Floating Adjustments | Restores the Old Big CS3-style Floating Window

Freeware | Developed by Davide Barranca

The Small, Great Tool That Many Were Waiting For

A Photoshop panel that restores the Adjustment Layers’ bigger, floating windows look and behavior which was the norm back in CS3. It allows the creation of 15 Adjustment kinds as big, floating windows, and the modifications of existing Adjustments layers of any sort, even those not mentioned above always as floating windows.

Floating Adjustments works with Curves, Levels, Exposure, Black&White, Brightness/Contrast, Cannel Mixer, Color Lookup, Hue/Saturation, Photo Filter, Posterize, Vibrance, Selective Color, Channel Mixer, Color Balance, Threshold, Gradient Map.

  • Big Floating Adjustment Layer Windows 70% 70%
  • Easeness of Use 50% 50%
  • All The Option Visible and Accessible in One Click 85% 85%

Davide Barranca tells how
Floating Adjustments was born.

Applied Color Theory in Photoshop Yahoo group (founded by Dan Margulis back in 2000) has sent me email digests more or less every day. Number #3572, May 3rd, starts with a post from a Graphic Designer, titled “Retrofitting the old curves dialog to CS5.”

“We upgraded to CS5 and I am dealing with the new integrated curves dialog in the adjustments panel when working with a curves adjustment layer. How do I get back to the old dialog which shows up when you apply curves directly to the image/layer?”

Personally, it took me a while to get accustomed to the Adjustments Panel; and even though I still prefer the “old way,” I can live with it now. I remember months of great frustration and hostility towards that panel and progress in general. Mainly for two reasons: IMHO it wastes a lot of display’s real estate; moreover, even its larger version is smaller compared to old style floating windows – which is a downside when you draw Curves for instance.

On the right. The panel may be collapsed, docked and undocked in the Photoshop palette area.

My version of the Adjustments panel, which restores the Floating Window behavior

So in June 2009 I felt compelled to code my own version. It was a panel called Floating Adjustments, which made all the newly created adjustment layers (of almost any kind) to open as floating windows; plus, it allowed every existing adjustment layer to be modified as floating windows. That is, my secret agenda was to kill the original Adjustments Panel!
Back then, I had little experience on CS Extension coding (which is damn slowly increasing), so I’ve had to fix a couple of things to make it run correctly – as far as I recall it worked, but who remembers. Finally, here it is!

Having learned so much from Colortheory people it’s a pleasure to give them back a little something from time to time, so this is the link for the free download (in the freeware section of our main site – login required with a free account of course) and some installation notes. The panel requires Photoshop CS5 (Basic or Extended) or higher, Mac or PC. If you can’t sleep without this information, it’s been coded with Flash Builder 4 + Extension Builder 1.5 (even though Configurator would have been enough, I suppose).

Curves floating window dialog It works this way: if you want to create a new Adjustment layer, click the corresponding icon. Bigger, good old-style floating window appears. The panel supports the creation of 10 adjustment kinds (Curves, Levels, Exposure, Black&White, Brightness/Contrast, Hue/Saturation, Vibrance, Selective Color, Channel Mixer, Color Balance).
Plus, it lets you modify any kind of adjustment layers (even those who are not listed above – except Invert which has no options), always as floating windows.

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Photoshop CS5 and later, CC 2017 included
Mac: OSX7 Lion and later, OSX Sierra included
WIN: Vista and later, WIN10 included