Praise the design gods for the new Sync Settings functionality. Granted, it took at least a decade longer than it should have — the differences between version number upgrades of any given Adobe app weren’t great enough to warrant having to manually adjust your app settings in the same way for the umpteenth time (watch for a completely useless blog post about how to circumvent this issue in my upcoming “Dead Hack of the Month” blog series), much less have to live with alien settings on other computers. But hey, let’s allow that to be water under the bridge and instead focus on the water that’s still dripping on us from a cold, dead winter tree branch: the lack of sticky settings. Here we go…
You know that nuanced little way that you like to set a certain thing in your favorite CS/CC app? Let’s say it’s the center dot of new vector shapes in Illustrator, and let’s say that you are me because I’m using this as example because it gets on my friggin’ nerves. I don’t like the center dot. Sure, I’ll turn it on occasionally for the rare occasions when I need to align something to it, but that’s the case maybe once a week. Otherwise they just cause me to inadvertently select or snap to things that I’m not interested in. One would think, then, that Illustrator would default to my preferred, un-center-dotted state, since that’s what I virtually always switch to. No. One would be wrong. One would be lending too much faith that a zeal for whiz-bang new features on the part of the Adobe engineers would equate to a zeal for the finest grained UI refinement. Oh, one. You are so damn naive.
Want another example that probably doesn’t specifically apply to you? Well, here it is anyway: when exporting web slices in Photoshop (yes, I know that this method is going the way of the smoking dinosaur), I almost never choose “User Slices” as the final saving option, and I never, ever, ever choose “All Slices.” It’s “Selected Slices” almost all the time because — you guessed it — I don’t want to export every slice in the document every time I tweak one stupid image. But guess what happens when you use Save for Web with a non-sliced image and then return to your sliced PSD and Save for Web again? “All Slices.” Yeah, I get it, that was the only option in the previous un-sliced doc. That doesn’t change the facts that A) that bears no relevance to the option that I last chose, and B) you could just as easily attach the sticky option to the document itself, not to my most recent behavior (i.e., “Doc A.psd” is always set to “All,” while “Doc B.psd” is always set to “Selected”).
Hey, don’t get me wrong, I get that I seem to be making mountains out of moleskine hills here. What’s the big deal about having to make one extra click to turn off center dots? Well, it’s this: those of us who literally live in these apps every damned day, and are trying to be as productive as we can with them, end up having to repeatedly pickup the slack because the CS/CC guys didn’t go that extra mile to have the app remember everything as we last set it. One extra click? Sure, that takes maybe half a second. But four dozen extra clicks per hour, 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year equals almost 15 hours of wasted time (not to mention wasted stress, since you’re burning mental energy with these adjustments) per year. For those of us working hourly, that might equate to anywhere from $400 to $2000 of billable time. I wouldn’t mind having an extra bundle of C-notes and a more relaxed demeanor, would you?
…and as always, you can repeat these sentiments to the source right here »