Thursday, October 23, 2008

Photoshop Shortcuts

Note: this article is written in Mac Photoshop format. If you are using PC, Cmd = Ctrl and Opt = Alt.

  • Drag selection

    With the Marquee tool, drag on the document (do not release the mouse yet), now hold down Spacebar, it will let you drag the undefined selection.


  • Navigate the document left or right

    Hold down the Cmd key and scroll up or down allows you to navigate the document left or right. For example, hold down Cmd + scroll up will navigate to right.


  • Browse the font list

    Put your cursor in the font list dropdown, you can browse the font list by pressing arrow Up or Down key.


  • Scale font size

    Select the text that you want to scale the font size, press Cmd + Shift + > or < to increase / decrease font size.


  • Zoom with the scroll wheel

    You can zoom in / out by Cmd + Opt + scroll up or down.


  • Drag to adjust numberic value

    Mouseover the input box, hold down Cmd + drag left or right to increase / decrease. Hold down Cmd + Opt or Shift key and drag can change the value in decimal or 10 interval. This shortcut works in all dialog palettes.


  • Scroll to adjust numeric value

    Put the cursor in the input box, scroll up or down to increase / decrease value. This shortcut works in all dialog palettes.


  • Arrow up / down to adjust numeric value

    Put the cursor in the input box, press arrow Up or Down to increase / decrease. Hold down Shift and press arrow Up or Down will change value in 10 interval.


  • Zoom to 100%

    Double click on the Zoom tool will zoom document to 100%.


  • Collapse or expand all layer groups

    You can collapse or expand all root-level layer groups by holding down Cmd + click on the triangle icon. Hold down Cmd + Opt + click on the triangle icon will collapse or expand all level layer groups.


  • Show / hide in a row

    If you need to show / hide more than one layers, instead of clicking one by one, you can click on the visibility icon and drag in a row.


  • Hide other layers

    Hold down Opt + click on the visibility icon will hide all other layers.


  • Navigate layer blending mode

    Opt + Shift + "-" or "+" key allows you to navigate through the blending mode dropdown.


  • Set specific blending mode

    Opt + Shift + C, N, M, S, D… allows to set layer to specific blending mode.

    For examples:

    Normal = Opt + Shift + N

    Screen = Opt + Shift + S

    Multiply = Opt + Shift + M

    Color = Opt + Shift + C


  • Lock layer transparency

    Press forward slash ("/") to lock layer transparency.


  • Load Channel selection

    You probably know that Cmd + number keys (1, 2, 3) will activate the channels in sequent. Press Cmd + Opt + number keys will load the selection. For example, press Cmd + Opt + 4 will load Alpha channel 1.


  • Tool panels

    Press Tab to toggle tool panels.


  • Precise cursor

    Caps lock will display tool cursor in precise mode.


  • Navigate the tool list

    You can navigate through the tool list by pressing Shift + tool shorcut. For example: B = Brush tool, if you press Shift + B again, you will switch to Pencil tool.


  • Increase / decrease brush size

    With the Brush tool selected, you can increase / decrease the brush size by pressing [ or ] key (square bracket key). Press Shift + [ or ] will increase / decrease brush hardness.


  • Opacity

    You can set the layer opacity by pressing the number keys (ie. 1 = 10%, 2 = 20%…). When you have the brush tool selected, pressing the number keys will adjust the brush opacity.


  • Duplicate layer

    There are several shortcuts to duplicate layers.

    1. You can hold down Cmd + Opt + drag to duplicate the active layer.

    2. Cmd + Opt + arrow keys (Up, Down, Left, Right).

    3. Cmd + J will duplicate the active layer in exact position.

    4. Hold down Opt + drag within the Layers palette can also duplicate layers.


  • Copy visible and paste in a new layer

    Press Cmd + Opt + Shift + E will copy the visible layers and paste in a new layer.


  • Change workspace background

    By default Photoshop use grey for the workspace background color. You can change that by:

    1. select your favorite color

    2. choose the Paint Bucket tool

    3. Hold down Shift + click on the working area (outside the document area)


    Update: right-click on the workspace area to get a dropdown menu - allows you to set the background to black, grey, or a custom color (commented by Todd Patrick).

  • Fill background or foreground color

    Opt + Delete (Backspace) = fill the layer with foreground color.

    Cmd + Delete (Backspace) = fill the layer with background color



    Cmd + Shift + Delete (Backspace) = Fill non-transparent pixels with background color

    Opt + Shift + Delete (Backspace) = Fill non-transparent pixels with foreground color

    (commented by André Dion)

  • Switch between document windows

    Ctrl + Tab will switch between document windows.


  • Load layer transparent

    Cmd + click on the layer thumbnail will load its transparency.


  • Scale proportionally from center

    When you are using the Marquee tools or Free Transform, hold down Opt + Shift + drag will scale proportionally from the center.


  • Shortcut to Eyedropper

    If you have the Brush tool selected, hold down Opt key will quickly activate the Eyedropper tool. Hold down Opt + Shift will activate the Color Sampler Tool.


  • Finally…

    Finally, if you want to check or set your own custom shortcuts, press Cmd + Opt + Shift + K will bring up the Keyboard Shortcuts panel.


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