Nearly every photograph of mine you will see has been processed in Photoshop, and because I spend so much time in this program I find that it is best to use my time wisely. The fewer taps I have to make with my Wacom pen (or clicks of your mouse, if you so prefer) the better, so I try to memorize as many keyboard shortcuts as possible. My basic rule is that I should be using both my hands when I am processing photos … one on the keyboard and one holding my Wacom pen.

To help out my fellow photographers and Photoshop users I thought it would be useful if I gave you a list of my most-used and favorite Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. Keep in mind that the these are keyboard shortcuts that I actually use, and not just a random list of some I found online that I though might be useful. Also, all keyboard shortcuts are also very customizable but these below are, as far as I know, the default shortcuts that ship with the CS3 and CS4 versions of Photoshop.

F = Toggles the screen mode to different views
B = Brush tool
T = Text tool
V = Move tool
S = Clone stamp tool
J = Healing brush tool
X = Switches your foreground & background colors
D = Sets your foreground/background colors to their default of white/black
W = Wand tool
C = Crop tool

CMD + (Mac) or CTRL + (PC) = Zoom in
CMD – (Mac) or CTRL – (PC) = Zoom out
CMD 0 (Mac) or CTRL 0 (PC) = Zoom to fit in screen
CMD OPT 0 (Mac) or CTRL ALT 0 (PC) = Zoom to 100%
CMD T (Mac) or CTRL T (PC) = Transform
CMD [ (Mac) or CTRL [ (PC) = Decrease brush size
CMD ] (Mac) or CTRL ] (PC) = Increase brush size
1, 2, … 0 (when in the brush or clone tool) = Changes your brush/clone stamp opacity to 10%, 20%, … 100%

SHIFT + and SHIFT – (while in the move tool) = Cycles through the different layer blend modes

CMD OPT SHIFT E (Mac) or CTRL ALT SHIFT E (PC) = Creates a separate merged-and-flattened layer from all visible layers in your layers panel, while still keeping the original layers intact.

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

About Nicole S. Young

Photographer, author, entrepreneur. I love photographing food and landscapes, and have written several how-to books on Photography, post-processing, and creative inspiration. You can find more about me on my blog, online store, as well as on Google+ and Twitter.




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