This question is looking for software to perform some image recognition in Windows. They mention that they'd like to do so in Photoshop or Windows if not in PS.

If it's not possible with Photoshop, should the tag be removed?

  • For the record, this was discussed in chat starting here.
    – Deltik
    Oct 13, 2015 at 16:25

3 Answers 3


You made this suggested edit. Deltik (me) and fixer1234 rejected the edit.

The edit was rejected because it wasn't what the original poster (OP) intended. You wrote this as the edit comment:

Removed the [adobe-photoshop] tag since this is a far more complex problem than PS scripting is capable of

Here, you put in a fact that the OP was not aware of and tried to adjust the contents of the post according to what you thought. (But I do agree with you!)

Your edit changed the intention of the question because the OP would prefer a Photoshop solution, but after your suggested edit, Photoshop was only hinted as a tool available to the OP.

Instead of making an edit, I think you should have written a comment to prompt the OP to edit the question themselves. Perhaps something along the lines of this:

If you want this question to be more about computer vision (examples here and here) and less specific to Photoshop, you should edit your question to remove the [adobe-photoshop] tag and just mention that you have Photoshop available.

  • In the comments, I confirmed that the user did not necessarily require the solution to use Photoshop. I would not have suggested this edit had I not confirmed that. It was my mistake to assume that comments would have been visible to the suggested edit reviewer; in the future I'll be more clear about that in the edit message.
    – JohnB
    Oct 13, 2015 at 19:51

Tags are for the question, not the answer.

  • Questions are sometimes misguided.
  • For some questions, the answer is that it can't be done.
  • The answer to some questions is that the type of solution the OP requested out of limited knowledge won't work, but there is a different approach that will.

Those issues get sorted out in answers and comments. The tags shouldn't presuppose the answer, or introduce constraints or avenues of solution not specified by the OP.

Often the fundamental value of an answer is explaining to the OP what they didn't understand (and the reason why their question was misguided). If tags for the answer are added to the question, it confuses the underlying reason of why the question was asked in the first place.

In the case where the answer is that it can't be done, would you remove all of the tags because they don't apply to the answer? That's the essence of your issue with the Photoshop tag.

  • I think this is a short-sighted way of approaching this. The user is ultimately not trying to determine if this is possible in Photoshop, they are looking for a solution to an image recognition problem. Photoshop, as discovered, is completely irrelevant to the question. The user is asking the wrong question, my intent was to help correct that.
    – JohnB
    Oct 13, 2015 at 19:42
  • 2
    Your intentions were noble but the method of accomplishing it should be done within the framework of how the site's structure and features are intended to work. When you get down to it, every question is asked by someone who lacks critical knowledge. The question is theirs. People with the required knowledge help focus the OP and clarify the question in comments, and provide solutions in answers. We can help make the OP's question more readable and understandable, even if it's misguided, but it's their question, warts and all. If it's the wrong question, explain that in a comment or answer.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:00
  • @JohnB If they are asking the wrong question then the place to tell them that is in an answer, not in their question via an edit to the tags. If they change their question and redefine it then fine, but it's not your place to change the scope of their question for them without their "nod" or consent. "You cannot do that using the tools you have" is a perfectly valid answer in my book.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:01
  • @Mokubai posting an answer stating that it is not possible using Photoshop does not answer the question. It does not solve their problem. Note this specific line in the question: "(or in windows if not in photoshop)"
    – JohnB
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:03
  • 1
    @JohnB Editing their question to remove important points is similarly unhelpful and does not explain why they cannot do something in the package that they have available. A truly great answer would state "You cannot do that in PS because reasons, but a good alternative is using flurflegibbet to florb the grobulator." Unilaterally mangling their question away from what they are actually asking does not educate them in any way whatsoever except to hurt their experience of the site as some "village elder" decided to rewrite their question to suit their view of the world.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:10
  • @Mokubai in what way did my edit remove important points? I removed the tag but left the mention of Photoshop. I did not change the scope of the question. I can confidently say this is not possible within Photoshop, including that tag is just noise.
    – JohnB
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:11
  • @JohnB Noise to whom exactly? Not to the asker, as it is something they have knowledge of and thought it might be able to be mangled into shape. It is a point that they make that they would like to be able to use it if possible, therefore it is signal rather than noise. That you believe (or know) it to be impossible is irrelevant to the actual question being asked. Is it noise because it shows up in your RSS feed or the Photoshop questions list?
    – Mokubai Mod
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:24
  • @JohnB: The limits of what we can do within the site's guidelines is help make a bad question a more readable and understandable bad question; we can't turn it into "what it should have been" if the OP already knew the answer. If you can confidently say it's not possible with Photoshop, the place to say that, within the site's structure, is in a comment or answer. The tag may be noise to you, but only because you know the answer. The tag is appropriate to what was asked in the question, even if the question is wrong or misguided.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:32
  • @Mokubai Contrary to fixer1234's statement, I see tags as a tool to classify both questions and potentially answers. If there won't be an answer using Photoshop, I don't see any benefit to keeping the tag. Tags should make questions easier to find; I stand firm that this question has nothing to do with Photoshop. It's not even the right category of software. I don't fault the user for the misconception, but I'm happy to help point that out. If that sort of edit doesn't fit within the modus operandi of SU, I'm okay with following that lead. Thank you all for your perspective.
    – JohnB
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:35
  • 1
    @JohnB: The site is a knowledgebase, and questions and answers are intended to be enduring, and to help people with a similar problem searching for a solution in the future. You might be right about what Photoshop can do today, but suppose a future version can do this natively? Keeping the tag might attract a future answer that directly addresses what was asked.
    – fixer1234
    Oct 13, 2015 at 20:41
  • @JohnB - Your believe tags belong to answers also go against what the rest of the community believes. I don't fault you for your misconception on how tags should be used either. Your edits won't be approved if you change what the author has said. If you are not fixing grammatical mistakes, adding content that the author attempted to provided but didn't, or making the content easier to understand without changing what is being said it won't be approved.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 14, 2015 at 11:35

Personally, I think there's no question that should be removed.

I asked for clarification in the comments, the user confirmed that "other programs are allowed too". This type of operation is not possible within Photoshop and is well beyond the capabilities allowed in Photoshop scripting.

The question was misguided, Photoshop was only mentioned based on a false premise that it might be possible. Since it's not, I'd argue strongly for the removal of the tag.

  • 2
    For the record here is a copy of the post I made in chat regarding this - 'The user added that tag specifically because he asked for a solution in Photoshop (which you removed together with the tag. I would have rejected your edit with exactly the same reason (as @Ramhound has already done) - "This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner."' and 'The user specifically asked "How can I do this in photoshop". If it can't be done then say so in a comment. Don't change his question.'
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Oct 13, 2015 at 16:00
  • ...and as I replied in chat, I left a mention of Photoshop in the question. The removal of the tag does not change the question. The comments clarify that the user is willing to accept answers outside of Photoshop.
    – JohnB
    Oct 13, 2015 at 16:02
  • You don't see the post comments in the edit review queue. That's what the edit comment field is for. If the OP agreed that PS wasn't an option then add this info to the edit comments when removing the tag.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Oct 13, 2015 at 16:05

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