Photoshop’s Brush Tool Fixed in Latest Update
This tutorial covers the new Brush Tip Outline option in the latest Photoshop update that finally fixes Photoshop's Brush Tool so the cursor no longer gets lost as you paint!
Download the PDF: Brush Tool Fixed in Latest Update
If you have a tough time seeing Photoshop's brush cursor, especially in front of busy or noisy parts of your image, you’ll definitely want to update your copy of Photoshop to the latest version.
The December 2022 update, which brings Photoshop to version 24.1.0, adds a new option in the Preferences that lets you easily change the thickness of the brush cursor outline. Here’s how it works.
Which version of Photoshop do I need?
To follow along, you'll need Photoshop 2023.
You’ll also want to make sure that it’s updated to the latest version. At the time I’m writing this, the latest Photoshop version is 24.1.0, released in December 2022. Of course, higher versions will work as well.
You can check your Photoshop version by going up to the Help menu in the Menu Bar and choosing About Photoshop.
The About screen should show 24.1.0 (or higher). Check out my tutorial on how to update Photoshop if needed.
Let's get started!
The problem with Photoshop’s Brush Tool
Let’s quickly look at the problem with Photoshop’s Brush Tool. I’ll use this image from Adobe Stock.
And I’ll grab the Brush Tool from the toolbar.
If I move my brush cursor over a less detailed part of the image, like the dark gray area on the right, the cursor is fairly easy to see.
But if I move the cursor over her hair, which is a much more detailed area with lots of different shades of gray, the cursor tends to get lost in the background. This has always been an issue with the Brush Tool, at least until now.
Related tutorial: Turn your brush into an eraser!
Where to find the new Brush Tip Outline option
But finally, the latest version of Photoshop (24.1.0) fixes the problem thanks to a new option in the Preferences called Brush Tip Outline which lets us change the thickness of the brush cursor.
To get to it, on a Windows PC, go up to the Edit menu. On a Mac, go up to the Photoshop menu.
From there, choose Preferences and then Cursors.
The new brush cursor outline sizes
Here we find the new Brush Tip Outline option. I have it currently set to Thin, which seems to be the size the brush cursor was using in previous Photoshop versions.
But along with Thin, you can also choose Normal, Bold or Extra Bold. The default size is Bold. So even if you were not aware of this new option, you would probably notice that your brush cursor is now easier to see.
Another helpful Brush Tool option
Unfortunately, you can’t preview the new cursor thickness until you close the Preferences dialog box. But while we’re here, I just want to quickly mention another option that I find helpful.
Show Crosshair in Brush Tip, which is not a new option, adds a small crosshair in the center of your brush cursor. This helps you see exactly where you’re painting. I recommend turning it on if you haven’t already.
Related tutorial: More Brush Tool Tips and Tricks
Choosing a new brush cursor thickness
Getting back to the new option, Brush Tip Outline, I’ll set the thickness to Extra Bold.
Then I’ll click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.
And now if I move my brush cursor over any part of the image, including her hair, the brush cursor remains easy to see thanks to my new new Brush Tip Outline setting.
And there we have it! That’s a minor but welcome improvement in the latest update to Photoshop.
- More Brush Tool tips and tricks
- Where to find Photoshop’s missing brushes
- How to turn your brush into an eraser
Don't forget, all of my Photoshop tutorials are now available to download as PDFs!