Despite your skill level in Photoshop, the chances are there are still shortcuts you are not using that can increase your editing speed. This list will give you the 10 most useful Photoshop shortcuts to change your workflow. Read further and make a habit of using them.
Cmd+ ‘plus’ (Ctrl+‘Plus’ for Windows) to Zoom
If you are not using this yet, this is the shortcut that must be the single biggest time-saver to reduce editing time. Instead of clicking the ‘Zoom’ button from the Photoshop tools panel try clicking Cmd+1 (Ctrl+1 for Windows) to zoom to a 100%, and then use Cmd + 0 (Ctrl+0 for Windows) to have the image fit on screen again. Further use Cmd+‘minus’ to zoom in or Cmd+‘plus’ to zoom out (Ctrl+‘plus’ and Ctrl+‘minus’ for Windows).
Shift+drag to Constrain Proportion
Do you still find yourself checking the ‘constrain proportion’ box when transforming layers or locking the ratio when cropping? There is no need to do that if you hold Shift while you resize the selection or crop area.
Cmd+Click Layer Thumbnail (Ctrl for Windows) to Load Selection
Perhaps not so much a shortcut, but a feature that becomes essential once you get into more advanced editing. This Photoshop trick is very handy when you need to create a selection that only selects the opaque pixels of the layer rather than the entire canvas. It is especially convenient when working with logos, text and cutouts.
Copy Layer Style Quickly
If you find yourself sill clicking layer options and selecting ‘Copy Layer Style’ when you need to duplicate effects on multiple layers, this shortcut will save you valuable time. Simply drag the layer effects line while holding ‘option’ key (Alt for Windows) onto the layer to which you want the effect to be copied to.
Use the ‘V’ Shortcut
It might seem that it does not take you too much time to use the mouse to click the selector tool form the Photoshop tool panel, but if you consider how often you have to do this through your editing process, it adds up to a significant amount of time. Start using it now.
Cmd+I (Ctrl+I for Windows) to Invert Color
This shortcut simply inverts the color of your image. It might not sounds like much, but consider it in the context of graphic design where you often need to change an icon, logo or text color from white to black. It saves you having to use the color overlay option or using the text properties menu.
Copy Contents of All Visible Layers
Instead of going to the layer panel and selecting ‘Merge Visible’ option and copying the merged layers try selecting all area with Cmd+A (Ctrl+A for Windows) and then with the shortcut Cmd+Shift+C (Ctrl+Shift+C for Windows) add the contents of all visible layers to your clipboard to save time. Just the fact that this shortcut was used in every single graphic in this list should highlight its importance.
Load Last Selection with Cmd+Shift+D (Ctrl+Shift+D for Windows)
If you are creating a multiple layer image, it is almost guaranteed you will have to use the ‘Reselect’ function a few times in your workflow. To speed it up use the shortcut Cmd+Shift+D (Ctrl+Shift+D for Windows) to load the last selection you made.
Undo further with Cmd+Option+Z (Ctrl+Alt+Z for Windows)
You are probably already using Cmd+Z to undo, but when it is needed to undo further go to the ‘History’ panel. Instead, use the shortcut Cmd+Option+Z (Ctrl+Option+Z) to undo further and Cmd+Shift+Z (Ctrl+Shift+Z for Windows) to redo further – this will save you significant time.
If you want to view all of the Photoshop shortcuts use Option+Shift+Cmd+K (Alt+Shift+Ctrl+K for Windows) and you will open a ‘Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus’ panel.
Did you find this tutorial useful? To further expand your Photoshop knowledge read our tutorial on how to import and create patterns in Photoshop.