It wasn't too long before I was working on an Excel spreadsheet and entered a few letters into an incorrect cell. I paused and hit the ESC key. Nothing happened. WTF! I had the same problem with my Adobe Photoshop Organizer the previous evening when it wouldn't exit from "full-screen" mode as I pressed the ESC key.
What is going on? Has Dell done something sinister? I searched the Internet. And searched some more over the next couple of days. Of course, I mostly turned up stories of how bad the customer support is at lots of companies. Finally, I turned up the source of the problem here. Yes, it's Adobe again.
When I closed Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, the ESC key began working again. Sorry to have doubted you, Dell. I should known to always suspect Adobe first. And this time, they didn't just sabotage other folks software, they sabotaged their own, Organizer.
But wait! I have this same exact software installed on my previous computer, also running Windows 7. Why is it only causing a problem on this one? That's why I became suspicious of the hardware. Thinking back, I realized that I had installed Photoshop before installing Office on this computer. Perhaps that causes the problem. Well, I'm not going to do all of Adobe's trouble-shooting for them.
Now this problem has been around since at least 2007, Microsoft Vista and a wide variety of Photoshop products. So you would think that Googling "Adobe Photoshop ESC key" might produce some kind of humble apology statement and maybe even a fix for it. You would be wrong. All you are going to find is the usual, "it's surely not our fault" response that Adobe in known for. This led jayp2007, back in 2009, to post this comment on the Adobe support bulletin board:
Have you even read this post and the issue it's regarding? People with both 32-bit and 64-bit are having the problem where their escape key doesn't work anywhere else in the O.S. when Photoshop is running. And people with both Photoshop CS3 and CS4 are having the problem. And of course it was first reported nearly 2 years ago... Not that this apparently matters to anyone at Adobe.
Nice observation, Jay P!
And why don't I update to a newer version of photoshop? Well, I am waiting for their support attitude to change. Until then, I will live with the problems I know instead of spending more money with them to buy problems that I don't know.