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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
So I realize when you're first starting out learning a new product, you're not necessarily focused on learning keyboard shortcuts to open up menus and commands and switch toggles and so forth. But as you become more familiar with the interface, you'll find that you start picking up these keyboard shortcuts and you'll the start seeking them out and wondering how you can get faster, and not have to remember what menu something is under. So for instance, a shortcut that I use often is the Image Size dialog box. That just happens to be Command+Option+I or Ctrl+Alt+I on Windows and that opens up the Image Size dialog box, where you could change the Resolution and Dimensions of your particular file and so forth.
I'm going to hit Cancel here. Under the Image menu is where that command is. Image > Image Size and you can see that if a menu command has a keyboard shortcut assigned to it, it's listed in the menu. It has these little symbols that represent different keys in the keyboard. So that little highway intersection symbol, what some people call it, the Command key is what that symbol means. This little symbol means the Option key. The Shift key is typically an up arrow and on PC, your little icons are a little different because you have a Ctrl key or an Alt key. My point is certain menu commands have keyboard shortcuts and certain ones don't and over time, you may decide that a menu command that has the keyboard shortcut isn't the one you wanted to be.
You may want it to be a different shortcut that makes sense to you, or you may want to add a keyboard shortcut to menu command that doesn't currently have one. So, without getting into a lot of detail, I just want you to know that pretty much all the Adobe products have the ability to customize the keyboard shortcuts. There is a few exceptions, but Photoshop is certainly one that let's you do it. It's under the Edit menu. It's up towards the bottom of the list. You can see this is a really long menu, Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, and as a little joke there, what's the keyboard shortcut for the Keyboard Shortcut Editor. When in doubt, hold down the entire left-hand side of your keyword, Command+Option+Shift+K, Ctrl+Alt+ Shift+K, and that will open up your Keyboard Shortcut Editor.
So let's say that you wanted to add a menu Command for something under the Image menu that doesn't currently have one. Let's say you wanted just a very quick keystroke for changing an image to grayscale, just as a silly example. So under the Image menu, there is the Mode sub-menu and there is the Grayscale command. You just click on the command that you want to add a keyboard shortcut to and you type a keyboard shortcut. So, let's see if we can come up with something that's not already used. So I'll do a Command+Option+Shift+G, hold all three down and there it is. I've now got a keyboard shortcut for the Grayscale command.
Now, this particular key combination was not already in use elsewhere. If it had been in use on another menu Command, I would've gotten a warning here, letting me know, hey! Are you aware that this is already in use? And then you can either choose a different keyboard shortcut or go ahead and accept that change, and take it away from that other menu Command. So I'm going to go ahead and hit the Accept button, click OK and now you can see Command+Option+Shift+G will bring up the Convert to Grayscale color information. Gives you a warning that, do you really want to do that? Yes, I'm going to do that and I get that effect. So, that was kind of a silly example, but the point I'm trying to get across is as you become more familiar with Photoshop, there will come a time where you want additional menu keyboard shortcuts or to change the ones that already exist.
It's under the Edit menu, Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts is your ticket to do just that.
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