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Photoshop math

When it comes to Photoshop, I'm an expert. Photoshop is designed, for the most part, for print design. It isn't exactly what I'd call web-friendly. Over the past few iterations Adobe has done things that help us web, icon, and what I call "scratch graphics" designers do stuff more easily.

However, I'm working in Photoshop right now and just realized that I started calc.exe for the zillionth time. Looking back over the years, I've realized that every time I start Photoshop, I have inevitably started calc.exe or pulled out my graphing calculator (now dead - a huge nuisance - should probably replace it but my experience was that it regularly chewed through batteries).

So, what I'd love to see in Photoshop is allow every field that takes a number to also take a mathematical formula and evaluate it. Real example of how I want it to work follows. Take the "Canvas Size" dialog:

For this case, I want to increase the width of the canvas to 886*2-1 pixels. Or 1771 pixels. Sure I can do the math in my head, but I save time by firing up calc.exe. I would save even more time if I could simply enter the formula "886*2-1" into that field. Or do what Microsoft Excel does and put an equals sign in front of the formula to indicate that it is a formula, "=886*2-1". I don't think I'm asking for a whole lot here. Writing a basic calculator program is a first-year college student assignment (every semester, a few requests from students pop up on mailing lists for someone else to do their homework assignments for them). This is Photoshop we're talking about. It is supposedly the cream-of-the-crop, top-of-the-line professional graphics editor and here I am running calc.exe to do basic tasks in Photoshop. Ironic.


  1. It's true. in adobe's After effects, you can math it up quite alot and it's scriptable in many ways.


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