I am trying to align a text layer to the vector mask directly below it - the top two elements displayed in the Layers Panel in the below image.
For some reason, with both layers selected - although the align tools become active - clicking on any of them does not produce any result.
Through a process of elimination I have made certain that the problem is with the shape layer, not the text layer. The shape layer also behaves erratically in that when I select it and attempt to move it, as in the image, the entire canvas area seems to move (as denoted by the grey outline), but the shape layer itself stays put.
The shape layer is not locked, or linked to any other layers. I have tried restarting PS with the same result. Does anyone have any ideas why this is happening?!
I would add that I tested this kind of alignment in another part of the document, with the following two layers selected, and I was unable to perform all alignments without problem.
Unless there is something I am missing, I can only assume this is some kind of bug? For what its worth, these white boxes that I am attempting to align the text to were copied in from another document, but I can't see how anything might have happened when they were brought over.
Ok i was able to recreate this problem, and the problem is simply that your layers' vector mask are unlinked with their backgrounds.
When i aligned text layer it didn't have any effect, as you said, but when i linked the vector mask layer with its own background/canvas. It started working. I don't think its a bug, but think about it. How Photoshop is to know that whether you want you text aligned in terms of vector mask, or the canvas. Since both are unlinked. It chooses to do nothing.
Look at this video i just made to show what you were saying i guess: