Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Keyboard shortcuts, part of Photoshop CS6 Quick Start for Photographers.
I'm a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop. That might have something to do with the fact that back in high school, I took a Typing Class over the summer. And I really felt it was the most valuable class I ever took in high school. I use it every single day. But regardless, I think keyboard shortcuts can really help you improve your efficiency working in Photoshop. There are a variety of ways that you can learn about those keyboard shortcuts. For example, on the menu, commands that include keyboard shortcuts will show those shortcuts over to the right of the command.
For example, to apply Auto Tone to an image, we can see here that we can press Shift+Ctrl+L. On the Macintosh, that would be Shift+Cmd+L. In addition, if we turn on a Preference setting, I'll go ahead and choose Edit > Preferences and then Interface, and turn on Show tool Tips. If we turn on that Preference setting, then we'll be able to see tool Tips throughout Photoshop. So, if we pause our mouse over a particular control, we'll see a little bit of assistance, a little tool tip text that tells us what that control is all about.
If we then hold the mouse over one of the buttons for a tool on the toolbox, we'll see in parenthesis the keyboard shortcut for that tool. And of course, for tools that have multiple tools on a single button. We can also see the keyboard shortcut on the Flyout menu, accessible by simply holding the mouse button down on one of the buttons. There's also another way to access all of the keyboard shortcuts. And in fact, to get a great little summary of those shortcuts. If we go to the Edit menu, down at the bottom, we can choose Keyboard Shortcuts. That will bring up a dialog where we can actually customize the keyboard shortcuts, as well as the menus within Photoshop.
I actually don't recommend changing the keyboard shortcuts from their defaults, in large part because then, if you're learning through videos, or books, or magazine articles. The keyboard shortcuts that are referenced won't always match what you have in Photoshop. So it's mostly for compatibility purposes. But you can come into the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog here to check what the keyboard shortcuts are for a particular command. I'll go ahead and scroll through the options here for example. And you'll see that the Curves command has the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+M on Windows, which would be Cmd+M on Macintosh.
But even better, we can get a summary of all of the keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop. If you click the Summarize button, you'll be prompted to save the summary. I'll go ahead and Save this to my desktop. I'm going to call it Keyboard Shortcuts, and I'll click Save. I'll go ahead and click OK to close the Keyboard Shortcuts and menus dialog. And then I'll switch to my web browser. And you can see that automatically, Photoshop has launched the browser with my Keyboard Shortcuts HTML file loaded.
And so, we can scroll through and see all of the keyboard shortcuts for every command. Note that not all commands have a keyboard shortcut, but you can scroll through and find all of the various options that are available to you. I'll go ahead and close that web browser and I'll minimize Photoshop. And you can see that Keyboard Shortcuts HTML document has been saved on my desktop. So as you can see, there are a variety of ways you can learn keyboard shortcuts. I encourage you to try to remember the keyboard shortcuts for the commands you use most frequently. There's no sense filling your brain with keyboard shortcuts you'll never use. But if you focus on the commands you use most frequently, and remember the keyboard shortcuts for those, I think you'll find that your work in Photoshop is quite a bit more efficient.
- A guided tour of Photoshop
- Setting up your environment
- Color modes, bit depth, and image resolution
- The Histogram
- File formats
- Basic adjustments
- Output workflow