Following on from my first post in the keyboard shortcut series, here’s some great time saving, productivity boosting and efficiency improving options for Adobe Photoshop.

The following shortcuts are for Windows users, however if you’re on OSX, you should be able to work out the mac alternative pretty easily (by swapping ‘Ctrl’ with ‘Command’, and ‘Alt’ with ‘Option’).

For the first part of this post, I’m focusing on the keyboard shortcuts that help navigate and adapt the Photoshop interface for quicker and simpler use. If you’ve ended up here looking for photoshop tool shortcuts though, you’ll also find them at the bottom of this post!

‘Spacebar’ = Keep held down to activate the Hand tool to move quickly around the canvas.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘Plus(+)’ or ‘Minus(-)’ = Zoom in and out quickly (zooms in and out from the center of the current document).

‘Ctrl’ + ‘Alt’ + ‘Scroll-wheel’ = Zooms the document in and out depending on the Scroll-wheel direction.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘Alt’ + ‘Zero(0)’ = Resets the current document zoom to 100% (you can also do this by double clicking on the Zoom tool in the tools panel).

‘Tab’ = Toggles tool panel visibility.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘Tab’ = Cycles between all open Photoshop documents.

‘F’ = Toggles the screen mode between: standard, full-screen with the menu bar, and full screen.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘O’ = Launches the open file dialog box.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘K’ = Opens the edit preferences panel.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘Alt’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘K’ = Opens the edit shortcuts and menu options panel (where you can specify personalised shortcuts for your own work flow, below).


The second part of this tutorial focuses on Photoshop’s Tool shortcuts. The image below shows the Tool panel from the CS4 version of Photoshop and the key required to switch to the required Tool, (the tool shortcut letters are basically the same in all photoshop versions too).

‘Ctrl’ + ‘A’ = Select the entire canvas.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘D’ = Deselect the current selection.

‘Ctrl’ + ‘E’ = Merges the currently selected layer with the one directly beneath it (or merges all currently selected layers).

‘Left([)’ or ‘Right(])’ Bracket Keys = Decrease and increase the current Brush size (works for all painting tools, such as the Healing Brush, Eraser, etc).

‘Caps Lock’ = Toggles between standard and precise cursors (unless you’ve already set precise cursors in your preferences).

‘0’ – ‘9’ Number Keys = Changes the opacity setting for the currently selected Layer or active Brush (0 = 100%, 1 = 10%, 2 = 20% and so on).

‘Shift’ + ‘Tool Shortcut Letter’ = Cycles through all tools within each panel group (only those with shortcut letters assigned to them).



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