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Troubleshooting Text Tool Problems in Photoshop

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

Troubleshooting Text Tool Problems in Photoshop

So I was busily editing away late one night creating an invitation for one of my clients when to my horror all my text disappeared.

Gone. Nada. Nothing. Nix. Invisible.

All. Of. It.

Then I noticed a very strange thing in Photoshop: Instead of showing the colour of my text, the text colour box just showed a question mark.

I changed the colour of my text, but still the problem remained. I changed the font. No better. I deleted the text layer and made a new one. No luck. I shut down the file and created a completely new file. From scratch. All that work done all over again. I shut Photoshop down and restarted my computer. Still no text. Everything I typed just ran away and hid! Well, to be more accurate, it didn’t even bother to show up in the first place.

Panic ensued. I ran a virus check.

No viruses found. Phew. But still no text!

So I did what every good Photoshop user does in such situations: I Googled.

It seems I wasn’t the first person to have this problem, but a solution wasn’t at all easy to find. Most of the forum conversations I looked at rapidly turned into heated criticisms of people’s design tastes and font choices, but offered little by way of solution to the problem, until one quiet little voice at the end of one forum said softly, “Select ‘Reset Character’ in the character palette.”

Unfortunately I can remember neither the forum nor the author of that comment, but I have concluded that things softly spoken are often worth hearing.

Here’s where you’ll find the character palette:

And now the text is visible again!

Happy editing and designing!



Jennifer Taylor runs vividity photography in Sydney, Australia, specialising in child and family portraits. When she started her photography career almost everyone was shooting film, so learning Photoshop has been a fun challenge for her. She’d be thrilled to bits if you were to drop by her blog and leave a little love note.



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  1. July 20, 2016 at 9:35 pm —

    Well, I wondered what I had done to my files—or if they had all become corrupted—when a client who does a lot of concerts (and therefore frequently needs me to make concert posters by updating the info in them) asked me to make a poster today. Every time I edited the text and switched back to the Move tool, blocks of the text would disappear. When I clicked in to any of these transparent lines with the Text tool, it would all reappear, only to disappear again as soon as I exited Text mode. I was confounded when I saw that exported files were not showing the text either. The placement of the disappearing blocks was pretty random and I could not figure out what was going on. Much Googling ensued, only to find solutions for InDesign but not PS. then I found your article. I read all the way to the end and found that the little quiet voice was the one that would save my bacon too! “…things softly spoken are often worth hearing.” Well said, and more often true than not. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Now I can send the finished concert poster to my client. Whew!

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Troubleshooting Text Tool Problems in Photoshop