At some point in Photoshop's development, brush settings became associated with specific tools. This is causing me frustration in my workflow. I will, for example, have the Smudge Tool selected, and then I go to look for a brush in the drop-down brush menu that matches the texture I want. But when I select the brush I want, the tool jumps back to the Brush Tool (as if pressing the B key).

I just want to smudge with a textured brush tip. How can I stop it from switching, or at least only display brushes that are going to work with my selected tool?

2 Answers 2


Stop using the Brush Presets panel and use the Brush Panel.

Brush presets contain preconfigured, tool specific, settings....

The Brush panel contains only settings.

They are two separate panels....

enter image description here

Choosing a Brush preset will set the tool to that saved configuration.

Whereas changing anything in the Brush panel will merely alter the settings for the tool in use currently.

  • Brush Presets may not include tool info. I believe the OP wants to switch between presets but encountered the new feature of presets including the tool info. Oct 19, 2021 at 7:36
  • Possibly @SergeyKritskiy I'm not one to use Presets.. so if there's a new feature there, I may have missed it.
    – Scott
    Oct 19, 2021 at 7:37
  • Thank you! This is closest to what I was looking for - a way to change the Tip Shape of whatever brush I'm currently using. It's worth noting that the naming has been changed: BrushBrush Settings, and Brush PresetsBrushes (To add to the confusion).
    – Mentalist
    Oct 19, 2021 at 8:40

If you click Show Additional Preset Info in the Brushes flyout menu you'll notice that some brush presets have icons in the top-right corner — those are presets with included tool settings (if I'm not mistaken this was added in CC2018 or CC2019):

enter image description here

Currently there's no way to ignore tool info of these presets to my knowledge (which is actually very useful in a lot of cases). I guess what you can do is create duplicate of the presets without the tool settings included:

  1. Select a preset;
  2. Click on New Preset button and make sure you have Include Tool Settings option deselected;

enter image description here

  1. this will create a copy of the selected brush preset without the tool settings included;

enter image description here

As for why this change was made: I believe Adobe tries to consolidate Tool Presets and Brush Presets — that were living in two separate panels before — to one window. This makes sense to me (a lot of people had no idea about Tool Presets). But the change was made in quite a crude way, yes.

  • Thank you for explaining this in detail. It's good to know how to do this, especially if making custom brushes. And if I ever decide I want to make a new version of each one of my brushes, in order to un-**** what Adobe has done here, I will. :-) But chances are, I will be too lazy to, and just change the Tip Shape each time after selecting my brush instead.
    – Mentalist
    Oct 19, 2021 at 8:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.