PhotoshopHow to

60 Photoshop shortcuts to speed up your workflow

Take a look at our quick list of Photoshop shortcuts, guaranteed to speed up your workflow. The list includes layers, selecting, saving, text and brushes.

When working in Photoshop, simple tasks can become a hindrance to your workflow. So, instead of becoming frustrated take a look at our list of Photoshop shortcuts right here. They're guaranteed to speed up your workflow once you get the hang of them! We've also have a great selection of free Photoshop actions to create stunning effects and some brilliant Photoshop tutorials to help you put them into practise.

So, whether you want to change the size of your text, deselect a layer or merge a series of layers - we've got it covered! There are also some handy hints for brushes, saving and closing, and viewing options.

Layers

Manipulating and arranging layers is simple with these great shortcuts!

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.

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 layers intact too.

Merge visible Layers

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

This command will allow you merge all your existing layers in order to create one new layer. Beware! Once merged, they are extremely difficult to seperate.

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!

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.

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.

Send layer to bottom of stack

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

This is plenty self-explanatory in that it does exactly the same as the command above but in the opposite direction.

Bring layer forward

  • MAC: Cmd+]
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+]

This will allow you to bring any selected image to the front.

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!

Copy multiple layers

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

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

Selecting

Adding, subtracting, inverting! Getting selections right has never been easier.

Reselect

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

This is a great command for any of you that accidentally click away from a section. Pressing these buttons will have that section reselected in no time.

Invert selection

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

Select objects around an already pre-selected image. This way, you'll be able to work around your main focus without losing it!

Select all layers

  • MAC: Cmd+Opt+A
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+A

A perfect command for those times when you need to get everything in sync.

Select bottom layer

  • MAC: Opt+Comma(,)
  • WINDOWS: Alt+Comma(,)

This will select the bottom layer in the layers panel.

Select top layer

  • MAC: Opt+Period(.)
  • WINDOWS: Alt+Period(.)

This will select the top layer in the layers panel.

Deselect from the selection area

  • MAC: Opt+drag
  • WINDOWS: Alt+drag

If you need to deselect a certain area sharpish, then hit these keys.

Deselect all but the intersected area

  • MAC: Shift+Opt+drag
  • WINDOWS: Shift+Alt+drag

If you don't want to deselect an area, you can use this shortcut to ensure you're clicking on what you want.

Deselect the entire image

  • MAC: Cmd+D
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+D

If you need to get away from the image, use this shortcut to deselect anything that you've clicked on.

Find the sizing handles

  • MAC: Cmd+T, Cmd+0
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+T, then Ctrl+0

When pasting a layer or selection into a Photoshop image and it's bigger than the current image, it can be difficult to find the sizing handles. This command selects Transform and sizes the image inside the window so you can see the sizing handles.

Move a selection

  • MAC: Spacebar+Marquee Tool
  • WINDOWS: Spacebar+Marquee Tool

Want to move a selection easily? Simple press and hold the Spacebar and continue to do so until the selection is in the correct place.

Select individual channels

  • MAC: Cmd+3(red),4(green),5(blue)
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+3(red),4(green),5(blue)

Selecting with Photoshop Channels makes removing a complex object from the background much easier than with other tools. And using this shortcut makes it even simpler.

Select a colour from an image

  • MAC: Opt+Brush Tool
  • WINDOWS: Alt+Brush Tool

When working with a Photoshop brush, if you want to sample a colour from an image, instead of clicking the Eyedropper tool, simply hold the Alt or Option key to switch temporarily. Then let go to return to the Brush tool.

Brushes/filling

Play with brushe sizes and more with these great tips!

Increase/decrease brush size

  • MAC: ]/[
  • WINDOWS: ]/[

Getting your brush size just right is one of the most important aspects of Photoshop. Do it with this command.

Fill

  • MAC: Shift+F5
  • WINDOWS: Shift+F5

Whether you want to fill the selection with the foreground colour or with a selected pattern, use this shortcut to get the job done quickly.

Increase/decrease brush hardness

  • MAC: }/{
  • WINDOWS: }/{

Brush hardness is just as important, so get it right with this shortcut.

Previous/next brush

  • MAC: ,/.
  • WINDOWS: ,/.

Save time and distractions by using these simple commands to swiftly move through the various brushes on offer.

First/last brush

  • MAC: </>
  • WINDOWS: </>

If you don't want to have go through the entire array of Brushes on offer, hit these commands to go back to the start or end.

Toggle airbrush option

  • MAC: Shift+Alt+P
  • WINDOWS: Shift+Alt+P

Simulate spraying painting with Photoshop's airbrush tool using this helpful shortcut.

Saving and closing

You'll save most things. So these should come in handy.

Save for web & devices

Pretty self-explanatory but if you prefer not to drag your mouse onto a number of options, use this shortcut on your keyboard.

  • MAC: Cmd+Shift+Opt+S
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S

Close & go to bridge

As the name implies, this will close your document and then open up Adobe Bridge where you can select the next file you wish to work on.

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

Working with your images

We love Clipping Masks. Does that make us weird? DOES IT?! OK. Fair enough.

