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A fix for Photoshop 'Program Error' when opening fiiles Apps
I posted this on the Adobe Photoshop Support forum but am posting it here, too. The original idea for the solution was taken from a hint on this site so, in effect, the hint belongs here. I solved a problem with a Photoshop 7 install running under OS X 10.3 (Panther) on a new PowerBook G4 15." I expect that this experience should apply to any Panther install and should not be specific to PowerBooks.

Problem: Files not owned by Photoshop (generic JPEGs, GIFs, Adobe Illustrator files, etc.) will not open. Photoshop will go through the motion of opening the file (e.g. display the Profile dialog or, in the case of Illustrator files, display the Rasterization Settings dialog) but will fail to open the file and display a dialog stating that the file cannot be opened due to a "Program Error". Files are opened by several means: Via the application's "Open" command, drag-and-dropped onto the Dock icon, and Control-Click then Open-With in the Finder.

Files that are owned by Photoshop open fine. By "owned" I do not mean in the Unix permissions sense but in the owner application sense, i.e., if Get Info on the file the application listed under "Kind" is Photoshop. The problem files previously worked with this installation of Photoshop and the user reported that "This just started happening." No OS updates or software installs had occured before onset of the problem.

Other Adobe applications work fine, as do all other applications in general on this machine. File corruption and/or disk problems were not expected given the age of the machine and the amount of use it has had since first-use. These files are all maintained locally on the machine as the user normally works in a stand-alone environment.

I created a new user on this machine and logged in as that user. In this user account, Photoshop behaves correctly, implying that the problem is user-specific which indicts preference files as opposed to something systemic or application-specific. I deleted all Photoshop preference files I could find in ~username/Library but this did not solve the problem. The "Fast User Switching" was a great help in this process since I could very quickly switch back-and-forth between accounts as I tested various corrective actions.

Solution: I renamed the Library folder of the problem user account to "Library Old". Any name will work as long as it is different from "Library". Logged-out and logged-in, and the system re-created the Library folder. At this point, the account had lost almost all personalization and/or configuration settings, but Photoshop's operation was restored to normal. After verifying Photoshop's operation, I rebuilt all the lost personalization/configuration from notes, etc.

I found this hint on The hint did not apply to Photoshop but more generally directed to preference-related problems that could not be resolved by removing/replacing the application's preference files.
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A fix for Photoshop 'Program Error' when opening fiiles | 7 comments | Create New Account
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A fix for Photoshop 'Program Error' when opening fiiles
Authored by: john_dough on Dec 03, '03 04:39:53PM
Instead of rebuilding your entire library:

Go to Home-Library-Application Support-Adobe and move it to the trash
Then goto root-Library-Application Support-Adobe and move it to the trash.
Finally goto Home-Library-Preferences and move "adobe Photoshop 7.0 Paths" and "Adobe Photoshop Settings" to the trash.

Empty your trash.

the only downside is that you lose all of your adobe settings support for Illustrator, InDesign, etc. But not as many as you would think, as most of these apps settings are kept in the application folder.

But mostly you don't have to reset all of your Finder and other app settings.

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A fix for Photoshop 'Program Error' when opening fiiles
Authored by: aalegado on Dec 03, '03 05:45:26PM

I actually did the first and last deletions listed and this did not cure the problem. I think I resisted deleting the items /Library because that one is, I presume, system-wide in scope and Photoshop worked fine if I logged in as another user on the same machine. This implied a user-specific configuration issue hence I only looked at configuration files in /userhname/Library.

I wish I had tried this just to see if it would have done the trick.

I was following a thread on Adobe's Photoshop support forum and people were suggestion wholesale reinstallation of the application and, when that failed, the entire OS! Scary.

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This isn't really a hint
Authored by: SeanAhern on Dec 03, '03 06:08:32PM

I mean, this solution works for any number of application problems. I recently used the "Delete Library directory" or "Delete Library/Preferences directory" to fix a problem where ISO9660 CDROMs would not mount. Having fast user switching to a "test user" was very useful to this debugging process.

But I wouldn't expect to see a tip every time someone uses this technique to debug some problem.


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This isn't really a hint
Authored by: kidred on Dec 03, '03 06:48:39PM

I don't have any issues with PS opening files and haven't seen any on the various mac forums I visit. So this bug isn't widespread I don't think and is more of a work around then hint.

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This isn't really a hint
Authored by: phredator on Jan 09, '06 07:47:24AM

I think it is a great hint. The problem is wide-spread enough to include me.

(The cost of online storage is plummetting, so why get so picky on what is considered a hint? I say as long as everything is indexed as nicely as it is on this site, the more the merrier.)

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This isn't really a hint
Authored by: aalegado on Jan 09, '06 08:51:09AM

You will find that there are many users on this site that are very picky about hints actually being hints. I don't understand why this is so because it's not like we are in competition for posting "hints" or whatever.

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A fix for Photoshop 'Program Error' when opening fiiles - Solution
Authored by: smarquet on Apr 17, '06 10:20:44AM

as per Adobe Support Pages.

Solution: Re-create your preferences files.

1. Hold Command+Option+Shift when you start Photoshop.

2. Click Yes to the message, "Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file?"

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