The Breakroom

Beware: xScope & macOS Sonoma

November 1, 2023

By Craig Hockenberry

We’ve been working on a compatibility update for xScope on macOS Sonoma for the past few weeks. The current version has been fine through the beta release, so we’ve been making minor tweaks and adding some performance improvements – certainly nothing urgent.

With last week’s release of macOS Sonoma 14.1 (on October 25th) things changed significantly. A new bug in the window server causes clicks in some of xScope’s tools to be “flipped”. This affects the Rulers, Guides, and Frames tools.

For example, when you click on the measurement arm of the Ruler, nothing is reported to xScope. Only clicking in the empty space below the arm will generate events. And since these events are “in the void” the app doesn’t know what to do with them.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a workaround for this issue. It’s a low-level bug and window server optimizations aren’t telling us about the clicks because it thinks we don’t need them.

If you are currently running macOS 14.0 or earlier (including Ventura), things are fine. If xScope is an important part of your workflow, DO NOT UPDATE to macOS Sonoma 14.1. (See below.)

If you have already updated, the only thing you can do at the moment is wait it out. We have submitted a bug report (FB13320473) with a sample project that should help Apple’s engineers get to the bottom of the problem quickly.

We’ll update this blog post as we learn more.

Please help us spread the word about this issue. If you know someone else who uses xScope, please give them the heads up. Thanks!

Updated November 1, 2023: This bug also affects Photoshop. If you turn off the application frame, clicks go through the toolbar. This video shows the behavior. Developers at Adobe are aware of the issue.

Updated November 8, 2023: The bug is fixed in the macOS Sonoma 14.1.1 release. All tools in xScope are fully functional and the issues in Photoshop have been resolved.