Remember when you used to play Street Fighter at the arcade and you would time that Hadouken just right to counter an attack from that jackass who wouldn’t stop throwing you around? Well, just like a video game Photoshop is chock-full of secret key combinations that will have your clients and peers asking “How did you do that!”
- F7 – Open and Close the layers palette
- Shift+Ctrl+Alt+N (Win) / Shift+Command+Option+N (Mac) – Creates a new layer quickly
- Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac) – Duplicates a layer or copies selection to a new layer
- Hold down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and use the left and right bracket keys ( [ and ] ) to scroll through layers in the Layers palette.
- Ctrl+A (Win) / Command+A (Mac) to select the entire layer (not just the contents).
- Merge multiple layers by selecting the layers (in versions of Photoshop before CS2 you’ll have to link them) and pressing Ctrl+E (Win) / Command+E (Mac).
- A very useful trick for comping quickly is to merge all layers into a new layer while keeping the originals (for editing). Create a new layer at the top of the Layers palette and press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E (Win) / Shift+Command+Option+E (Mac).
- To cycle through all the different layer blend modes, hold down your Shift key and use the + and – keys. This is the same on Mac and Windows machines.
- Ctrl+Y (Win) or Command+Y (Mac) allows you to Color Proof.
- Num Keys 1 thru 0 – quickly set Opacity levels
- [ or ] – Decrease and Increase Brush Size
- Shift+ [ or ] – Decrease and Increase Brush Softness
- Ctrl+Alt+Shift+K (Win) or Command+Alt+Shift+K (Mac) – Display Keyboard Commands Menu
- Ctrl+Shift+K (Win) / Command+Shift+K (Mac) – convert text selection to all caps
- Ctrl+Shift+B (Win) / Command+Shift+B (Mac) – changes text selection to bold. (Note: for italics use “I” instead of “B”)
- Ctrl+Shift++ (Win) / Command+Shift++ (Mac) – changes text selection to superscript
- Ctrl+Shift+Alt++ (Win) / Command+Shift+Option++ (Mac) – changes selection to subscript
- Ctrl+Shift+Alt++ (Win) / Command+Shift+Option++ (Mac) – changes selection to strikethrough
- Ctrl+Shift+Alt (Win) / Command+Shift+Option (Mac) and pressing the > or < keys enlarges or decreases text by 10 points
- Ctrl+Shift+L (Win) / Command+Shift+L (Mac) – Left justifies a paragraph (Note: “C” centers and “R” right justifies>
Did you Know?
To print your keyboard shortcuts, you can go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and click ‘Summarize’. Photoshop will then save your shortcuts to an html document that can be opened in any text editor or web browser. From there you can print a copy or save to PDF to keep as a reference.