After playing around with Photoshop for many years I have started using my keyboard to do useful stuff a lot. This was recently brought to my attention when someone commented on how I used the keyboard to Crop and Deselect images quickly. I am now going to try and compile a semi complete list of Photoshop Keystrokes that are the most useful.
First the regular File menu keystrokes that you should remember are:
- New File: CTRL+N
- Open File: CTRL+O
- Save File: CTRL+S
- Save As: Shift+CTRL+S
- Save for Web: Shift+Alt+CTRL+S
- Print: CTRL+P
We’ll be opening and closing and saving for almost every single document that we work on. By memorizing these you will be saving your selves a lot of clicks.
Next are the Edit Menu keystrokes. You must know these in order to become an efficient photoshop artist. The ones I most frequently use are:
- Step Backwards: ALT+CTRL+Z
- Step Forward: Shift+CTRL+Z
- Cut: CTRL+X
- Copy: CTRL+C
- Paste: CTRL+V
- Free Transform: CTRL+T
- Merge Down: CTRL+E
- Select All: CTRL+A
- Deselect: CTRL+D
- Inverse Selection: CTRL+SHIFT+I
- Repeat Last Used Filter: CTRL+F
- Brushes Palette: F5
- Color Palette: F6
- Layers Palette: F7
- Zoom in: Ctrl+”+”
- Zoom out: Ctrl+”-“
- Switch between foreground and background colors: X
Now the rest of the keystrokes that I use aren’t actually official keystrokes that Adobe has meant for us to use (well they have… but well.. read on). For example, if I want to desaturate an image the “official” keystroke is Shift+CTRL+U. I don’t know about you but I want to memorize the least amount of stuff as possible. Basically, if you hold down the ALT key (in windows atleast. I’m not sure about Macs) all the menu items will show one underlined letter. While holding down the alt key press the underlined arrow and that menu is displayed. With out letting go to the alt key continue pressing all the letters till you get to what ever it is you need. So instead of remembering Shift+CTRL+U for desaturation I’ll just press ALT+I+A+D.
The following are some important “unofficial” keystrokes:
- Levels: Alt I-A-L
- Feather: Alt S-F
- Image Size: Alt I-I
- Crop: Alt I-P
- Stroke: Alt E-S
Obviously there are tons more. It is up to you, the artist, to decide which ones will save you the most time. I believe that the key strokes that I have listed above are the most useful ones that everyone should know. If I remember some more then I will add them to this page!
The best way to memorize these is by actually using these. I, personally, never sat down and memorized these keystrokes. Just use them enough times and they’ll become second nature to you!
Please post any keystrokes that you use often but I have missed.