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71 essential Photoshop shortcuts

Photoshop shortcuts

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

17. Reselect

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

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

18. Invert selection

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

Select objects around a pre-selected image. This way, you can work around your main focus without losing it.

19. Load layer transparency as selection

  • MAC: Cmd+click layer thumbnail
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+click layer thumbnail

Select all the non-transparent or non-masked areas of a layer.

20. Feather selection

  • MAC AND WINDOWS: Shift+F6

Soften the edges of a selection by creating a transition between selected pixels and surrounding area.

21. Open Select & Mask (Refine Edge) dialog box

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

Cutting out complex objects is a doddle with Select and Mask.

22. 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.

23. Select bottom layer

  • MAC: Opt+,
  • WINDOWS: Alt+,

This will select the bottom layer in the Layers panel.

24. Select top layer

  • MAC: Opt+.
  • WINDOWS: Alt+.

This will select the top layer in the Layers panel.

25. Deselect from the selection area

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

If you need to deselect a certain area sharpish, then hit these keys and drag your mouse.

26. 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.

27. Deselect the entire image

  • MAC: Cmd+D
  • WINDOWS: Ctrl+D

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

28. Find the sizing handles

  • MAC: Cmd+T, then 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.

29. Move a selection

  • MAC: Spacebar+Marquee tool
  • WINDOWS: Spacebar+Marquee tool

Want to move a selection easily? Simply choose the Marquee tool, and press and hold the Spacebar. Continue to do so until the selection is in the correct place.

30. 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 using other tools. And using this Photoshop shortcut makes the process even simpler.

31. 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.

Next page: Brushes and filling

Matt Smith

Matt has worked for various publishing houses and design agencies, covering studio photography, video production, editorial design, branding, illustration and motion graphics. He currently works for Future PLC with brands such as T3, Woman&Home, Marie Claire, Music Week, TechRadar, Golden Joysticks, Cycling Weekly, Brand Impact Awards, Horse&Hound and Tech&Learning. In the past he has designed titles including Mac|Life, IQ, Bow International, Drummer, iDrum, Acoustic, Clay Shooting, Sea Fishing and GunTradeNews. He has experience across the full Adobe Suite and is currently spending a lot of time creating projects in Blender and After Effects.