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  1. #1
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    Default Photoshop toolbar

    UPDATE October 10/3 2013

    PHOTOSHOP
    The most recent Photoshop toolbar (which can also be used for Paint Tool Sai) can be found on thatcomicsguy's website here:
    Fantasy/Sci-fi graphic novels and webcomics by Cartoonist Mark Oakley, author of the Graphic Novel series, "Thieves & Kings", "Stardrop" and "Jenny Mysterious"


    ARTRAGE
    UPDATE October 10/3 2013: We have officially released v. 1.0 of the ArtRage Pen-Only Toolbar. You can download it at
    ArtRage Pen-Only Toolbar 1.0

    and look at the list of changes, as well as get some sort of limited tech help at the dedicated threat at the Artrage Forums:
    The Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar is ready!

    Here is the link to the Youtube video and Tutorial for the Artrage Toolbar as well


    PAINT TOOL SAI
    Previous to the work on the ArtRage toolbar above, we were working on a combined ArtRage Sai version. If you plan on using it for ArtRage, you should use the more complete toolbar in the link above. If you plan to use it for Sai, it can be downloaded from post 448 here:
    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/soft...oolbar-45.html

    The Photoshop toolbar developed by thatcomicsguy can also be used in Sai:
    Fantasy/Sci-fi graphic novels and webcomics by Cartoonist Mark Oakley, author of the Graphic Novel series, "Thieves & Kings", "Stardrop" and "Jenny Mysterious"

    UPDATE MARCH 12 2013: Tonitti has customized thatcomicsguy's toolbar and come up with his own toolbar for Sai:
    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/soft...i_toolbar.html


    OPENCANVAS
    For a related toolbar that can be used with openCanvas, see basicleader's great work here:
    openCanvas 5.5 Toolbar (Inspired from Photoshop toolbar thread) - NEED HELP







    Original post:

    Hi all,

    After fooling around with a AutoHotkey script on my EP121, I decided to try to learn how to use AutoHotkey more efficiently. I've come up with a toolbar for Photoshop that can kind of serve as a version of ModLock on steroids (i.e. you can press the buttons with the pen, and keep modifiers like Ctrl and Shift pressed down). I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to try it out and share their comments. It's available as a zip file that I have uploaded on mediafire.com:

    Photoshop_Toolbar_v1

    For it to work, you will need to have AutoHotkey installed on your computer. Then, just extract the content of the zip file and double-click the file named Photoshop.ahk (you can close it by right-clicking on the tray icon). This should open a hovering toolbar that looks like the picture below.

    Any comments on how well it works would be greatly appreciated. Note that I am actually not an artist and am doing this to learn how to use AutoHotkey so don't hesitate to tell me if the layout is all wrong or if any important buttons useful for Photoshop are missing. Thanks in advance for your input.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Steve B; 10-03-2013 at 05:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Post Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Dude! Nice work!

    I spent some time mucking around with Autohotkey a year or so ago (trying to make an on-screen undo button). It was a tough learning curve because I'm not a programmer at all, and what I came up with took a fair bit of effort and community help to get working properly.

    Your button bar is exactly what I was hoping to find (and didn't) which prompted me to make my own. Yours is so slick, and it works great! I love the fact that you can move it around with the 'move' tab. (Mine was static, and you needed to tweak the code if you wanted to make it appear in different spots on your screen.)

    Things I'd add and subtract to make your button bar smoother (for my own needs, anyway), are the following. . .

    -Add a key which toggles full-screen.
    -Make it so that the hand function is automatically toggled off when you hit any other key, (like the brush or eraser).
    -The brush increase/decrease size buttons can be removed altogether since clicking the stylus button already opens up a handy and powerful brush size context menu in Photoshop.
    -I don't think I'd use either the ctrl or shift options, so they just take up space for me.

    Also. . , the copy/paste/cut/delete buttons aren't useful without a lasso option, but the lasso is of limited use since it is most powerful when the user has a hand free to toggle the Alt and Shift keys for various selection functions, (like add, or subtract and polygonal selection), while working the stylus with the other hand. Sticky buttons don't really work with polygonal selection; you really need two hands. Generally, if I need to do proper selection, I'll have the keyboard out and the proper tool bar active.

    Though what WOULD be useful would be to have the basic lasso available, as well as a "Ctrl T" button, which opens up the "scale/rotate/move selection" option. This would be a benefit for people when they are sketching, since selection doesn't have to be super-precise.

    A floating command bar is good for when I'm in slate-mode and just want to draw or ink. So the Brush, and Eraser options, as well as the Undo and Redo features are really useful. So are the Zoom and Hand functions. I don't use the eyedropper, but I can see how some people would find this useful as well. The Save button is also a nice feature to have.

    So I can see a bar with 12 buttons being best suited for my personal use.

