So I'm painting with the brush tool, and I mess up and hit E on my keyboard for the eraser but the tool doesn't change. I hit cmd++/- and nothing happens, I hit M for marqee nothing happens.


When I click my mouse in the gray area thats part of the window plane like layers/tools etc, I am able to use my keyboard shortcuts again.

Its as though photoshop didn't recognize that I had stopped using the brush tool and kept me locked in until I clicked on something that is not part of the canvas to "wake it up".

I have no idea why this is happening.

2 Answers 2


I had that "issue" too, even though it's not an issue.

The explanation is that due to your shortcut combo, you end up pressing Alt key which takes focus to the upper menu tab ( file, edit and so on, you can see them selected ). You need to place focus on you drawing board again by either clicking on it or pressing Alt again.

This loss of focus also happens when using Alt+Tab to change between windows.

You'll get used to it.

  • I see. I can adjust to that I guess. Thanks for clarifying it for me. Dec 13, 2015 at 3:09
  • @KaranveerSingh Glad I could help ;) It's annoying sometimes, especially when you are changing between languages when designing and this happens.
    – Alin
    Dec 13, 2015 at 10:33

if you have a wacom that might be the problem. check this link out. it should work.


  • Welcome to Graphic Design! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Luciano
    Aug 3, 2017 at 9:10

Your Answer

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

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