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'Auto' on levels layer mask is grayed out


kbeana5

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This is the strangest thing, and I am completely stumped. I have CS5, and have been using it for several years with no problems. In the middle of an editing session, when I add a levels layer mask, the 'auto' button is grayed out. If I close Photoshop entirely and open it again, I can use the auto 1 time - and then on the next image I edit, the auto is grayed out again. I am scanning in really old photos and the auto levels does remarkably well, so I had a rhythm down in scanning, adjusting, saving, etc. Now I have to close Photoshop entirely in between images, or else manually adjust.

I can CTRL + L and adjust levels, and the auto there works fine. But not on a layer mask. Has anyone experienced this?
 

MrToM

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I can't replicate the problem.

Can you provide your workflow which results in the issue and a screen shot of your layers panel?

Regards.
MrToM.
 

kbeana5

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Sure. Couple different ways

1. I open an image in PS. I'm going into Adjustment Layer from the toolbar, adding a Levels layer, then clicking auto. Fine tune image, save and close. Open the next image and try to reproduce but the Auto is grayed out.
2. I open multiple messages in PS. On the first image, do all of the above, close, save. On next image, Auto is grayed out
 

MrToM

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Ok...let me run through that and I'll see if I can work anything out.

BRB.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

MrToM

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Does this happen with different images or is it just one particular image that wont play ball?

I still can't replicate the problem so If it happens with ANY image you open and not just one in particular then I'd suggest resetting the preferences.

Make a backup of your preferences folder first

Close PS.

Make Backup!

Start PS but IMMEDIATELY HOLD Ctrl + Alt + Shift.....before you see any splash screen. (You may even be able to start PS whilst holding down those keys....try it)

At the small 'Preferences Reset' window click on Yes, or Ok, whatever it is to reset the preferences.
If this works then go with it.
If not, close PS and restore your backed up folder....and we'll have to think of something else.

Preference (settings) folder location for Windows is:
C:\Users\< User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Settings

...or variation of depending on your OS and CS5 version.

Copy the WHOLE " Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Settings " folder......and then do the Ctrl Alt Shift thing.

It may be worth trying this before anything else just to rule it out if nothing else.

Regards.
MrToM.

EDIT:
I forgot to mention you should really close PS first, then make the backup....sorry.
It shouldn't make too much difference anyway but just in case.
 
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kbeana5

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Maddening. I had read before to reset my preferences but didn't get it to work - must've been too late on the Ctrl Alt Shift. Anyway, I have them reset now...unfortunately, same issue.

Yes, these are all different files, not just the same one.
 

kbeana5

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I just found something interesting, though. If I manually add the adjustment layer mask, auto is grayed out (if not closing and reopening Photoshop). But I created an action and just recorded me adding an adjustment layer mask and clicking auto. THAT works - even though if I go in, the auto is still grayed out. So I guess at least I have a workaround.
 

MrToM

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...Maddening...
Indeed!

Is it possible to post the erroneous psd file so I can try it?
You can PM it to me if you don't want it in the post.

It may be something simple but without seeing it "as-is" in its bad state its difficult to know what to recommend.

If you can upload it that would make things a lot easier....just go through the motions of adding an image using the "add Image" icon at the top of the quick reply section.

Ignore any warnings about the psd not being an 'image'....it'll still work ok and end up as a link in the post.

Not sure what else to suggest without it really.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

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