As an efficient graphic designer, you always find a way to make your works almost perfect in a short time, thus, some time-saving techniques are always in your workflow like these Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts. On that way, you can easily boost your productivity and produce more works which results to a higher profit margin.

If you like using Adobe Photoshop as your chosen image editing tool, you will evaluate Photoshop keyboard shortcuts strength. You can use them to speed up your workflow. Some of this shortcut maybe common to you but there is also some that are rarely mentioned.

I created my own list and not all are included but just those worthy ones and little more. I hope everyone will find some new and useful shortcuts in this article. So let’s get started!

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20 Basic yet Useful Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

1. Brush Size and Hardness

Drag your mouse to right/left to change the size and up/down to change the hardness. It only works with CS5 in both directions. In CS4 only the size change works. You can change the color of the brush preview under Preferences/Cursors. You also need GPU turned on under the Performance tab to be able to see the brush preview. Ctrl + Alt + Right Click (Win) or Control + Option + Click (Mac).

2. Telescope

Hold Down H + Click, Reposition View and Let Go of the Mouse to Zoom Back). Works great with large images, when you need to work closely. Fast way to fit the image to screen and then zoom back into another area with the previous zoom ratio quickly.

3. Drag-Zoom

Fastest way to zoom in and out with one keyboard shortcut is Command/Ctrl + Space + Click and Drag Left or Right.

4. Draw Straight Line

Hold Down Shift. Works with nearly every drawing tool.

5. Move

Fastest way to move something quickly and then switch back to the previous tool. Hold Down Command/Ctrl.

6. All CAPS for Text

Quick way to switch between lowercase and uppercase text. Make sure you type without Caps lock to be able to use this. Command/Ctrl + Shift + K.

7. Fill

Great way to fill color into selections or change the color of text and vector shape layers. Command/Ctrl + Backspace – Foreground Color, Alt/Option + Backspace – Background Color, Shift + Backspace – Fill Options.

8. Changing Opacity

This will change the opacity and fill of the selected layer (or even more than one layer at the same time in CS5) and it will change opacity and fill of the tool if you select a drawing tool. Numeric Keys, Shift + Numeric Keys.

9. Switch Foreground/Background Color

Fast way to switch between the selected colour. Press ‘X’

10. Disable Mask

You can quickly show the original contents of the layer with this keyboard shortcut. Using it again will enable the mask again. Shift + Click on a Layer Mask.

11. Merge All Visible Layers to a New Layer

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E (Win) or Command + Option + Shift + E. If you want to keep all your layers but you also need to merge them together to be able to use something you can convert them all into one Smart object or use this keyboard shortcut to make a duplicate merged layer.

12. Undo, Multiple Times

Ctrl+Alt+Z. Most programs allow you to press [Ctrl + Z] multiple times to perform multiple Undo’s, but Photoshop requires [Alt], otherwise you’ll just keep undoing then re-doing then undoing then re-doing then undoing then re-doing.

13. Hand/Move Tool

Holding the spacebar will turn your cursor into the hand in almost any situation. When using different tools, with dialog boxes open, etc… allowing you to quickly navigate your document no matter what you’re doing.

14. Switch Document Windows

Ctrl + Tab. Your Photoshop workspace can become a mess when working on multiple files, especially when you hate minimizing, like I do, so being able to switch windows quickly is a must.

15. Hide Panels

Hit Tab. You can always show them again by pressing Tab once more, or just simply hover over the edges to show the panels and toolbar temporarily.

16. Invert Color

Command/Ctrl + I. This is a fast way to invert visible parts of a layer if you invert the colours of the layer mask.

17. Change Brush Cursor

Hit Caps Lock. If you don’t want to see the edges of the brush you can switch to precise mode easily by having Caps lock on.

18. Grid

Ctrl + ‘. Show/hides a grid over your image. The grid function is great for when you need to align items or objects perfectly.

19. Image Size

Ctrl + Shift + I. Brings up the image resize window. This shortcut is great for when you need to resize many images quickly.

20. Intersection of Selection

Alt/Option + Shift + Click. With a Selection Tool Over Another Overlapping Selection. Easy way to keep only a specific part of a selection.

Making your own Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

These shortcuts may not be on the top of everybody’s list, but that all depends on your project and workflow. Luckily, Photoshop allows you to custom tailor your own Keyboard shortcuts to suit your needs. Just press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K or go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Bonus: Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts Resources

I researched some Photoshop keyboard shortcut guides in PDF files for you to easily have some reference and I found Morris Photographics. They created some “Cheat Sheets” that’s organized by menu, as well as alphabetically by key. These “cheat sheets” are available in the following flavors:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Adobe Photoshop CS
  • Adobe Photoshop 7
  • Adobe Photoshop 6
  • Adobe Photoshop 5
  • Adobe Bridge & Adobe Camera Raw

Visit this article for the download link:
Morris Photographics – Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

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