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Feb 07, 2013

Add Hours to Your Life With Keyboard Shortcuts

Make Your Workflow Cheetah Fast

A big part of being a professional photographer is making sure your workflow is as efficient as possible. Even if you’re not a professional, using keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop will drastically shorten the amount of time it takes to edit photos. You can use this time saved to be more creative with your editing, or even join a water polo class.

All of these shortcuts work for PC computers as well! Just use CTRL instead of Command and ALT instead of Option.

List of Keyboard Shortcuts

Workflow

  • Save As: Cmd Shift S
  • Save for Web: Cmd Shift Alt S
  • Undo: Cmd Z
  • Step back: Cmd Alt Z (lets you keep going back in time)
  • Stamp Visible: Cmd Shift Alt E
  • Hide selection: Cmd H
  • Fullscreen: F

General

  • Default Colors: D (black and white)
  • Flip Foreground and Background colors: X
  • Rotate View: R (Make sure OpenGL setting is turned on in your preferences)
  • Move around image: (hand Tool) Hold Spacebar

Layers

  • Invert: Cmd I
  • Delete Layer: Delete
  • Transform: Cmd T
  • New Layer: Cmd Shift Alt N
  • Duplicate Layer, or if selection is active, Duplicate Selection: Cmd J
  • Transform menu: right click on layer, Cmd T
  • Step and Repeat: Cmd Alt T(first step), Cmd Alt Shift T (second step)
  • Move Layer Up: Cmd ]
  • Move Layer Down: Cmd [
  • Move Layer to Top: Cmd Shift ]
  • Move Layer to Bottom: Cmd Shift [
  • Group Layers: Cmd G

Layer Masks

  • Select: Cmd Click on thumb
  • Temporarily disable: Shift Click on Thumb
  • Show black and white: Alt Click on Thumb
  • Show quick mask display:
  • Fill with Foreground: Alt Del
  • Fill with BG Color: Cmd Del
  • Fill Dialogue: Shift Del

Selections

  • Inverse: Shift Cmd I (for selections)
  • Select All: Cmd A
  • Deselect: Cmd D
  • Select Layer: Cmd Click on Thumb

Tool Commands

  • Brush Opacity: 1-0
  • Brush Flow:Shift + 1-0
  • Brush Larger: ]
  • Brush Smaller: [
  • Brush Harder: Shift ]
  • Brush Softer: Shift [

Adjustments

  • Levels: Cmd L
  • Hue/Sat: Cmd U
  • Curves: Cmd M

13 Comments


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  • user image
    Tamy

    I wanted to create a shortcut for adding a layer mask but I can’t find it in the list. Am I just blind or is it just not there? Can someone help me?

  • user image
    Mariusz

    Hi Aaron.

    I just found this priceless video. I have a question: I can’t find shortcut for changing size and hardness of my brush. Is that shortcut which you present “cmd+alt and moving pointer up or down, right or left” is as develop or you created by yourself? If this is your creation where I need to go to create this for me?

    Thanks

    • user image
      Luis Pacheco

      On a pc it is actually alt + right click and drag side to side for size, up and down for hardness

  • user image
    vikentijs

    Aaron you always make me smile in the end and that is a nice bonus to the amazing work that you do!

    also love the pro tuts and the free ones! it is just amazing! :)

    p.s. one little question – where / how do I can setup a shortcut for a (add layer mask) I cant find under the section > layer > layer mask
    I think I have seen u also using this shortcut but I cant figure it out :(

    • user image
      Borut Vozelj

      Go to keyboard shortcuts and find layer -> Layer mask -> reveal all/hide all. Reveal all adds a white and hide all a black layer mask.

      If you can’t remember the shortcuts and want to make your workflow even faster, I recommend using a gaming keyboard with special macro keys (I use Logitech G110, but any other similar keyboard will do). You then assign most used keyboard shortcuts to the special keys. The most used shortcuts are now only a key away :)

      Bonus: I created actions to hide and reveal the current layer and mapped it to special keys. I can now hide and reveal a layer without clicking on that tiny eye icon :)

  • user image
    Simon Walther

    Hey Aaron, you might have already covered this already, but I would really like an episode about the adjustments window. I notice that yours look different than mine, how can I change that?
    Thanks for making another educational video!

    Cheers! :)

  • user image
    zhouen

    Don’t forget Cmd/ctrl shift D to reselect your last selection, I use it quite a bit. It’s for situations when some how I manage to lose my section or use the selection again to create another layer mask.

    Now my question is how to delete just the mask from a layer without deleting the layer it self using only keyboard?

  • user image
    Claude Lee Sadik

    Is there anyway to change to control+option+drag shortcut? I’m left handed and it would be easier for me to use cmd+option+drag ! All I see in the keyboard shortcut pref panel is the [ ] keyboard shortcuts…

  • user image
    balint.alovits

    im getting this message after accepting the custom shortcut:

    Could not complete the Keyboard Shortcuts command because the disk is not available.

    Why?

  • user image
    Darek Szwedo

    I wish you could print them as stickers for the keyboard, I was looking for something like that some time ago but they all look cheap and colour full, but his is just nice and simple