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.
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.
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.
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
Shift + [, Shift + [
Shift + [, Shift + [
These will quicken you work, especially when you are doing a lot of work with brushes.
Apple + B
control + B
Apple + M
control + M
Apple + U
control + U
Apple + L
control + L
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
Apple + T
Control + T
Change the size of your image, stretch, enlarge and shrink with a simple key command.
Apple + F
Control + F
Repeat the last filter you used with this command.
Apple + R
Control + R
Apple + ;
Control + ;
Apple + ‘
Control + ‘
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.
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.