Mouse Pointers

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Today’s Question: I have three versions of Photoshop (CS2, CS3, and CS6). All of a sudden I have only crosshairs for the mouse pointer for all of my tools. I had this happen years ago but I cannot find what to do to get back to “normal”.

Tim’s Quick Answer: All you need to do is press the Caps Lock key on the keyboard. This keyboard shortcut serves as a toggle between the “brush shape” mouse pointers (generally a circle, for example) and the “precise” option (crosshairs).

More Detail: This is a common source of confusion when you turn on (or off) the Caps Lock option and don’t realize it also impacts the display of the pointer for your mouse. Note that you can also adjust the specific settings for the mouse cursors by going to the Cursors page of the Preferences dialog. You can find the Preferences option on the Edit menu on the Windows version of Photoshop or the Photoshop menu on the Macintosh version of Photoshop.

It is also worth noting that if the brush is too small or too large to display as a circle (for example), then the cursor will also display as a crosshair rather than the brush shape. So, if pressing the Caps Lock key on the keyboard doesn’t solve the issue of seeing a crosshair when you expect to see a brush shape, make sure the brush size is not too large or too small.