Please raise your hand if you've ever wasted time in Photoshop. You know what you want to do -- let's say, cropping your image to specific dimensions -- but you're not sure which buttons to press to make that thing happen. You troll through the Photoshop menu, hoping to stumble on the button you need. Wouldn't it be much easier if you could press a button and make it magically work?
Good news: There are these nifty little keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop that work just like that (minus the magic). By pressing a few keys on your keyboard at the same time, you can select tools, manipulate images and layers, and even make adjustments to your project's canvas.
To be honest, Photoshop has way too many shortcuts to remember if you're just starting out with the software, like me. I can barely keep track of them all. So, if you're a beginner at Photoshop who's looking to save some time, check out the following 30 shortcuts.
All of these shortcuts can be accessed on PC and Mac, so we've included both types below -- Mac instructions appear in italicized parentheses if the shortcuts are different on each platform. Also, unless the plus sign is a command (see "Zoom in" as an example), do not press the plus sign between commands.
If you can memorize them all, go for it. Otherwise, feel free to bookmark this page and come back again and again. We won't mind. ;)
Getting Set Up
You'd think setting up your content in Photoshop would be second nature, but oftentimes, the shortcuts to change the background size or zoom in to your project aren't what you think. Here are some of the most crucial shortcuts to know:
Control + Alt + i (Command + Option + i) = Change the image size.
Control + Alt + c (Command + Option + c) = Change canvas size.
Control + + (Command + +) = Zoom in.
Control + - (Command + -) = Zoom out.
Control + ; (Command + ;) = Show guides, the custom-placed single straight lines that help you align objects to one another.
Control + ' (Command + ') = Show grid, the automatically generated horizontal and vertical lines that help align objects to the canvas.
Choosing the Right Tools
Note: These shortcuts will activate the previously selected tool in the group of tools. For example, if you have last used the Magic Wand tool under the selection tools, the "w" shortcut enables the Magic Wand tool -- even though it's not the default selection tool. But, if you haven't used any tool in the group, it will enable the default tool. Make sense?
v = Pointer
w = Magic wand
m = Marquee
l = Lasso
i = Eyedropper
c = Crop
e = Eraser
r = Blur
u = Rectangle
t = Type
b = Brush
Layer and Object Manipulation
If you want to modify an object or get complex with multiple layers, here are several shortcuts you should know:
Control + a (Command + a) = Select all objects.
Control + d (Command + d) = Deselect all objects.
Shift + Control + i (Shift + Command + i) = Select the inverse of the selected objects.
d = Return colors back to default (black and white).
x = Switch foreground and background colors.
Control + t (Command + t) = Transform your object, which include resizing and rotating.
Shift + Control + n (Shift + Command + n) = Create a new layer.
Control + g (Command + g) = Group selected layers.
Control + Shift + g (Command + Shift + g) = Ungroup selected layers.
Control + e (Command + e) = Merge and flatten selected layers.
Control + Shift + Alt + e (Command + Shift + Option + e) = Combine all layers into a new layer on top of the other layers. This means that you'll have one combined layer and all the elements of that layer in separate layers below, unlike a traditional merge and flatten layers command.
Saving Your Work for Later
So you've finished working on your project and now you want to share it with the world. Save time saving your project by using these simple shortcuts:
Control + Shift + s (Command + Shift + s) = Save your work as.
Control + Shift + Alt + s (Command + Shift + Option + s) = Save for web and devices.
Do you have any Photoshop shortcuts up your sleeve? Share them with the rest of us in the comments below!