There is a huge problem on SE Network around Photoshop questions as they are all over the place and each "home" seems to have a bunch of people saying that this is not the place for these questions. There are Photoshop questions on:

  1. Photography site
  2. Superuser
  3. Stackoverflow
  4. Graphic Design

Is there a right answer here? I have been putting my Photoshop questions on SuperUser previously. Should I migrate them here? I think they are all relevant for this site but I am worries to have all these questions get rejected.


4 Answers 4


The Photoshop question has been asked numerous times, here's what I see right now. I say this being a mod here, a very active user on Photography, and at least somewhat of a user on SO and SU.

  1. SO is limited to plugins and such, otherwise, the question belongs elsewhere.
  2. Photography is limited to a rather narrow subset, namely that which applies to photographs. This would include HDR, stitching, removing objects, and perhaps some color adjustment, etc.
  3. Graphic design allows questions that relate to the field of graphic design. Icon making, page layout, etc, are on topic here.
  4. Super User includes anything except plugin development. It should be limited to the how, and not so much the why or what.

You will note, there is some overlap between SU, GD, and Photography. This is alright. Ask the question where you feel it is most appropriate. If for some reason, the high ranking users don't like it, they will migrate it to where they think is best.

  • 1
    FYI, I asked both SU and photo mods, they all agree to this. I didn't ask SO, but I'm confident that their policy would be as I described. Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 13:04

In addition to @Pearsonartphoto's excellent answer, there is also the issue of the quality of the Photoshop question being asked. It isn't enough that a Photoshop question be asked, but if the question is one that could easily be answered by looking at the documentation or a tutorial is easily found addressing the question, it is all but guaranteed to be closed, regardless of where the question is being asked.

At the same time, if the question is one of looking to create a specific effect or complete a particular task, one that isn't easily answerable either through the documentation or through one of the myriad tutorials that already exist now, then there is a chance it will remain open and get answered. Please see the FAQ on the main for more information about what is allowed and what isn't.

Photoshop questions are both a hot potato and something that falls through the cracks on SE. Ultimately, this has to do with the fact that Photoshop has so many uses to so many people; it all things to all people, for better and for worse. Photoshop is so deep, that there isn't any one, single place that is appropriate for everything Photoshop. I would be surprised if there wasn't a Photoshop forum in beta now, or trying to reach beta. But, I would question the quality of the answers in that forum since users are already split into their respective groups via the already long-standing forums that exist that also have the ability answer Photoshop questions specific to the target audience and intended usage.

To that end, migration is the answer here. I, as a mod, would rather see a question migrated to the appropriate forum with a change of getting answered, and seeing some getting the help that they need, rather than simply closed. It is not unreasonable to request that a question get flagged for migration elsewhere if an answer can't be gotten in a particular forum. Again, this goes back to the issue of quality, because a bad question is a bad question and won't get answered anywhere.


This is really the rub, isn't it? There are millions, perhaps Sagans of millions, of PS users. A majority (many with years of "experience") are beginners, but even sophisticated users have huge diversity of interests.

I think the key is that the SE forums are application-oriented, not tool-oriented. PS is a tool, not an application (no matter what Steve Jobs would have us believe). The fact that it is so versatile and ubiquitous means that it pops up in a lot of application-specific areas, but the questions should be fielded within their domains so migration is the correct answer. Just because it's Photoshop doesn't mean it's GD or Photography. DICOM questions wouldn't fit either one, and might be a stretch for SU except as a sort of catch-all.


I've added a proposal for 2D Computer Graphics Software questions here: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/35643/2d-computer-graphics-software?referrer=X_M4lGyznHZAGJvZmEGcXw2

  • It already got closed...
    – Farray
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 15:34
  • Just saw that, I think it should be reopened.
    – MikeJerome
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 19:18

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