    Move, Save
    Brush, Eraser
    Lasso, Transform (Ctrl T)
    Undo, Redo
    Zoom In, Zoom Out
    Full Screen, Hand

    Oh yeah. . .

    What would also be cool would be some way to program the buttons to serve whatever program is in focus, (like Paint Tool Sai, for instance. But that's a whole other level of programming difficulty, and I don't expect you to jump on that challenge, though it certainly would be awesome! Right now, I have two undo buttons open at the same time, one for Photoshop and another for Sai. It would be neat to have one bar which the user could program.)

    And last but not least, just as a matter of convenience, you should know that you can right-click on your .ahk file and select "Compile", which will turn the script into a single executable which anybody can then use without needing to have Autohotkey installed.

    So anyway, I just want to say again, Really Nice Work! This is the sort of thing Table PC users can seriously benefit from!

    And finally. . .

    If you implement these changes, also please set up a tip jar as I'd be happy to drop some bux in it for such a professional and sleek tool.

    Cheers, and thanks again for your contribution!
    Last edited by thatcomicsguy; 02-03-2012 at 09:34 PM.
    Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-fi Comics: www.iboxpublishing.com

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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Thanks thatcomicsguy for all your very useful comments. I actually really appreciate that you are throwing some pretty complex suggestions in there so that it will require that I learn new stuff (and do a whole lot of Googling!) Your comments about the usefulness of the different buttons are very helpful as I donít really use Photoshop for any kind of intensive work. Itís just a great hotkey-full program to sharpen my still-very-limited AutoHotkey chops.

    Most of your suggestions seem to be somewhat straightforward so I may just try to get a basic version out with the ďtrivialĒ stuff taken care of, then go for the more complicated stuff later on. Iíll wait to see if anyone else has other useful suggestions (knowing full well that everyone has their own preferences).

    In the meantime, I have a few basic questions:

    - Is the level of transparency good? Lighter? Darker?
    - Is the button size good (they are all 50x50 pixels)? Should any of the buttons that you suggest be larger? smaller? Larger buttons may be useful if you use touch input but does anyone do that?
    - Is a vertical toolbar better than a horizontal one?
    - Would it be useful if the toolbar had a Windows taskbar icon (like any other program) or is the tray icon sufficient?
    - For a toggle full screen button, would that just be the equivalent of pressing f or do you have something else in mind?
    - I understand your comments about the Ctrl and Shift toggles and also about selecting/copy/paste etc. and will try to address some of what you wrote. That being said, you also seem to suggest that a alt button could potentially be useful in Photoshop?

    By the way, I will eventually compile this script but since I didnít even know if the script would work at all on other computers, I didnít want to add that extra layer of uncertainty.

    Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions, Iíll see what I can do!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    [...] In the meantime, I have a few basic questions:

    - Is the level of transparency good? Lighter? Darker?
    The level of transparency looks about right to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    - Is the button size good (they are all 50x50 pixels)? Should any of the buttons that you suggest be larger? smaller? Larger buttons may be useful if you use touch input but does anyone do that?
    50x50 seems to be a good size. I do value every pixel of screen space I can get, but with this kind of button, I also find I'm zipping back and forth between whatever I'm drawing and the button, often using muscle-memory more than anything else, so having a decent target size is useful. However, not all the buttons need to be that size. You could comfortably shrink some of the less high-traffic buttons into a third of their current size, (For instance, Move, Save and Toggle Full Screen would work well as a triplet of smaller buttons across the top of the bar).

    I find the button size on the native Photoshop Toolbar to be pretty good for the most part, though sometimes when I go for 'heavy traffic' tools, like the Lasso or Eraser, I find I'll miss and hit a nearby key instead. That's annoying.

    Here's a link to my own little "Undo" button script, so you can see the product of my own thinking and what I've gotten used to.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    - Is a vertical toolbar better than a horizontal one?
    I do happen to prefer vertical. That's how I have all my Tablet stuff laid out, as well as my Windows desktop icons. Also, Photoshop, whenever I've seen it running on other people's machines, despite options for horizontal tool layouts, always has the button bars set up in a vertical fashion, so it seems to be the popular convention. I'd stick with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    - Would it be useful if the toolbar had a Windows taskbar icon (like any other program) or is the tray icon sufficient?
    The icon tray is sufficient, I think. The Bar is not a big program like a word processor which fits into the design theme of needing taskbar representation, but rather it's more like a background service, which I find are best represented by the tiny icons.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    - For a toggle full screen button, would that just be the equivalent of pressing f or do you have something else in mind?
    Yes, the 'F' key is what I use.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    - I understand your comments about the Ctrl and Shift toggles and also about selecting/copy/paste etc. and will try to address some of what you wrote. That being said, you also seem to suggest that a alt button could potentially be useful in Photoshop?
    I don't think having an Alt sticky is really much benefit.

    Also. . , at the risk of telling you things you already know. . .

    You should give the lasso tool a try in PS. It's probably the most complicated function wrt button combos there is in the whole program. It requires two fingers on one hand to click Alt and Shift keys while simultaneously manipulating the stylus with the other hand. For instance. . , if you have an existing area which has been selected and is surrounded by the 'marching ants', and you want to add to that selection, while having the Lasso button toggled on, hold down the Alt key, for Add, (you'd hold down Shift if you wanted to subtract from the selection area), then touch the stylus to the screen to start drawing the selection line. THEN, while holding the stylus to the screen, you release the Alt key and then press it again and hold it down. This activates Polygonal Selection, (which means you can lift your stylus and not have the selection auto-complete, but rather allow yourself to touch the screen in another area and have the selection auto-complete between just the new and previous point, while still keeping the selection function active. This allows you to quickly do things like select a Stop Sign shape by just touching each point around the edge rather than having to carefully draw all the way around. It also lets you pause to scratch your nose, so long as you keep the Alt key held down. Very useful.)

    Sound complicated? It is. But after you've trained your fingers, it becomes second nature. The problem, however, with trying to use a stylus-activated Alt key is that you can't use the Stylus to un-sticky the Alt key in the bar since it's already being used to draw the selection area. But if you can figure out an easy system which doesn't need a keyboard, then I bet Adobe would like to hear from you.

    Of course. . , that kind of selection is only necessary for very precise work, like selecting areas to fill with color. For simple manipulation of a sketch in progress, however, (like resizing or shifting the position of a person's head while laying out a rough figure drawing), then the selection areas can be a great deal more general and a basic lasso option and transform tool is all that are required; all that clever finger-dancing described above isn't necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    By the way, I will eventually compile this script but since I didn’t even know if the script would work at all on other computers, I didn’t want to add that extra layer of uncertainty.
    Cool. That makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by lblb View Post
    Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions, I’ll see what I can do!
    No problem! I'm just glad to meet somebody with real programming skills who is interested in finding solutions to Tablet/Photoshop challenges.
    Last edited by thatcomicsguy; 02-03-2012 at 10:54 PM.
    Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-fi Comics: www.iboxpublishing.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    thatcomicsguy,

    Thanks for your detailed answers, much appreciated.

    I have just uploaded v. 1.0 of the 12-button thatcomicsguy_toolbar (see link below). Can you verify if all the buttons work like they should and if any additions/modifications could be useful?

    thatcomicsguy_toolbar_1_0.zip

    I just included the basic buttons that you suggested but haven't really started to address the more funky stuff. Among others, I would really like to find how to release the hand when you hit another button and hopefully that will come soon. In the meantime, I changed the "pressed down" image for the hand so that the state of the button is more obvious. If you prefer the original "pressed down" icon, just replace the file pana.tif in the png subfolder with the file of the same name in the main folder.

    Questions:
    - If I do put three buttons on a row at the top, and also depending on how I can address your other suggestions, there may be a slot that frees up for one button. Any idea what that button could be?
    - I'll try (someday!) to change the commands for each button as a function of the active program. When you run SAI (I don't have it installed), is it "sai.exe" when you look in task manager? Also, what are the key presses/hotkeys that change for the buttons on your toolbar when going from Photoshop to SAI?

    Cheers!

    P.S. I couldn't resist the childish transform icon... if you want to change it, just replace the file transform.tif in the png subfolder with the file of the same name in the main folder.

    UPDATE:

    Well I sure am learning a lot about AutoHotkey today!

    Below is v 1.1. I've added a top row of three buttons to move, rollup/down and close the toolbar. Interested in having those last two on there? Also, I think I figured out the hand thing and it should now be released automatically if you hit another button. I've set it so that all the other buttons will release the hand when pressed: are there any of the buttons on the toolbar for which you would like the hand not to be released when the button is pressed? Also, as you can see there is one spot free for another button right now.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?cax5gd9qakb450v
    Last edited by lblb; 02-04-2012 at 03:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    I don't use PS, but I've been looking for something like this too in Paint Tool Sai, Artrage, and Sketchbook Pro. My dream is to have a program that is half Modlock and half Funky Bar. I LOVE that Funky Bar is program specific. That is awesome. And you can add as many buttons as you want, which is also awesome. Modlock let's you set the timer for modifier keys, and lets you hit multiple modifier keys. Two essential functions as well. Both of these programs do awesome things that are amazingly useful on a tablet pc. It's rather cumbersome to need to us 3 programs just to get the functions I want-- because I also use Stroke It.

    For the truth is that functions that only require you to press a single button once can generally be more easily accessed, imo, by using Stroke It. I use Stroke It for things like Tab, using the Hand/ Scroll/ Grabber tool, and switching tools like Pen, Brush, etc. These are all easily accessed by hitting a single "flick".

    I would like to see things like-
    1) a single button I could push that would but and hold multiple modifier keys, like Ctrl + Alt for example
    2) a slider for magnification instead of a button, to allow a more detailed shift in smaller increments
    3) an fll button for entering and exiting full screen mode

    Things I like- the idea of a quick save button, and an undo and redo button. These are super cool. I'll download this and try it out and get back to you tomorrow.

    I also think the idea of being able to easily use the lasso tool and then scale/rotate, etc with ease sounds really really cool. I never thought of doing that while working in Full Screen. That sounds very cool

    It's very cool that you're trying this out. I'll get back soon!!
    Last edited by Steve B; 02-04-2012 at 07:13 PM.
    Currently own:
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Ha ha! The Transformer head is very cute.

    The hand works great now.

    So does the Transform tool, except it needs a way to exit the function. Actually. . , you could probably use the same thing you changed on the hand tool. 'Transform' needs either a tap from "Enter" or a tap on the PS tool bar to change tools before it will commit to the transformation and exit its edit phase. As it stands, there's no way to commit to the transformation without either the keyboard or the PS native tool bar.

    The Show/Hide button for the bar works really well. I was just playing around with that, and it's good in that it lets me tuck the bar out of the way when I'm doing something not-Photoshop. It seems so obvious in retrospect, but I never realized how much I'd appreciate that function.

    The Close button, I'd personally rather not have, however. I don't want to inadvertently close the bar and have to go find the program again to re-start it. Instead I just close from the icon tray if I really want it gone. -Once my undo button is opened on my system, it usually stays open until I'm done in Photoshop, which is almost never.

    Taking away the Close button leaves a gap on the top three row, which could be filled with the Save button, which doesn't need to be that big anyway. Then the whole bar shrinks by a block's length, (smaller=better) while maintaining all the sweet functions.

    Shaping up to be quite the versatile tool, I must say!
    Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-fi Comics: www.iboxpublishing.com

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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    thatcomicsguy, Steve B,

    Thanks for the good words. I won't have time to work on this before Sunday night (gotta grade my students' lab reports) but I'll write back here as soon as I can.

    thatcomicsguy, for the transform tool, would a Enter button on the toolbar be ok? I will look at other options but it seems like that could work. Although that could be a waste of space if Enter is only used for this one function...

    Steve, I'm very willing to try anything you can think of with this kind of script, although my programming knowledge is still very limited (it was about zero back in August!) So if you want, go ahead and describe in some detail the layout, the buttons and the functions that you would like and I'll see what I can do. I will have to try (and I'm certainly not making any promise) but I think pressing more than one modifier key with one button should be pretty straightforward (as well as adding some timing component). I haven't played with strips or sliders yet but go ahead and describe what you are thinking of I'll see what I can do. Also, if that could be of interest, it would actually be easy to have one file to start to independent toolbars instead of a large one (maybe one for modifiers and one for other buttons?) Lastly, in your previous post, in point #3 is fll a typo (I'm not sure what you mean by that word)?

    Also, I will try soon to see if the commands (and maybe even the button images?) can be changed according to the active program. So it would be helpful if you could tell me of a few hotkeys for functions that are shared by more than one program (and also what the program's name is in Task Manager).
    Last edited by lblb; 02-04-2012 at 07:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    Just so that you can test it while I'm doing other stuff, I've uploaded v. 1.2 that has an Enter button on the toolbar. Hopefully that will make the Transform button usable for now.

    thatcomicsguy_toolbar_1_2.zip

    One last question: if I play with it, I think I could have the roll-up button minimize the toolbar to just the roll-up button. Would that be preferable to having it roll up the toolbar to all three of the top buttons as it is now?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Photoshop toolbar

    It wasn't a typo, but I see now it wasnt clear. In Paint Tool Sai the button you push to enter a kind of "super" full screen mode, where even the Windows taskbar and the Sai menu bar goes away, is F11. Tab hides all the onscreen "tables" for picking colors, starting new layers, changing opacity, etc. I use Tab all the time, but I use F11 once or twice in each session.

    This work you're doing is very very cool. I have guests over right now, but once things calm down I'm very excited to boot up some programs and really play with this some.
    Currently own:
    x230t Outdoor-- Win 7 x64, 256 gb ssd, 16 gb ram, 6-cell
    q552 -- Win7 x32, 2 gb ram, outdoor slate for work

    Owned: Motion le1600 VA, le1700/ VA/ UVA, and j3400, Lenovo X200t Superbright, x200t/ x201t Superbright Outdoor, Fujitsu t5010, t902

    Outdoor Viewable Screens- Comparison Thread with Pics

 

 

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