Inconsistency in a basic function of Adobe package

Problem

Many designers are familiar with Adobe Creative Suit software package. it is comprised of a set of design tools that are sold together (something like Microsoft Office but for the designers): Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Flash, etc.

But despite of being parts of one package, many things are different among these programs. For example the Undo function is usually Ctrl+Z (on Windows) but Photoshop’s undo only has one level. If you want to do an undo like the other software in this package you have to use the rather hard to press Alt+Ctrl+Z for this common and basic functionality.

Here are some pictures from the software in Adobe CS5.5. The good thing about the undo feature of most of them is that they mention the type of action that is going to be undone. But Dreamweaver is an exception to this role!

Image

It’s also good to mention that the Redo function has a different key combination in some of them!

Solution

When releasing software as a package it is important to respect consistency. I suggest changing Alt+Ctrl+Z in Photoshop to Ctrl+Z and use another key combination for Step Backward. I also suggest Ctrl+Y for Redo function in all of them. At least these two keys are standard key combinations in most software.

Read more: Guidelines for keyboard user interface design (Windows)

Note

Look at the order of “Edit” and “View” menus in the above pictures. Probably this level of inconsistency in such a professional product exists because different independent teams work on each product and no one is responsible to check their integration. However designers typically work with more than one of these software at the same time. That is why they are sold in a package! Adobe knows that. Yet it doesn’t try to give a unified user experience to its designers. They may argue that these pieces of software come from different companies (Adobe bought Micromedia a few years ago), but that’s not a valid excuse to keep the new generation of designers confused.

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