Are you looking to be a faster Photoshop User? There are several different ways to get to the tools you need inside Photoshop.

  • You can click the tool icon.
  • To access nested tools (those that share the same well), click and hold the mouse button on the tool icon.


  • You can also hold down the Option (Alt) key and click an individual tool in the Tools panel to cycle tools.
  • You can press the letter shortcut key. Hovering over a tools icon will teach you the shortcut keys when the tool tip pops up.
    • Move Tool (V)
    • Rectangular Marquee and Elliptical Marquee Tools (M)
    • Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, and Magnetic Lasso Tools (L)
    • Quick Selection Tool and Magic Wand Tools (W )
    • Crop, Perspective Crop, Slice, Slice Select Tools (C)
    • Eyedropper, Color Sampler, Ruler, Note, and Count Tools (I)
    • Spot Healing Brush, Healing Brush, Patch, Content Aware Move, and Red Eye Tools (J)
    • Brush, Pencil, Color Replacement, and Mixer Brush Tools (B)
    • Clone Stamp and Pattern Stamp Tools (S)
    • History Brush and Art History Brush Tools (Y)
    • Eraser, Background Eraser, Magic Eraser Tools (E)
    • Gradient and Paint Bucket Tools (G)
    • Dodge, Burn, and Sponge Tools (O)
    • Pen and Freeform Pen Tools (P)
    • Horizontal Type, Vertical Type, Horizontal Type Mask, and Vertical Type Mask Tools (T)
    • Path Selection and Direct Selection Tools (A)
    • Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Line, and Custom Shape Tools (U)
    • Hand Tool (H)
    • Rotate View Tool (R)
    • Zoom Tool (Z)
  • To switch to a nested tool, hold down the Shift key and press the tools shortcut key.


  • If the Shift key is an extra step youd rather not use, modify your user preferences. Press Command+K (Ctrl+K) to call up your General Preferences screen. Deselect the check box next to Use Shift Key for Tool Switch.

I hope these simple tips make you a bit faster in Photoshop. I’ll be teaching at Photoshop World if you want to catch up and go deeper.