In Adobe Photoshop CC (v2014.2.2) on Windows I create a layer with black pixels, and a text layer with black text. I place both above a white background, and set both to 30% opacity. The text layer appears far lighter than the normal layer.

(Note the difference in apparent color where the H and M touch the square.)

This happens across fonts and files. This happens whether I'm using the Graphics Processor for accelerated rendering or not. In general, text is always far less opaque than it should be, except at the two extreme values. Here are the results of measuring the composited values for text and ink:

The measured effective opacity values are:

Ink Text
0% 0%
10% 7%
20% 13%
30% 21%
40% 28%
50% 36%
60% 45%
70% 55%
80% 65%
90% 80%
100% 100%

Another coworker confirms this problem with Photoshop CC, but claims that it does not occur on Photoshop CS6. I cannot figure out what is causing this.

  1. Does anyone else see this problem?
  2. Is there a bug filed for this with Adobe?
  3. Is there any way to fix this (without rasterizing the text layer)?

The problem is a new feature of Photoshop, "Blend Text Colors Using Gamma". The default value (enabled) causes text to blend different from other objects.

To get the previous (sane) behavior, go to Edit ▶ Color Settings... and in the Advanced Controls section uncheck the option for "Blend Text Colors Using Gamma".

screenshot of Advanced Controls section

You can find additional discussion of this 'feature' on the Photoshop Forums:

Alternatively, as a workaround (perhaps exploiting a bug) you can set the antialiasing mode for the text to "Windows"; this fixes the problem, somehow affecting the overall opacity. o.O

Grey box with text next to it the same shade of gray

Every other antialiasing mode—including "Windows LCD"—exhibits the gamma problem.

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