It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you want to improve your workflow, but a new keyboard can be a significant upgrade. Logickeyboard makes keyboards and keyboard covers that can help you work more efficiently by learning the keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop and Lightroom.
I’ve been using the ALBA keyboard for Mac for Photoshop CC for several months. They also make keyboards for PCs. Let me show you some features and how it can help you.
Keyboard shortcuts are the best way to work faster in Lightroom and Photoshop. If you made me use only a mouse, it’d take so long to get my work done. In all Adobe products, pressing one letter on the keyboard or a combination of keys switches views, activates tools or opens various menu dialogs. Fortunately, many of the shortcuts are the same between products, and other brands, like Skylum, ON1 or Topaz, use the same shortcuts so you can work faster in many apps once you learn the basics.
I’ve just counted on my keyboard, and there are at least 65 shortcuts I use every day for Lightroom alone.
I requested the Photoshop version of the ALBA keyboard so that I could learn the shortcuts better.
The ALBA keyboard is a standard-sized keyboard with a 10-key pad and all the usual function buttons for typing and navigating other apps, including a full array of function keys. As a bonus, it’s got two USB 2.0 ports, one on each end that communicates with the computer and provides 100mA of power each.
It is a corded keyboard, not wireless. The keys are set at 4.5 degrees and can adjust to 8.5 degrees with legs. The keys travel 4mm and have a scissor-switch mechanism for stability. The keyboard is trimmed in an aluminum finish. There’s also a thin all-aluminum version and black version with backlit keys available.
It is a true plug-and-play device. Just plug the USB cord into your computer and start working!
On top of each key is an overlay that offers the shortcuts. You’ll note that there are various colors of keys and text combinations printed on the keys on more than one facet. Just take a look at each key and use the shortcuts it describes. For instance, the E key says use command-option-shift-E to create a new stamped layer, which is a new layer that combines all the layers below it. It turns out that I use that shortcut all the time. It also has a picture of the Eraser tool and the Merge Layers command on the front facet.
After several months of use, the keys still look brand new. The printing and colors are extremely durable and they also shed skin oils well. It looks like this keyboard will last a very long time.
The feel of typing is good. The keystrokes are solid and satisfying and the layout is completely familiar from other Mac keyboards. I think this is a very fine keyboard that will help you learn the shortcuts for whichever apps you order it for. The only problem I have is that I feel like I make a few more typos with this keyboard than with the standard Mac keyboard. I’m not a great typist, and I don’t have terrific form. I still like using it, and I think you will, too.
It’s available for Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, Capture One Pro, Premiere and many other video, audio and graphic apps. In fact, you can even order a custom made shortcut keyboard, which is very cool Check out all the options at logickeyboard.com. The ALBA retails for between $120 and $140 depending on which version you choose.