Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Being able to quickly complete tasks in Photoshop is essential to maximize your efficiency. When you can work faster and do things more quickly, your hourly rate will increase. This is a no-brainer, considering that the faster you work, the more work you can fit in to each hour. Knowing your Photoshop keyboard shortcuts is essential to making you as efficient as possible. Instead of going to the menu, clicking Edit>Copy, you simply hit Command/Ctrl+C. This means that you don’t have to move the mouse at all, and most of these Photoshop keyboard shortcuts can be performed with one hand.
Basic Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Selections
⌘/Ctrl+A selects everything on the screen.
⌘/Ctrl+D deselects everything on the screen.
⌘/Ctrl+Click on a Layers icon to select the contents of a layer
⌘/Ctrl+Shift+I Inverts a selection
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + A Selects all layers
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + R Brings up Refine Edge menu
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Layers
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + N creates a new layer
⌘/Ctrl + J makes a duplicate of the current layer or selection.
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + J Makes a new layer via cut
⌘/Ctrl + E Merges the current layer with the one below
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + E merges all visible layers
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + Alt/Option + E merges all visible layers into a new composite Layer
⌘/Ctrl + ] Brings layer up/forward one layer
⌘/Ctrl + [ Sends layer down/back one layer
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + ] Brings layer to the top/front
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + [ Sends layer to the bottom/back
⌘/Ctrl + G groups layers together
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + G Ungroups layers.
Alt/Option-click on the eye icon of a layer to hide all other layers than this one.
Alt/Option -click between 2 layers to create a clipping mask between the 2 layers.
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Tools
V – The Move Tool
M - The Marquee Tool
W - The Magic Wand/Quick Selection Tool
L – The Lasso Tool
B - The Brush Tool
I - The Eyedropper Tool
J – The Spot Healing Brush
C - The Crop Tool
G – The Gradient Tool
Y – The History Brush
S – The Clone Stamp Tool
Z – The Zoom Tool
A – The Path Selection Tool
E - The Eraser Tool
U – The Custom Shape Tool
P - The Pen Tool
O – The Dodge Tool
T - The Type Tool
H – The Hand Tool
R – The Rotate Tool
Hold shift + hit any key multiple times- Cycles through the sub tools under the main tool. Example: Shift + G switches from the gradient tool to the Paint Bucket tool. Hit it again, and it will switch to the 3D Material Drop Tool.
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Brushes
[ – makes a brush become larger.
] – makes a brush become smaller.
1-9 – lowers the opacity of the brush to a percentage. Example: 1=10%.
Ctrl + Alt/Option + Dragging up or down adjusts the hardness of your brush.
Ctrl + Alt/Option + Dragging left or right adjusts the size of your brush
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Type
Double-click the T icon in a text layer to select all of the text on a layer.
With text selected, select the font name in the options bar and Use + and – to cycle through each font, enabling you to preview your type in each font choice.
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + Shift + < – Decreases selected text by 10pt
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + Shift + > – Increases selected text by 10pt
⌘/Ctr + Shift + C centers selected type
⌘/Ctr + Shift + B Makes selected type bold
⌘/Ctr + Shift + I Makes selected type italic
⌘/Ctr + Shift + L Aligns selected text to the left
⌘/Ctr + Shift + R Aligns selected text to the right
⌘/Ctr + Shift + U Underlines Selected text
⌘/Ctr + Shift + H Makes selected text small caps
⌘/Ctr + Shift + K Makes selected text all caps
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Adjustments
⌘/Ctrl+L Brings up the Levels Adjustment
⌘/Ctrl+M Brings up the Curves Adjustment
⌘/Ctrl+U Brings up the Hue/Saturation Adjustment
⌘/Ctrl+B Brings up the Color Balance Adjustment
⌘/Ctrl+Shift + Alt/Option + B Brings up the Black & White Adjustment
⌘/Ctrl+Shift + U Desaturates your image
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Viewing
⌘/Ctrl+ – makes you zoom out of a photo.
⌘/Ctrl+ + makes you zoom in on a photo.
⌘/Ctrl+ 0 makes your document fit on the screen.
⌘/Ctrl+R shows and hides your rulers.
⌘/Ctrl+I inverts the current image, layer, or selection.
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + I brings up the dialog box for image size and resolution.
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + C brings up the dialog box for canvas size.
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Fills
Alt/Option + delete fills a layer with the current foreground color.
⌘/Ctrl + delete fills a layer with the current background color.
Shift + delete Brings up a fill dialog box with different options.
1-9 determines the percentage of opacity for a layer. Example: 1 = 10%.
Alt + 1-9 determines the percentage of fill for a layer. Example: 1 = 10%.
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Saving
⌘/Ctrl + S Saves the current document.
⌘/Ctrl + Shift + S Saves as a new document of your choice.
⌘/Ctrl + Alt/Option + Shift + S brings up the Save for Web dialog box.
Other Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Tab hides or shows all Panels
Shift + Tab shows or hides all panels, but keeps the toolbox and options bar visible
Ctrl+Tab cycles through open documents.
⌘/Ctrl + F repeats the last filter that you used.
Hitting the D key resets your Foreground and Background color to black & White.
Hitting the X Key will switch your Foreground and Background colors.
Alt/Option-Click on a layer mask icon allows you to view the black & white mask.
Hold shift and tap the “+” key repeatedly to cycle down the different blend modes
Hold shift and tap the “-” key repeatedly to cycle up the different blend modes
Hit the Space Bar to switch to the Hand Tool to move around your document. Release the Space Bar to switch back to the tool you were using before.
⌘/Ctrl + T Transforms the currently selected layer(s).
Alt/Option + Left or Right Arrow Keys Adjusts Kerning.
Alt/Option + Up or Down Arrow Keys adjusts leading.
Conclusion + a Freebie!
I have covered a lot of the main Photoshop keyboard shortcuts that you will use everyday. It might seem like they will be difficult to learn, but after you practice using them, you’ll be using them like a pro in no time. Do you have any Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts you would like to share? If so, please list them in the comments section below. Also, I created a Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet, that you can print out and hang on your wall for quick reference. You download the PDF, click the link below.