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In addition to using and accessing panels over here on the right-hand side of the screen, you'll often be switching from tool to tool to do certain things in Photoshop, like painting and retouching and making selections or cropping and whatnot. As you might expect, every tool has a shortcut assigned to it. You can just simply press a single letter on your keyboard to switch from tool to tool. If you don't know what these shortcuts are yet. That's okay. You just simply hover over any particular tool icon and if you pause just for a second, it will tell you the name of the tool and it's letter shortcut in parentheses.
So, here you can see it's the Rectangular Marquee tool and the letter shortcut is the letter M. There is the Lasso and of course that one is L. Here is the Quick Selection tool and it's shortcut is W. So, some of these make sense and some of them they run out of keys or they are already taken by other tools. So, C for Crop, I for the Eye Dropper tool and so on down the list. Most of these I can make sense. If you want the Type tool, you press T. If you want the Pen tool, you press P. If you want the Healing Brush, you press J. That's one that's like why they call it J and that's kind of how you remember it.
The Healing Brush has actually several different options. So, the first one is the Spot Healing Brush and that brings me to my next point. If you actually look at some of these tools, what are called tool slots, you'll see that each have these little triangles in the bottom right-hand corner. That's your visual clue that there are more than one tool in that given tool slot. You can see almost all the tools have additional tools buried underneath them except for the Move tool. If a tool has more the one option, if you just click-and-hold on that tool icon, you'll get a little pop-up menu showing you the other tools in the slot.
You'll see they all have the same shortcut J. But yet when I press J multiple times it's not cycling between those tools. So, to do that, you need to add the Shift key to that. So, if I hold down Shift+J I can cycle through the various options of the Healing Brush tool set. So, there's the Spot Healing Brush, there is the Regular Healing Brush, there is the Patch tool and then there is the Red Eye tool. So, they all have the same letter shortcut but to cycle through them, you hold down the Shift key to go back and forth between the tools within any given slot.
So, same thing for Marquee tool. If I press the letter M that takes you to the Rectangular Marquee tool. If I press Shift+M, that switches you to the Elliptical Marquee tool, Shift+M takes you back to the Rectangular, so you are going to cycle through the various tools in any given tool slot. Now, I particularly like the way the tools are organized by default, there in a single column on the left-hand side. If for some reason, you want to expand that to a double column, there is this little Double Chevron in upper left-hand corner of the Tools panel that lets you do that.
I think, this a waste of screen real estate. So, I like to make it back down to the standard to single column now. There you have it. You don't need to worry about memorizing all the shortcuts, right now. Over time, your brain will just start remembering these things. You won't even think about anymore. As a matter of fact, often times you won't even go to the Tools panel anymore and look for the tool icon to click on. You'll think I want the Brush tool. You'll just press the letter B right where you are. It's amazing how fast that happens for you. So, over time learn a few new ones here and there, add them to your vocabulary, so to speak and pretty soon, you will be a Photoshop master.
Fingers fly on all of the keyboard to get to the tools that you want.
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