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63 Photoshop shortcuts to speed up

your workflow

Create New layer

Get started on your latest project in next to no time with this handy
shortcut that instantly whips up a new layer and dialog box.

Create new layer behind selected layer

Ctrl+New Layer icon

Mastering the new layer shortcut is a doddle, so once your ready to
drop in a layer behind it, be sure to use this shortcut.

Fill a layer

Alt+Delete (foreground) or Ctrl+Delete (background)

This command will fill an empty later with the current foreground or
background colour.

Flatten layers

Add a new, empty layer to the top of your stack, select it and use
the above command to flatten the layers in an image to sharpen the
result. This adds a flattened version of the image to the new layer
but leaves the layers intact too.

Merge visible layers

This command will allow you merge all your existing layers in order
to create one new layer. Beware! Once merged, they are extremely
difficult to seperate.

Stamp down selected layers

Once you've selected your layers, use this command to merge them
into just one layer. To see them merged as a new layer, simply add

in the Shift modifier. This is useful if you need to make adjustments

later on.

New layer via copy

Use this command to create a new layer from an existing one.
Sound complicated? Give it a go!

New layer via cut

Like creating a new layer via copy, this command will create a new
layer with the selected image area in it, the only difference via cut is
that it will remove the selected image portion from the original

Bring layer to top of stack

Here, you can move your preferred layer to the top of the stack of
images you're working with in Photoshop.

Send layer to bottom of stack

This is plenty self-explanatory in that it does exactly the same as the
command above but in the opposite direction.

Bring layer forward

This will allow you to bring any selected image to the front.

Send layer back

If you decide to change your mind, you can always select the image
and send it to the back of the pile!

Copy multiple layers

Draw a selection, then use this command to take every layer into
the clippig, rather than just the current layer selection.



This is a great command for any of you that accidentally click away
from a section. Pressing these buttons will have that section
reselected in no time.

Invert selection

Select objects around an already pre-selected image. This way,
you'll be able to work around your main focus without losing it!

Select all layers

A perfect command for those times when you need to get
everything in sync.

Select bottom layer

This will select the bottom layer in the layers panel.

Select top layer

This will select the top layer in the layers panel.

Deselect from the selection area

If you need to deselect a certain area sharpish, then hit these keys.

Deselect all but the intersected area

If you don't want to deselect an area, you can use this shortcut to
ensure you're clicking on what you want.

Deselect the entire image

If you need to get away from the image, use this shortcut to
deselect anything that you've clicked on.

Find the sizing handles

Ctrl+T, then Ctrl+0

When pasting a layer or selection into a Photoshop image and it's
bigger than the current image, it can be difficult to find the sizing
handles. This command selects Transform and sizes the image
inside the window so you can see the sizing handles.

Move a selection

Spacebar+Marquee Tool
Want to move a selection easily? Simple press and hold the
Spacebar and continue to do so until the selection is in the correct

Select individual channels

Selecting with Photoshop Channels makes removing a complex
object from the background much easier than with other tools. And
using this shortcut makes it even simpler.

Select a colour from an image

Alt+Brush Tool
When working with a Photoshop brush, if you want to sample a
colour from an image, instead of clicking the Eyedropper tool,
simply hold the Alt or Option key to switch temporarily. Then let go
to return to the Brush tool.

Increase/decrease brush size

Getting your brush size just right is one of the most important aspects of
Photoshop. Do it with this command.


Whether you want to fill the selection with the foreground colour or with a
selected pattern, use this shortcut to get the job done quickly.

Increase/decrease brush hardness

Brush hardness is just as important, so get it right with this shortcut.

Previous/next brush

Save time and distractions by using these simple commands to swiftly move
through the various brushes on offer.

First/last brush

If you don't want to have go through the entire array of Brushes on offer, hit
these commands to go back to the start or end.

Toggle airbrush option

Simulate spraying painting with Photoshop's airbrush tool using this
helpful shortcut.

Save for web & devices

Pretty self-explanatory but if you prefer not to drag your mouse onto a number
of options, use this shortcut on your keyboard.

Close & go to bridge


As the name implies, this will close your document and then open up Adobe
Bridge where you can select the next file you wish to work on.


When editing your images, you'll be using the levels box regularly. Save
yourself some time with this Photoshop shortcut.

Free Transform

Ctrl +T
This command opens the free transform tool for resizing, rotating, and
skewing the image using a draggable outline.


This will allow you to quickly edit the Curves on your image.

Colour Balance

This is a perfect Photoshop shortcut to edit the Colour Balance of your


These two powerful Photoshop tools will aid you in the colour balance battle,
and will decrease the amount of crossover.


Convert your colour image to grayscale values, leaving the image in the same
colour mode.

Quick image fixes

Auto Tone

Auto Contrast

Auto Color
After a quick fix for a photo? While they're not reliable cure-alls, these tools
are usually worth a go for automatically improving your images.

Lens correction

The camera always lies, particularly where lens distortion is involved. Use the
lens correction filter to reduce the effect of barrel distortion, pincushion
distortion and vignetting.

