appear to the left if you’re right handed, and vice-versa if you’re left handed. I had changed the setting to match my right-handedness. The default setting was Left-handed.

Apparently, the CS4 Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator interface isn’t compliant with this handedness feature of the tablet UI. Acrobat Pro and Bridge work fine with handedness settings and I haven’t checked the rest of the suite applications.

If someone running Vista with a Wacom tablet can check this out with the right-handed menu setting to confirm it’s not just my system, I’d appreciate it.

BJ
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BJNicholls
Jan 23, 2009
Just checked Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks and all exhibit the same offset problem with right-handed setting on the tablet control panel. LiveCycle Designer has no offset issue – same as Bridge and Acrobat Pro.

It looks to me like the applications with the new CS4 UI (tabs, docking, etc.) aren’t tablet setting compliant.

If I reduce the application window in Photoshop so the menus can drop down with the left alignment, they align correctly. The offset is visible when right-handed is set in the tablet CP and the application window is too close to the edge of the display area to allow the drop-downs to align on the right edge of the menu item box.
RJ
Robert_J._Woolhiser
Feb 13, 2009
I have the problem with a wireless mouse. Were you running VISTA? I am. Was there ever a solution or some configuration command I’m not finding or….??? It is very annoying….
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BJNicholls
Feb 13, 2009
Yes, I’m running Vista. Perhaps your mouse driver has left and right handed menu options like the tablet control panel provides. If so, try toggling to left-handed preference if the mouse settings have handedness options.
M
Malveka
Feb 14, 2009
BJ,

I’m running Vista with CS4 Design Premium and a Wacom Intuous tablet installed. I can confirm exactly the behavior you described. Also, thankfully, your fix works very well. Thank you! That was an extremely annoying problem.

I found the problem exhibited in these programs:

Dreamweaver
Fireworks
Flash
Illustrator
InDesign
Photoshop

As you mentioned, Acrobat and Bridge worked correctly.

Regards,
Mal

MacBook Pro 16” Mockups 🔥

– in 4 materials (clay versions included)

– 12 scenes

– 48 MacBook Pro 16″ mockups

– 6000 x 4500 px

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