60 Photoshop shortcuts to speed up your workflow

When working in Photoshop, simple tasks can become a hindrance to your workflow. To help out, we've got a great selection of Photoshop shortcuts right here, all guaranteed to speed up your workflow once you get the hang of them.

We've also got free Photoshop actions to create stunning effects and some brilliant Photoshop tutorials to help you put them into practice.

Want to change the size of your text? No problem. Deselect a layer or merge a series of layers? We've got you covered. There are also some handy hints for brushes, saving and closing, and viewing options. Whether you're using an old version of CS or the latest Creative Cloud update, these shortcuts are guaranteed to speed up your workflow. 

(Prefer a quick visual guide instead? Take a look at our handy Photoshop shortcuts cheat sheet.)

Manipulating and arranging layers is simple with these great Photoshop shortcuts

01. Create New layer

  • MAC: Shift+Cmd+N
  • WINDOWS: Shift+Ctrl+N

Get started on your latest project in next to no time with this handy shortcut that instantly whips up a new layer and dialog box.

02. Create new layer behind selected layer

  • MAC: Ctrl+New Layer icon
  • WINDOWS: Cmd+New Layer Icon

Mastering the new layer shortcut is a doddle, so once you're ready to drop in a layer behind it, be sure to use this shortcut.

03. Fill a layer

  • MAC: Alt+Backspace (foreground) or Cmd+Backspace (background)
  • WINDOWS: Alt+Delete (foreground) or Ctrl+Delete (background)

This command will fill an empty later with the current foreground or background colour.

04. Flatten layers

  • MAC: Cmd+Alt+Shift+E
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E

Add a new, empty layer to the top of your stack, select it and use the above command to flatten the layers in an image to sharpen the result. This adds a flattened version of the image to the new layer but leaves the stacked layers intact too.

05. Merge visible layers

  • MAC: Cmd+Shift+E
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+E

This command enables you to merge all your existing layers to create one new layer. Beware! Once merged, they're extremely difficult to separate.

06. Stamp down selected layers

  • MAC: Cmd+Alt+E
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+E

Once you've selected your layers, use this command to merge them into just one layer. To see them merged as a new layer, simply add in the Shift modifier. This is useful if you need to make adjustments later on.

07. New layer via copy

  • MAC: Cmd+J
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+J

Use this command to create a new layer from an existing one. Sound complicated? Give it a go!

08. New layer via cut

  • MAC: Cmd+Shift+J
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+J

Like creating a new layer via copy, this command will create a new layer with the selected image area in it. The only difference via cut is that it will remove the selected image portion from the original image.

09. Bring layer to top of stack

  • MAC: Cmd+Shift+]
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+]

Here, you can move your preferred layer to the top of the stack of images you're working with in Photoshop.

10. Send layer to bottom of stack

  • MAC: Cmd+Shift+[
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+[

Yep, this is pretty self-explanatory. It does exactly the same as the command above, but in the opposite direction.

11. Bring layer forward

  • MAC: Cmd+]
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+]

This Photoshop shortcut enables you to bring any selected image to the front.

12. Send layer back

  • MAC: Cmd+[
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+[

If you decide to change your mind, you can always select the image and send it to the back of the pile.

13. Copy multiple layers

  • MAC: Shift+Cmd+C
  • WINDOWS: Shift+Ctrl+C

Draw a selection, then use this command to take every layer into the clipboard, rather than just the current layer selection.

Next page: Selections