Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Photoshop's Essential Shortcut Keys To Speed Up Your Design Workflow

With the passage of time, graphics is becoming an essential part of every organization. People are constantly entering into this field, making the competition even tougher.

It is often said that "Time is Money". If you see this from the design point of view, you need speed and efficiency if you ever want to survive in this field. So to separate yourself from the rest, one thing that can help you get an edge over others is the number of shortcuts you use in your day to day designing. Really, if you use shortcuts while you design, you can save even hours.

That's why today I want to share some important Photoshop shortcuts with you guys.

Some Photoshop Shortcuts

Photoshop's Essential Shortcuts List

Here's the list:

  1. Marquee Tool: M
  2. Move Tool: V
  3. Brush Tool: B
  4. Eraser: E
  5. Text Tool: T
  6. Pen Tool: P
  7. Direct Selection Tool: A
  8. Full screen: F
  9. F7: To toggle Layers Panel
  10. Tab: Hide all the palettes
  11. SHIFT + Tab: Hide all the palettes except for the toolbox
  12. CMD/CTRL + Backspace: Fills the layer or selection with background color
  13. OPTION/ALT + Backspace: Fills the layer or selection with foreground color
  14. CMD/CTRL + N: New File
  15. CMD/CTRL + O: Opens a File
  16. CMD/CTRL + S: Save
  17. CMD/CTRL + SHIFT + S: Save As
  18. CMD/CTRL + OPTION/ALT + SHIFT + S: Save for Web and Devices
  19. CMD/CTRL + OPTION/ALT + Z: Undo
  20. CMD/CTRL + SHIFT + Z: Redo
  21. CMD/CTRL + D: Deselect
  22. CMD/CTRL + SHIFT + I: Inverts selection
  23. CMD/CTRL + L: Level dialog
  24. CMD/CTRL + U: Hue/Saturation dialog
  25. CMD/CTRL + +: Zoom In
  26. CMD/CTRL + -: Zoom Out
  27. CMD/CTRL + 0: Fit to Screen
  28. CMD/CTRL + J: Duplicates the selected layer or layers
  29. CMD/CTRL + SHIFT + N: New Layer
  30. CMD/CTRL + W: Closes current window
  31. CMD/CTRL + R: Show/Hide Ruler
  32. CMD/CTRL + ;: Show/Hide Guides
  33. CMD/CTRL + OPTION/ALT + I: Opens the Image Size window
  34. OPTION/ALT + ]: Scroll up through layers
  35. OPTION/ALT + [: Scroll down through layers
  36. CMD/CTRL + ]: Moves a layer 1 level up the layer stack
  37. CMD/CTRL + [: Moves a layer 1 level down the layer stack
  38. CMD/CTRL + G: Creates a Group and moves the selected layer into it
  39. SHIFT + +: Cycles down the layer blend modes
  40. SHIFT + -: Cycles up the layer blend modes
  41. Delete: Pressing the delete key deletes a layer
  42. X : Swaps the foreground and background color displayed in the tools palette
  43. D: Sets foreground color to black and background color to white in the tools palette

Some Other Useful Shortcuts 

Changing the Opacity of a Layer

Changing the Opacity of a layer in Photoshop, using shortcut keys, is extremely easy. First, make sure that the Move Tool is selected (press V to select it if it isn't already selected). Then type a number, between 0 to 100, that will change the opacity value accordingly.
For example, type "5" for "50%" opacity. "1" for "10%", "9" for "90%", "0" for "100%" and so on. For more specific values, just type the complete number like "34" for "34%", "97" for "97%" opacity and so on.

Auto select Content Layer

Auto select option in Photoshop automatically selects the Layer/Group of the content you click on. This option can be seen at the top window when Move Tool is already selected (refer to the image below)

Auto-Select Option in Photoshop CS 5.1

In order for the Auto-Select option to work, its checkbox needs to checked. It becomes cumbersome to check/uncheck this option every now and again, which obviously diverts our attention from the creative work we do.

By using a simple shortcut key, you can make this task happen almost seamlessly. To do this, just hold down the CMD/CTRL key on your keyboard and simply click on the item you want to select. By doing this, Photoshop will automatically select the layer of that particular object. Easy isn't it!?

And finally, the most obvious ones...

  • CMD/CTRL + X: Cut
  • CMD/CTRL + C: Copy
  • CMD/CTRL + V: Paste


Yea yea I know it's a long list, but believe me, once you'll get the hang of it, it'll save you a lot of time. There are many other shortcuts available in Photoshop, but in my opinion these are the ones you'll be using the most.

If you know about other useful shortcuts please do mention those in the comments section. Your feedback could be useful for me, as well as for others.