I've used Photoshop since before dirt was invented. Right now I'm using PS CC v19.

I must have flipped a switch somewhere because now it won't let me paint on a layer or fill a selection. I have no idea why.

enter image description here

This occurs with existing files and new files alike and persists even if I close PS and open try anything else. (It has nothing to do with the file in my screenshot; it was a problem before and it's a problem after. And it's a problem with any file)

I know I did some unusual things in PS I've never done before - experimenting with converting a bitmap to a .STL file, and using the "3D" options form the menu, so PS may have "helped" me by switching to some mode I'm not aware of.

This is a normal RGB, 8-bits/channel mode, just like always.

They both have a new (indecipherable) icon next to them:

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


The tools selected are 3D Editing Tools.

Select the tools without the little checkerboard next to them to edit standard layers by holding down the Control Key (Mac) or right clicking on the tool in the Toolbar until the popup tools appear.

enter image description here

You can also merely tap the tool shortcut repeatedly. For the Paint Bucket, you'd hold the Shift key and then tap the g key repeatedly until you see the tool you want.

  • Thanks. That's a good push in the right direction. Thing is, there aren't any popup tools for these two items. (Notice there's no little arrow in the lower right of the icon). Nov 30, 2020 at 3:13
  • hmm... should I assume you've tried relaunching? Deleting prefs? That would appear to be a technical issue, which isn't on topic here. My tools ways show the popup if they have one.
    – Scott
    Nov 30, 2020 at 4:17
  • As pointed out. Closing and relaunching makes no diff. Would I delete ALL prefs? And do I do that in PS or in a File Explorer? Nov 30, 2020 at 4:32

Workspace. It was Main Menu > Window > Workspace. Which was set to "3D" instead of "Essentials (Default)".

How incredibly annoying. There is zero indication anywhere in the workspace to tell you what workspace you're currently in. And the only indicator is buried as an option under a submenu item. That's a poor User Experience.

Thanks @Scott. You helped me not give up.

  • Actually, switching workspaces won't alter tool popup menus in my experience. My guess would be there's some issue with your 3D workspace causing that.. because I can switch to the 3D workspace and I still have all the tool popups. (of course.. Adobe may have also broken/changed it in their "bleeding edge" version - which I avoid.)
    – Scott
    Nov 30, 2020 at 4:50
  • It definitely does alter them. I guess you just can't Fill or EyeDropper in 3D documents. Thanks again though. Nov 30, 2020 at 4:52

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