Does anyone else see this? Is there a reason why this happens or is it a bug? (Photoshop CS5.1 on OS X 10.7.2, not sure if this happens in previous Photoshop or OS X versions.)

Steps to reproduce:

1. Click on 'Add a layer style' button in the Layers palette and pick anything.

2. When releasing the mouse button, watch the 'Hand Tool' icon.

In seemingly random fashion, it does any of these two things:

A (happens most of the time): It flickers for about ¼ sec (gets selected, then de-selected, just before the Layer Style dialog opens).


B. For as long as the Layer Style dialog is open, the Hand Tool stays 'selected'. But when exiting the dialog you get back whatever tool you were using before.

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


The Hand Tool becomes selected because you can move certain aspects of Layer styles as you apply them.

For example.... Add a Gradient Overlay to a layer via Layer Styles. With the Layer Styles Dialog Window open, click and drag your artwork. You'll see the gradient move around in the layer.

This helps in positioning certain Layer Styles. It won't work for every aspect of Layer Styles but when it does work, it's helpful.

  • Amazing performance, Scott! I never realized that (feel a bit dumb). It also makes sense why the Hand Tool "flickered" (on/off) when you're fully zoomed out to 100%, since then you'll not be able to pan around with the Hand Tool. Takes about .25 secs for Photoshop to realize that, it seems. :) Whereas if you're zoomed in, it stays selected so that you can pan around. Thanks.
    – Henrik
    Jan 7, 2012 at 20:43
  • It's one of those features that's not readily discoverable, but for things like visually positioning, say, a drop shadow, it's very useful. Jan 7, 2012 at 20:52

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