Photoshop Top 40, Feature #7: Undo, History, and Revert

If you’re anything like me, you sometimes make mistakes. For example, a few weeks ago, before recording the Photoshop 20th anniversary Martini Hour, I broke my foot falling down a short flight of stairs. Which was fun, because years ago, I had broken the other foot falling down a long flight of stairs. Not to mention the time I busted my teeth on a the bar of a trampoline. Or accidentally yanked a speaker down onto my head and bled so badly I had to replace the couch.

Then there was that time I cautioned a woman not to help a group of us lift a heavy object (it was a car) because she was pregnant (she wasn’t). Or the time I called that other woman “Sir.” Or when my buddy and I were trash-talking this guy for half an hour—I mean, really laying into what an absolute jerk he was—and then strolled out of my dorm room and found him sitting in a near fetal position by my door.

They sound funny now. (Except for the guy who wasn’t really such a jerk after all. I still feel horrible about that one.) But in every case, at the time, I had just one thought in my head: “UNDO!”

Turns out, there is no Undo in real life. (Seriously, real life needs an upgrade.) But there is one in Photoshop. And it exists independently of the backstepping that you can do in the History palette. Which exists independently of the back-to-start Revert command. Which means you can undo History and backstep Revert and revert Undo, not to mention undo the backstepping and, well, you get the idea. You not only have the chance to undo a mistake, you can also undo the backstepping of the reverting of that mistake. Which means you have all the time in the world to circle around a mistake, analyze how you made it, and say, “Yup, that there’s a mistake,” before stabbing yourself in the eye with a claw hammer for being so stupid and undoing that as well.

Honestly, if real life were anywhere near as forgiving as Photoshop, I’d start every morning by stealing a big shipment of diamonds and driving my car off a cliff, just to get the juices flowing. Imagine “Reservoir Dogs” meets “Groundhog Day,” and you have an idea of just how great Photoshop can be.

We had a truckload of great guesses for the week’s feature. (Including a few that prove you guys are every bit as insane as I am.) Nobody precisely nailed the answer, but a lot of folks guessed History. Which is smart given that you can’t save History but it can save you (as stated in the hint).

This week’s winner is Nejtera of Palm Coast, Florida, who guessed “Undo, redo and revert.” It missed History, but it was the closest answer and had the right cadence. Congratulations, Nejtera!

Now it’s time to guess Feature #6. Hint: Among this trio of functions, two will vary, one is fixed. Keep an eye out for my newsletter in your email inbox.

Meanwhile, this week’s super-creepy sample file features three base photographs, all from the Fotolia image library. They include file #1084353 (the alien dude) from Jerome Dancette, file #17555774 (leopard fur) from Vladimir Sazonov, and file #6244104 (Earth) from Paul Paladin. For an exclusive dekeOnline deal, click this link.

(For a list of all Photoshop Top 40 videos thus far, click here.)

Photoshop Top 40 is available as a downloadable podcast from iTunes. Click here to subscribe. dekePod subscribers will get the videos automatically.

One last note: Nejtera’s answer came in late in the game, on Sunday. And no one nailed the answer. So don’t give up hope because it’s getting late. I still recommend you guess early (always prudent), but regardless of when you do it, guess. And best of luck on Feature #6!

Next entry:Photoshop Top 40, Feature #6: RGB, CMYK, and Lab

Previous entry:Martini Hour 054, In Which Deke Challenges My Brain’s Ability to Retain “Personal” Metadata


  • We had such a problem with spammers

    That we turned off direct HTML in comments.

    I’ll make a note to reinstate basic formatting. Although as Lolka noted, some folks seem to be able to do it. Not altogether sure what’s up there.

  • so easy

    It seems so easy to guess now I know the name of the feature wink

  • Separated at birth

    Don’t mean to laugh at your pain, but SO been there.

    I like you more every day, man.

  • Congrats Nejtera

    I don’t use those features.  I thought I made a mistake once; but I was mistaken grin

  • invites

    When should we expect the invite in our emails.

    Been having issues receiving them.

  • Missing Email for Feature #6????

    When should we expect the invite in our emails.

    Have been receiving them, but not today.

  • so i got it right ! only said   ’ history’  though…..

    hmmm i am thinking mayb i should have elaborated on the answer eh?

    knowledge is king

    integrity the thing

  • HTML tags in blog

    Hey Deke… your blog software “supposedly” allows for the use of a few standard HTML tags…

    ... but previewing a msg (containing properly placed tags) shows that they are not being recognized as tags… only as text.

    Being able to occasionally bold a word here and there would be a nice touch.

    Wuz Up ????

    an e-mail reply will suffice (actually preferred) if you do not wish to get into this on-line


  • History

    by itself only goes backwards, it does not include the present or the future, therefore it is not a trio… but Damn you were close!

  • Oh sure

    then you get a big fat marker all to yourself, and then someone else gets crayons… then it’s nothing but a wall for graffiti… for the few…

  • Hope you heal fast Deke!


  • Do you have it now?

    Just checking . . .

  • it perfectly works (for me at least)

    test test

    By the way it’s not that bad to use semantic code wink

  • No contest email

    just to repeat - No contest email ;(

  • blog preview pane

    possibly it’s only the preview pane that does not work…

    (now, after posting, then editing… I see it is only the preview pane that is disfunctional)

    Like I said.. no big deal.

  • and

    and your point is ???

  • Huh?

    What do MEAN “your point is?”  You trying to get into my skull drjack?  lol

  • Come on, Deke. Be honest with the people.

    You did not fall down a short flight of stairs. You failed to stick the landing on an intricate maneuver you were executing *above* a short flight of stairs. Don’t blame the stairs, man.

  • No hijo

    No hijo, no quiero estar dentro de su cabeza

  • That’s good

    hombre, you would get lost in there; all turns, no exit.  grin

  • mirrors

    ¿Hay muchos espejos?

  • Nah

    Lots of shattered dreams though…

  • Want to learn for channel seperation for silk screen printing

    from Balaji Cera World
    Nilesh Parikh
    India- Mobile No.+91 9825050851

    Skype-  nilesh.india

  • Time Saving tips

    Easy to play work with History to get back old lay out.

  • silkscreen

    I just created a silkscreen myself.

    If I can be of any support let me know

  • I don’t know

    it seems to be all Black and White to me…  think Alpha Channel Masks as separation of colors on separate layers?

  • Awww

    Don’t feel bad Deke; I got knocked the F out the last time I felt like Rocky grin  Was it the Half Pipe imitation that got ya?  Dang Olympics… lol

  • Thanks for the congrats…

    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner.  I’m typically a lurker, and not reliable at posting, lol.  (Undo, undo, undo!  rofl)

    I’d also like to say thank you to deke for such a great contest; and thank you to the mysterious person who fixed a problem I was having with my contest winnings.  You folks are the greatest!  <3 <3

    I’m just a budding artist, looking to take root.

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