Levels

  • MAC: Command+L
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+L

When editing your images, you'll be using the levels box regularly. Save yourself some time with this Photoshop shortcut.

Free Transform

  • MAC: Cmd+T
  • WINDOWS: Cmd+T

This command opens the free transform tool for resizing, rotating, and skewing the image using a draggable outline.

Curves

  • MAC: Cmd+M
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+M

This will allow you to quickly edit the Curves on your image.

Colour Balance

  • MAC: Cmd+B
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+B

This is a perfect Photoshop shortcut to edit the Colour Balance of your images.

Hue/Saturation

  • MAC: Cmd+U
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+U

These two powerful Photoshop tools will aid you in the colour balance battle, and will decrease the amount of crossover.

Desaturate

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

Convert your colour image to grayscale values, leaving the image in the same colour mode.

Quick image fixes

Auto Tone 

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

Auto Contrast

  • MAC: Opt+Shift+Cmd+L
  • WINDOWS: Alt+Shift+Ctrl+L

Auto Color

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

After a quick fix for a photo? While they're not reliable cure-alls, these tools are usually worth a go for automatically improving your images.

Lens correction

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

The camera always lies, particularly where lens distortion is involved. Use the lens correction filter to reduce the effect of barrel distortion, pincushion distortion and vignetting.

Adaptive Wide Angle

  • MAC: Opt+Shift+Cmd+A
  • WINDOWS: Opt+Shift+Ctrl+A

Wide angle lenses can bring their own particular distortions, and Photoshop has a filter for this. The Adaptive Wide Angle filter can quickly straighten lines that appear curved in panoramas, or photos taken with fish-eye and wide angle lenses.

Camera Raw Filter

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

With older versions of Photoshop you have to run Adobe Camera Raw as a separate program, but in Photoshop CC it's available as a filter, enabling you to non-destructively apply sophisticated adjustments to any image type.

Content aware scale

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

Scale your image to your preferred state with this super quick shortcut.

Content-Aware Move

  • MAC & WINDOWS: Shift+J

The latest content-aware tool in Photoshop CC enables you to move objects around in a photograph, and it'll intelligently fill in the gaps where they used to be.

Create clipping mask

  • MAC: Cmd+Opt+G
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+G

A great way to keep shadows and shading where they belong, the clipping mask tool is a basic but useful tool.

Blending modes

  • MAC: Shift+plus(+) or minus(-)
  • WINDOWS: Shift+plus(+) or minus(-)

Photoshop has a variety of blending modes to create cool effects. Use this command to cycle through each.

Black and white dialog box

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

Speed up the process of converting colour photos to black and white with this shortcut, which opens the black and white adjustment dialog box.

Change image size

  • MAC: Cmd+Opt+i
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+i

Set up your image sizes with ease with this quick and simple shortcut.

3D

Show/Hide Polygons

Within Selection

  • MAC: Opt+Cmd+X
  • WINDOWS: Opt+Ctrl+X

Reveal All

  • MAC: Opt+Shift+Cmd+X
  • WINDOWS: Opt+Shift+Ctrl+X

If you're working with 3D assets, use this option to view the polygons that make up your 3D models.

Render

  • MAC: Opt+Shift+Cmd+R
  • WINDOWS: Opt+Shift+Ctrl+R

Once you're happy with your 3D model, use this option to create a final render and create the highest quality version for output to web, print, or animation.

Viewing

Just how sharp is that pic of a knight? Only one way to tell: COMMAND/OPTION/ZERO, baby!

View actual pixels

  • MAC: Cmd+Opt+0
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+0

Viewing an image in Photoshop in actual pixels gives you the chance to see each pixel individually - ensuring your work is perfect.

Fit on screen

  • MAC: Cmd+0
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+0

A great way to view your work in all its glory on screen.

Zoom in

  • MAC: Cmd+plus(+)
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+plus(+)

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of your image, zoom right in with this shortcut command.

Zoom out

  • MAC: Cmd+Minus(-)
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Minus(-)

Get an insight into how your work will look from afar with this zoom out command.

Text in Photoshop

Text options are a pain to find in Photoshop, because everyone uses these!

Increase/decrease size of selected text by 2pts

  • MAC: Cmd+Shift+>/<
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+>/<

Experiment with text in Photoshop by using this command to change its size by 2pts.

Increase/decrease size of selected text by 10pts

  • MAC: Cmd+Option+Shift->/<
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+>/<

Works the same as the command above but it's by 10pts this time.

Increase/decrease kerning or tracking

  • MAC: Option+Right/Left Arrow
  • WINDOWS: Alt+Right/Left Arrow

Adjust the space between your text in Photoshop with this handy command.

Align text left/center/right

  • MAC: Cmd-Shift-L/C/R
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+L/C/R

A great way to experiment with the alignment of your text, this shortcut will enable you to do it quickly.

Show/Hide selection on selected type

  • MAC: Ctrl+H
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+H

Speed up selecting elements on type with this easy-to-remenber shortcut.

Did you find this article useful? Be sure to let us know in the comments box what you'd like us to include when we update the list in the future!

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