Adaptive Wide Angle

Wide angle lenses can bring their own particular distortions, and Photoshop
has a filter for this. The Adaptive Wide Angle filter can quickly straighten lines
that appear curved in panoramas, or photos taken with fish-eye and wide
angle lenses.

Camera Raw Filter

With older versions of Photoshop you have to run Adobe Camera Raw as a
separate program, but in Photoshop CC it's available as a filter, enabling you
to non-destructively apply sophisticated adjustments to any image type.

Content aware scale

Scale your image to your preferred state with this super quick shortcut.

Content-Aware Move

The latest content-aware tool in Photoshop CC enables you to move objects
around in a photograph, and it'll intelligently fill in the gaps where they used to

Create clipping mask

A great way to keep shadows and shading where they belong, the clipping
mask tool is a basic but useful tool.

Blending modes

Shift+plus(+) or minus(-)
Photoshop has a variety of blending modes to create cool effects. Use this
command to cycle through each.

Black and white dialog box

Speed up the process of converting colour photos to black and white with this
shortcut, which opens the black and white adjustment dialog box.

Change image size

Set up your image sizes with ease with this quick and simple shortcut.

3D work

Show/Hide Polygons

Within Selection
Reveal All
If you're working with 3D assets, use this option to view the polygons that
make up your 3D models.


Once you're happy with your 3D model, use this option to create a final render
and create the highest quality version for output to web, print, or animation.

View actual pixels

Viewing an image in Photoshop in actual pixels gives you the chance to see
each pixel individually - ensuring your work is perfect.

Fit on screen

A great way to view your work in all its glory on screen.

Zoom in

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of your image, zoom right in with this
shortcut command.

Zoom out

Get an insight into how your work will look from afar with this zoom out

Text in Photoshop

Increase/decrease size of selected text by 2pts

Experiment with text in Photoshop by using this command to change its size
by 2pts.

Increase/decrease size of selected text by 10pts

Works the same as the command above but it's by 10pts this time.

Increase/decrease kerning or tracking

Alt+Right/Left Arrow
Adjust the space between your text in Photoshop with this handy command.

Align text left/center/right

A great way to experiment with the alignment of your text, this shortcut will
enable you to do it quickly.

Show/Hide selection on selected type

Speed up selecting elements on type with this easy-to-remenber shortcut.

Simple Photoshop Shortcut Commands

H(Hand Tool) When zoomed in to a portion of your photo, this command

brings up the hand tool which allows for quick panning. Also, if the hand tool
is active and you hold down the Ctrl key, you can zoom in without changing to
the zoom tool. Likewise, if you hold down the Alt key, you can zoom out
without changing tools.

Z(Zoom Tool) This command just brings up the zoom tool, which allows
you to zoom in. Like with the hand tool, if you hold down the Alt key, it
temporarily switches to the zoom out mode.

Ctrl + 0(Fit on Screen) This is a quick-and-dirty command to get the

entire photo in front of your eyes. Thats Ctrl + zero, not the letter O.

B(Brush Tool) The brush is an extremely useful tool when working with
masks, and Im constantly using this command along with the hand and zoom

Ctrl + Z(Undo) Very useful for the little mistakes we all make.

Tab(Hide/Show Palettes) Hiding the palettes gives you a little more

working room, thus decreasing your need to pan and zoom while editing.

Intermediate Photoshop Shortcut


[(Decrease Brush Size) Quickly decrease your brush size to get into those
tighter spots.

](Increase Brush Size) Quickly increase your brush size for the larger areas.

Shift + [(Decrease Brush Softness) Decrease the softness of the brush by


Shift + ](Increase Brush Softness) Increase the softness of the brush by


1->0(Tool Opacity) I usually run my brush opacity around 5% or 10%, but

some things require a bit more opacity. Just press one of the numbers from 1
to 0 and your tool opacity will change from 10% up to 100%. If you want finer
control, press a second number quickly after the first, and you can get any
percentage you want. So pressing 4 will get you 40% opacity, while pressing 4
then 3 will give you 43% opacity.

Shift + 1->0(Tool Flow) This works exactly like the opacity changer, but
you just have to hold the Shift key down while you hit the numbers.

Ctrl + Tab(Next Point on Curves Adjustment) When using the curves

adjustment dialog, you can place multiple points on the curve and adjust them
accordingly. Sometimes you want to make very minor shifts in those points by
nudging with the keyboard, but clicking on the point to activate it usually
moves it to an undesired location. Use this command to switch focus from
point to point without moving them around.

Advanced Photoshop Shortcut


Ctrl + Shift + N(New Layer) This will bring up the new layer dialog box
and place a new layer on top of the active layer.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N(New Layer No Dialog) This command skips the
dialog box and just places a new layer on top of the active layer.

