Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing web shortcuts, part of Photoshop CS4 for the Web.
Many of the tools and menu items in Photoshop can be activated by keyboard shortcuts. As you become more experienced in Photoshop, you'll find that using keyboard shortcuts for commonly used commands will make you more efficient. I would like to show you how you can customize shortcuts that you often use in your web work. All of the tools in the toolbox have shortcuts. So rather than clicking on a tool to activate it, you can just press its shortcut. To learn a tool shortcut all you have to do is hover over the tool. So if I hover over the Crop tool I can see that its shortcut is letter C on the keyboard. So if I want to activate that tool, I just press C. And if I want to activate the tools behind this one, the hidden tools which in this case are the important web tools, the Slice tool and the Slice Select tool, I'll hold down the Shift key and press C again. There is the Slice tool and press C again and there is the Slice Select tool. The panels over on the right have panel menus and many of the items in the panel menus also have shortcuts. So I'm going to go over here to the Layers panel menu and click on it and you can see that some of these items including the first one for making a New Layer have shortcuts written next to them. So in this case, the shortcut for New Layer is Shift+Command+N on a Mac, on a PC that would be Shift+ Ctrl+N. I am going to move off of that command and then I'm going to go down to my Layers panel where you can see I currently have two layers and I'll press that shortcut. Shift+Command+N or Shift+ Ctrl+N and you can see I get a New Layer dialog box. I'll click OK and I now have another layer in my Layers panel. At the top of the screen are menus, officially called the Application menus and if I click on the File menu there, for example, you will see that many of the commands in this menu have shortcuts as well. One of the commands in this menu that you use all the time in your web work is the Save for Web & Devices command which I'll talk about in another movie. You can see the shortcut for that command is pretty complicated. You have to press down four keys at once, which can be awkward and hard to remember.
On a Mac those are the Option+ Shift+Command and S keys. On a PC that would be Alt+Shift+Ctrl and S. I'm going to show you how you can change this shortcut to make it simpler to use and remember. I am going to move off this command and then release my mouse to close that menu. And then I'm going to go up to the Layer menu at the top of the screen, another application menu and show you another command that you will use often in your web work and that's New Layer Based Slice, which I'll talk about in another movie. But for now what I would like you to see is that there is no shortcut listed to the right of this command and I'm going to show you how you can create a shortcut for command like this one that doesn't already have a shortcut. To do both those things I'm going to go to the Edit menu and go all the way down to the bottom of that menu to Keyboard Shortcuts. That opens the Keyboard Shortcuts and menus dialog box. Right now this dialog box displays the default set of Photoshop shortcuts called Photoshop Defaults and they are listed here. There are shortcuts for Application menus we currently see. There are shortcuts for panel menus, which are those menus that hang off the side of the panels, and there are shortcuts for tools. I want to preserve the Photoshop Default Shortcuts in case I want to go back to them. So before I make any changes I'm going to go over to the right of the Set menu and press this icon to create a new set of shortcuts to which I'll make changes. Here in the Save As field, I'm going to type a new name for these shortcuts. I'll call these web and then I'm going to type the extension for a keyboard shortcut file, which is KYS. I want to be sure to save this in the Keyboard Shortcuts folder and then I'll click Save.
And you can see that I'm now creating a new set of shortcuts called web. Now I'm ready to simplify that complicated shortcut that I showed you for the Save for Web & Devices command. First I'll make sure that I'm looking at shortcuts for Application menus. I know that this command is in the File menu. So I'll go down to File and I click the arrow to the left of file to expand and see all of the items in that menu. Then I'm going to scroll down over here, until I see the Save for Web & Devices command and there is that complicated shortcut.
I'm just going to click on that shortcut to open its editing window. Instead of this long shortcut I would like to use the shortcut Command+Comma on a Mac, on a PC that would be Ctrl+Comma. So I'll just press those commands on my keyboard. Command+Comma or Ctrl+Comma and that changes the shortcut in this list and I'll go up to the Accept button and click there. So that's how you can change a shortcut. Now I would like to show you how to add a shortcut to a command that doesn't have one. As I showed you the New Layer Based Slice command. So using this scroll bar I'm going to scroll back up. I'm going to collapse the File menu and I'm going to click on the arrow to the left of Layer to open the commands for the Layer menu. Now I have to scroll down until I see the command for New Layer Based Slice. I am going to click on the blank area to the right of the New Layer Based Slice command to open in Editing window and I'm going to add the command F5. That's using the Function keys on the keyboard. So I'll press F5 and I get this message with a sound telling me that F5 is already in use and will be removed from the places that it's currently being used which is the menu that opens the Brushes panel. That's fine with me because I'm not going to be opening the Brushes panel as much as I'm going to be using this New Layer Based Slice command. So I'm willing to make that switch. If I wanted to go to the Brushes command and change the shortcut for that command I could press Accept and Go To Conflict. Instead I'm just going to accept this change and then I'm going to go up to this icon, which is the Save Set icon, and I'm going to click there to save the web set with these changes.
Now I'm going to go and click OK to close the Keyboards Shortcuts and menus dialog box with my customize keyboard shortcuts. I would like to show you these changes in the menus in Photoshop. So I'm going to go to the File menu and you can see my Custom command listed there, Command+Comma. If I wanted to go back to the regular default command for Save for Web & Devices then I could just go back into Keyboard Shortcuts and go back to my Default Photoshop Set. I'm going to move my mouse off of that menu and release and go up to the Layer menu to show you that the New Layer Based Slice command also has my Custom shortcut next to it F5 and I move my mouse off of that and release. I realize that not everyone likes to use keyboard shortcuts, particularly if you are just learning Photoshop. But when you are ready to use shortcuts for web work, make things easy on yourself by customizing the web related shortcuts that I have shown you here as well as any others that you find yourself using often.
Download the free Layer Comps to Slices script from the Exercise Files tab.
- Working with color for the web
- Optimizing images in Photoshop’s Save for Web & Devices window
- Making web page backgrounds
- Creating transparent graphics for the web
- Making navigation graphics
- Preparing photographs for the web
- Laying out a web page comp
- Making graphics for rollovers
- Creating a web gallery
- Displaying high-resolution graphics with Zoomify
- Making graphic variations with variables
- Integrating with Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, and Illustrator