A List of Photoshop Shortcuts Every Designer should Know

Being a good designer is more than just pumping out something that looks nice, you also have to be quick about it. Learning your shortcuts is the best way to be quick in Photoshop, or any other program for that matter and is essential for you to be good designer. It’s not a guarantee that you will be a good designer, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Below, I have listed some important short cut, key commands that every designer should know. The top one is the Mac version, and the bottom one is the PC version. These will help you with the basic functions, as well as functions that designers use on a daily basis. Lets check them out.

General Commands

Important Graphic Design Adobe Photoshop Short Cuts that Every Designer Should Know

Create a new document

apple + n
control + n

These are commands everyone should know, and is universal for pretty much every program, not just Photoshop.

Copy, Paste, Cut

apple + c, apple + v, apple + x
control + c, control + v, control + x

This is another one of those generic key commands, also important.

Save, Save for web

apple + s, apple + option + shift + s
control + s, control + alt + shift + s

Along with your copy, cut and paste this should be one of the first ones you memorize. This is obviously an important one, and like copy, cut and paste the regular save is generic for most programs.

Open, Close, Quit

apple + o, apple + w, apple + q
control + o, control + w, control + q

A few more generic commands, it’s a lot easier than going into the drop down menus.

Undo, Step backwards

Apple + z Apple + shift + z
control + z control + shift + z

The difference between undo and step backwards is that undo only goes back once, where step backwards goes back to an amount of times determined in your preferences.

Layer Commands

Important Graphic Design Adobe Photoshop Short Cuts that Every Designer Should Know

Duplicate a layer

apple + j
control + j

This command, duplicates the selected layer, also it can duplicate a selection of a layer extracting just the parts you need.

Create a new layer

apple + shift + n
control + shift + n

You can always just click on the new layer button on the layers panel, but this is a lot easier once you remember it.

Moving layers up, down, top, bottom

apple + ], apple + [, apple + shift + ], apple + shift + [
control + ], control + [,control + shift + ], control + shift + [

This is really helpful if you have a document with a lot of layers, and makes for quick moving.

Merge linked, merge visible

apple + e, apple + shift + e
control + e, control + control + e

Merge your linked layers into one layer or group all your visible layers together. This saves space and cuts down on your layers.

Toolbar

Important Graphic Design Adobe Photoshop Short Cuts that Every Designer Should Know

W = magic wand
V = pointer
P = pen tool
M = marquee tool
L = lasso
B = brush tool
E = erase tool
D = resets colors to black and white
X = switches between foreground and background
Q = quick mask

It may seem easy enough to just click on the toolbar, but once you start using these, you will notice how much easier it is to not have to. NOTE: These don’t work while you are using a text box.

Fill with foreground color

Option + delete
Alt + delete

Fill with background color

Apple + delete
Control + delete

Soften/harden brush

Shift + [, Shift + [
Shift + [, Shift + [

Brush size

[, ]
[, ]

These will quicken you work, especially when you are doing a lot of work with brushes.

Adjustments

Important Graphic Design Adobe Photoshop Short Cuts that Every Designer Should Know

Color balance

Apple + B
control + B

Curves

Apple + M
control + M

Hue/Saturation

Apple + U
control + U

Levels

Apple + L
control + L

Inverse Selection

Apple + shift + I
control + shift + I

This makes life easier, instead of having to go into image>adjustments every time you need something from there you can just use the key commands.

Other Drop-down menu items

Important Graphic Design Adobe Photoshop Short Cuts that Every Designer Should Know

Free transform

Apple + T
Control + T

Change the size of your image, stretch, enlarge and shrink with a simple key command.

Last filter

Apple + F
Control + F

Repeat the last filter you used with this command.

Hide/Show Ruler

Apple + R
Control + R

Hide/Show Guides

Apple + ;
Control + ;

Hide/Show Grid

Apple + ‘
Control + ‘

Custom Shortcuts

Important Graphic Design Adobe Photoshop Short Cuts that Every Designer Should Know

If you are comfortable with your knowledge of shortcuts, then you can add more by going into your preferences (apple+ option + shift + k). Depending on what you do, this can be a great way to speed up your process. For example, I use my color modes and image sizes a lot so I have created shortcuts for those.

Conclusion

There are a lot of shortcuts here, and all of them are important. Depending on what you use Photoshop for, some of these commands will be more useful than others. If you know a lot of them, great! If you are overwhelmed, just think of it this way, a good chunk of them are related to what it does. Like show ruler is apple/control + R, R for ruler. You probably aren’t going to get them all at once so just work on them a little at a time.

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19 Comments

  1. [...] Original post:  A List of Photoshop Shortcuts Every Designer should Know | Denis … [...]

  2. 20/02/2009

    Great post

  3. A List of Photoshop Shortcuts Every Designer should Know…

    These will help you with the basic functions, as well as functions that designers use on a daily basis….

  4. Maja
    20/02/2009

    nice. may i just advise that a key “command” on newer mac keyboards is not marked “apple” anymore. :) it is command or CMD.

  5. thanks for helpful post..

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  8. 28/03/2009

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  11. Saigee
    27/06/2009

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  12. 18/12/2009

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  13. [...] A List of Photoshop Shortcuts Every Designer should Know [...]

  14. 17/08/2010

    Great list, will going to be very useful while creating some innovative designs :)

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