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62 Photoshop shortcuts you need to know

Photoshop shortcuts
(Image credit: Adobe)

Photoshop shortcuts are the answer to simple tasks taking forever. Fiddly extra steps can be an issue when using Photoshop, slowing down your workflow and taking up valuable brain space. Photoshop pros use shortcuts to solve the problem.

We've found the best shortcuts on the web and collated them here for your Photoshop pleasure. They'll help you to change the size of your text, deselect a layer or merge a series of layers with swift ease. We also have useful hints for brushes, saving and closing, and viewing options. They are all guaranteed to speed up your process once you get the hang of them.

Want to learn even more about Photoshop? We've also got free Photoshop actions to create stunning effects and some brilliant Photoshop tutorials to help you put them into practice. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our Adobe MAX coverage for any update announcements.

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

Photoshop shortcuts

Manipulating and arranging layers is simple with these great Photoshop shortcuts

01. Show and hide the layers panel

  • WINDOWS: F7
  • MAC: F7

Quickly show and hide the Layers panel easily by pressing F7 on your keypad. This will also show and hide the Channels and Paths panels because they are grouped together.

02. Scroll through the Layers

  • MAC: Option [ ]
  • WINDOWS: Alt [ ]

To scroll through the layers quickly, hold Alt/Option and use left and right bracket keys [ ] to scroll through: right is up and left is down. 

03. 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 dialogue box.

04. 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.

05. 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.

06. 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.

07. 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.

08. 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.

09. 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!

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Bring layer forward

  • MAC: Cmd+]
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+]

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

14. 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.

15. 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