How to Get Out of 3D Mode in Photoshop

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Photoshop allows you to edit your images in 2D or convert them to 3D objects to make them appear realistic replicas of the object. However, if you don’t know how to get out of 3D mode in Photoshop, you might get stuck in the 3D mode editing.

How to Get Out of 3D Mode in Photoshop

3D is an abbreviation for three-dimensional, which means an object has three dimensions: width, depth, and height, just like the physical objects and environment. In photography, 3D is an advancement of 2D, where an object has only two dimensions: height and width.

An image of a man and woman working together

Keeping in mind that photos shot with a digital camera only have width and height, it means the photos you shoot, import, and edit in Photoshop are in 2D. Since Photoshop is designed as a photo editor, the 2D mode is the default Photoshop workspace.

However, Photoshop also comes with a 3D mode that allows you to transform your 2D images or text into a 3D object to create depth perception and make the object interactive and realistic. If the Photoshop workspace is set to 3D and you’re unable to edit your text or images normally, you can use the following tips to get out of the 3D mode.

Change the Workspace to Essentials

The Photoshop workspace is generally the user interface that combines the various elements and preset layouts. The workspace determines the panels and tools displayed on the monitor and how they are arranged. Photoshop comes with several built-in workspaces such as Painting, Motion, Graphics, Design, Photography, and 3D.

However, the default Photoshop workspace used for standard photo manipulation and retouching is known as Essentials. It’s a more versatile and general purpose-workspace, and if you are stuck in 3D mode, you can switch back to Essentials using the following steps.

  1. Navigate to the top right-hand side corner of the interface and locate the word 3D or Essentials.
  2. If the option displayed is 3D, click on it to change it to the Essentials workspace.
  3. However, if the option already says Essentials, click on it and change it to 3D and then click on it the second time and change it to Essentials.
  4. Alternatively, you can reset the workspace to the default settings by navigating to Window, selecting Workspace, and choosing Essentials.

Render the Layer to 2D

After doing a couple of edits to your image or text in Photoshop, you might want to see whether the results will be more aesthetically appealing if you render the layer in 3D. Generally, entering into 3D mode is straightforward as you only need to select 3D and then choose to Create.

However, it can be frustrating when you switch the workspace from 3D back to Essentials using the above methods, and the object remains in 3D with the perception of depth. To convert the 3D layer back to the normal 2D, locate the layer from the layers panel on the right-hand side of the interface.

Whether the layer is visible or not, you can convert it back to 2D by left-clicking it to highlight, right-clicking, and then choosing Rasterize 3D. Usually, this will remove the depth effect from your image or text and render it back to 2D.

Reset Preferences Within Photoshop

In most cases, beginners try to reset a Photoshop workspace by exiting the application, hoping it will reset back to the default workspace when they open it. However, Photoshop is advanced software and will save your workspace mode as your editing preference when you exit.

An image of a person using Photoshop

That means it will return to the 3D mode and not the usual Essentials workspace when you open it. Fortunately, if you are using the latest version of Photoshop CC, you will have the option of resetting the preferences when quitting.

However, even if this option will reset Photoshop from the 3D mode back to the Essentials workspace, it will also reset all other preferences such as colors, menus, and keyboard shortcut keys, and you should therefore use it when you are stuck on Photoshop is not behaving normally. 

  1. If you are using a Mac, navigate to Photoshop CC, choose Preferences, and then select General. On the other hand, if you are using a Windows computer, choose Preferences and then select General.
  2. Select the Reset Preferences On Quit option and confirm in the dialog box.
  3. Exit Photoshop normally by navigating to File on the top left-hand corner and choosing Exit if you are using a Windows computer. If you are using a Mac, navigate to Photoshop in the menu bar along the top of the screen and choose Quit. You can then open the application normally after exiting.

Reset Preferences With Shortcut Keys

Since Photoshop can consume a significant amount of your computer memory, especially when rendering in 3D, it can be challenging to navigate and switch from the 3D mode if you use a low-end computer. The application might crash or even fail to open.

Regardless of the issue, you can’t reset preferences or get out of 3D within Photoshop. The best way to solve this is to use the following shortcut keys to reset preferences without necessarily opening Photoshop.

  1. Start by locating the shortcut icon that opens Photoshop on your computer. If you use a Windows computer, click on Start and type Adobe Photoshop in the search bar.
  2. If you are using a Mac, open the Finder window, select Go, choose Applications and then locate and double-click the Photoshop folder on the menu bar. Typically, you should see the Adobe Photoshop application file.
  3. Once the application shortcut is in view, hold down the keyboard shortcut keys Alt + Ctrl + Shift if you are using a Windows computer, and then open the application.
  4. On the other hand, if you are using a Mac, press and hold the keyboard shortcut keys Shift + Command + Option and then open the application.
  5. Typically, a dialog box will open as Photoshop opens, confirming whether you want to delete the preferences file. Choose Yes to confirm the deletion.
  6. Photoshop will then open normally with the default workspace switched back to Essentials. Note that all other settings and preferences will also be lost, and you should use this method as a last option.
An image of a person using laptop

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Enable the Photoshop 3D Workspace?

You can enable the Photoshop 3D workspace by navigating to the File menu on the top left-hand corner of the interface and choosing Options. Once the options dialog box pops up, select the 3D tab, click on the Enable 3D checkbox to turn it on, and then hit the OK button to confirm. Enable the 3D view by navigating to Windows and choosing 3D View.

How Can I Render a 3D Text in Photoshop?

You can render a 3D text in Photoshop by converting the layer to 3D. After adding the text to the document using the Text tool, navigate to Text tool options and click on the Convert to 3D icon. Select the Rotate 3D Object option, click the View box, and then drag to move and frame the text.

Why Are My Photoshop 3D Menu Items Grayed?

The graying of the 3D menu items in Photoshop means you can’t use the 3D mode. In most cases, this happens if your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) driver version or model doesn’t meet some of the system specifications. You can try to resolve this by enabling the GPU acceleration if your system supports it.

Final Thoughts

Whether you accidentally switch to the 3D mode and end up with unfamiliar workspace panels or want to see how images and text will look in 3D, learning how to get out of 3D mode in Photoshop will help you reset back to the Essentials workspace without losing your edits.