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12 Essential Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted on 12/21/2009 at 05:05 pm by Kevin Wentworth
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I remember about 7 years ago watching my friend use Adobe Illustrator.  He was a communications design major and used his keyboard more than his mouse.  I was blown away when I realized how much time you could save by learning keyboard shortcuts for Adobe's products.  This is my list of the best Adobe Photoshop keyboard shortcuts for web designers.

  1. CTRL + D - Deselect (sometimes it's easier than clicking outside of the current selection)
  2. CTRL + H - Hide Selection/Guides/Slices. (I use this every time I want to delete a selection or fill a selection and see what it looks like without that pesky selection)
  3. ENTER - Confirms/Accepts text edit (when editing text). That's ENTER, not RETURN!
  4. TAB - Show/hide all palettes and window docks (great if you don't have as much screen real estate as you want)
  5. SPACE - Hold down the space bar and the cursor turns into a hand.  Click and drag on the canvas and move it around.
  6. SHIFT + CTRL + Z - Multiple undos.  Unlike Illustrator, in Photoshop you only get one undo using CTRL+Z. Solve that problem by holding down the shift key too.  This is actually called 'stepping backwards'.
  7. [ or ] - Changes the brush size, if you have the brush tool selected. (I use this all the time when I'm zoomed in and free-hand erasing or drawing... it really speeds things up)
  8. SHIFT + [ or ] - Changes the hardness of the brush, if you have the brush tool selected.  The perfect complement to the previous Photoshop keyboard shortcut.
  9. CTRL + [ or ] - Moves the current/active layer up and down one layer at a time.  (This is one of my most used shortcuts)
  10. CTRL + click on a layer - Will select all pixels in that layer.  Perfect for duplicating a layer mask- just CTRL+click on the layer mask, create a new layer mask and voila an exact duplicate of the layer mask.
  11. ALT + Backspace - will fill the selection (or entire layer if no selection) with the foreground color
  12. CTRL + Backspace - will will the selection as above, but with the background color.

Note: + equals and, not the actual '+' key.

I hope you find these Photoshop keyboard shortcuts as essential to being a web designer as I do.  It's amazing how much time you can save by learning Adobe's keyboard shortcuts... to think there's only hundreds of them.

Cheers,
-Kevin Wentworth

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Tutorial | Photoshop | Web Design | Usage | Graphic Design | Windows

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