Ctrl + Shift + C(Copy Merged) This works basically like the copy
command, except you get a merged copy of the composite image sent to the
clipboard. This command only works if youve made a selection on the image
first (use Ctrl+A to select all), otherwise youll get a copy of nothing. This is
useful if you want to duplicate what you see on the screen into another image
file or even another layer.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E(Stamp Visible) This is actually one of my favorite

commands. First, Ill create a new empty layer on top of the stack. Then Ill
select that new layer and use this command. It does basically the same thing as
the copy merged command, except it places the copy right into the new layer. I
use this for creating layer blends, sharpening, and any other type of editing
that cant be done non-destructively.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K(Show Keyboard Commands) If you forget any of

these commands, or if you want to check on other commands, use this to bring
up the help dialog on keyboard shortcuts.

28 More Exceptionally Useful

Photoshop Shortcuts
SPACEBAR (Temporary Hand Tool) Hold down the spacebar to temporarily bring
up the hand tool so you can move around while doing those zoomed-in edits. Also,
use the Ctrl modifier to zoom in, and the Alt modifier to zoom out.

Essential Photoshop Shortcut


F(Cycle Screen Modes) Switch between normal screen, full screen with
task bar without title bar, and full screen with black background. Works great
when used in conjunction with Tab to hide toolbars maximum working
space, no distractions.

X(Switch Colors) Swap your foreground and background colors. Very

handy when working with masks.

D(Default Colors) Reset your foreground and background colors to black

and white, respectively.

Ctrl + +/-(Zoom In/Out) Quickly zoom in or out without changing your

current tool.

Alt + Mouse Scroll(Zoom In/Out) Fastest way to zoom scroll up to

zoom in, and scroll down to zoom out.

Ctrl + Alt + Z(Step Back) Ctrl + Z is OK if you catch a mistake

immediately after it happens, but this command will continue to march its way
up the history tree.

Ctrl + S(Save) You should get in the habit of just hitting this combo on
impulse about every 5 to 10 minutes. Also use Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S to bring
up the save for web dialog.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N(New Layer No Dialog) Quickly insert a new empty

layer on top of the active layer. Get rid of the Alt key to bring up the new layer
dialog for more options.

Useful Photoshop Shortcut Commands

Shift + Click Mask(Enable/Disable Layer Mask) When working with

masks its typically done in small increments. Disabling the mask allows you
to check the results of your masking against the original.

Alt + Click Mask(Toggle Mask Visibility) Doing this will bring up the
mask as a grayscale image so you can see what youre working with. Useful if
you have areas that need to be filled in or smoothed out.

Ctrl + Click Mask(Load Mask As Selection) Selects the white part of the
mask (grays are partially selected). Useful if you want to duplicate a mask or
its inverse. Using Ctrl + Click on a layer without a mask will select the nontransparent pixels in that layer.

Ctrl + J(New Layer Via Copy) Can be used to duplicate the active layer
into a new layer. If a selection is made, this command will only copy the
selected area into the new layer.

Caps Lock(Toggle Cross Hairs) Switch between the standard tool icon and
a set of precision cross hairs. Useful for spot-on selections.

Shift + Backspace(Fill Dialog) Good time saver when working with

masks. Also, use the Ctrl + Backspace to fill with background color and Alt +
Backspace to fill with foreground color.

Ctrl + H(Hide Selection Lines) When working with selections, use this
command to hide the marching ants while keeping the selection.

Ctrl + I(Invert Selection) Select the opposite of what is already selected.

Also a good tool when working with mask creation.

Ctrl + D(Deselect) After working with your selection, use this combo to
discard it.

Side Note:When working with selections, they can be applied to a layer as a mask
simply by adding a new layer mask using the little box-with-a-circle-inside icon at the
bottom of the layer palette. This also works with adjustment layers by automatically
applying the selection to the mask.

Handy Photoshop Shortcut Commands

Ctrl + G(Group Layers) This command groups selected layers in the layer
tree. Adding Shift to this combo will ungroup layers when the grouped layer is

Ctrl + A(Select All) Creates a selection around the entire canvas.

Ctrl + T(Free Transform) Brings up the free transform tool for resizing,
rotating, and skewing the image using a dragable outline.

Ctrl + E(Merge Layers) Merges selected layer with the layer directly
below it. If multiple layers are selected, only those will be merged.

Crtl + Shift + E(Merge Visible) Merges all visible layers into one. Not
recommended practice in typical photo editing because youll lose layer

Ctrl + Alt + E(Stamp Down) Merges all selected layers into one new layer.
Add the Shift modifier to this combo and youll get a new layer containing a
merged representation of all visible layers (handy for sharpening adjustments)

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R(Rotate Arbitrary Dialog) bring up the rotate dialog
to straighten out your horizon but its not typically used since we all take
perfect photos, right?

Side Note:Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) has the ability to straighten photos
before they ever make it into Photoshop. When straightening, you draw a line youd
like as your horizontal and ACR will take care of the rotation and crop for you.

CTRL + ALT + DEL(Kill Photoshop) Quite useful when Photoshop takes

your computer hostage. Must have used the Ctrl + S command prior to the
hostile takeover in order to prevent mental breakdown.