Useful Photoshop Shortcuts

When you are going to use Photoshop for image editing and manipulation, you will need the fastest ways to do it. So, you will require some shortcuts which will give you an extra edge as a PS professional. Many people out there don’t know a whole lot of shortcuts, but it is a good idea to learn them if you want to be an expert.

You have to know that when you are working in PS, then you should divide the manipulation areas into the different segments. So, you will have to know about the PS shortcuts in the segments like selection, viewing, layering, painting and pen tool. Moreover, you have to keep remembering the shortcuts in the PS segments as well. Actually, these shortcuts will save you time and labor as well. Moreover, it will increase your efficiency in PS.

Some important PS shortcuts will bring the benefits for your efficiency. Logically speaking, if you use all PS shortcuts for any picture editing, then you wont have to keep dragging your mouse to the tool bar and drop down menus, saving you a lot of time.


In PS, selection is the first and prime job for any PS user. Moreover, it will start to manipulate the picture editing by selecting the graphic part. When you apply the other PS techniques, you have to select the picture and make the manipulation as well. If you would like to add a selection, then use the Shift key on your keyboard. If you like to subtract from a selection, then use Alt key on your keyboard. For feather selection, you can use Shift+F6. If you’d like to do an intersection within a selection, then you have to do Shift+Alt. 


For viewing purposes, you will use some shortcuts which will make the editing jobs more comfortable as well. So, in this direction, if you like to fit a picture on the screen, then you have to double click on the Hand Tool as well. If you want to get the 100% zoom level, then you can do the double-click on the zoom tool. If you like to hide all tools and panels, then you have to press the Tab key. For getting a bigger view of a part of a picture, then you have to Ctrl+ drag in navigator panel. For zooming purpose, you can do Ctrl+plus and Ctrl+ minus key. 


Making layers in PS is very important. The reason is that PS layer is the channel root treatment for any graphic editing. Actually, you have to use layers all the time when you are doing editing jobs in PS. For creating a new layer, you just press Ctrl+Shift+N keys. In PS, creating the layer mask is very essential when you are creating the eye catching graphic presentation. 

Actually, masking layer is a highly specialized skill for any PS user. Normally, if you do practice the layer masking regularly, then you will able to make yourself a great PS layer expert. For viewing the all contents of the layer mask, you can press Alt+click on the layer mask. Moving layer below or above the current layer can be done by pressing Ctrl key. 


Although, PS is not just for painting, you will still need some basic shortcuts for the painting requirement. For changing the opacity of the painting, you can use Shift+numbers keys. For brush size changing, you can use the Shift key. 

Pen Tool

This tool is an important tool in PS. Moreover, it is the highly respected tool for any PS user. But, the interesting fact about this tool is that not everybody can be a master of it. So, very few people can achieve its expertise in it. For switching between the anchor points, use Alt key. For switching the path selection tool to the convert point tool, just use Crtl+Alt keys. Again you can convert the path to a selection by using Ctrl+ click on the path name. For selecting the all paths, use Alt+ click. 

So, PS has a lot of many shortcuts for its users for using it. But, as a user, you have to decide which shortcuts will come handy according to your PS style and requirement as well.


About The Author

Margaret is a writer/blogger. She loves writing travelling and reading books. She contributes to Social Cloud.

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  1. Drew

    I would suggest a program like just gestures “it’s free” which I use to pack a good 95% of my Photoshop shortcuts into. I also use it because I can make extended shortcuts for right click down drag right will crop + deselect the layer.

    You can add multiple gestures to one gesture and it will make a drop down menu. Example my right + drag left then down brings up the options to redo the last filter redo it 2x 4x x8 or undo it 1x to 8x.

    Eventually I hope they add a option to insert delays because I’ve been bitching about it for a long time now. If that’s added it would allow for some really nice gesture based actions.

    You don’t have to use right click for a trigger but it’s what I like and I’ve set my top left corner as a hotspot with autohotkey to disable the software completely or enable it. You can set a kill key though in the program settings.

    You can exclude any program from the software so it will not bother you for a accident trigger. You can set timeouts for the trigger and you can make gestures per program. I have a good 50 software profiles on mine.

    I will not lie it takes some getting use to but these days I use it for almost every software I own. Except Firefox since they have a nice little add on called all in one gestures.

    Aside from the event listener just gestures is the 2nd most important tool I use with PS. It’s tripled my performance over keyboard shortcuts. It’s just far quicker and yes the time to take your hand off the mouse is not much but time is time even if it’s only a little.

    It’s all about ease of access my friends.

  2. 06/04/2013

    my keys CRTL, SHIFT, ALT, v, a and others are already fading… and oh sometimes my office mate complain on how my keyboard is so noisy when I am working