Adobe’s Photoshop is an excellent tool for editing images, making collages and the like. When you are working with multiple images, layers, need to rescale objects etc. for your next award-winning digital project etc., keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time and enhance your workflow. Below is a list of useful keyboard shortcuts that you will be using frequently when making your work with Adobe's Photoshop. After a while you will get used to using the keyboard shortcuts and you’ll notice you can do the same work as before faster, save time and perhaps do even a better job! After learning them you are most-likely to only use the keyboard shortcuts you need the most when using Photoshop – it is very convenient indeed.
Useful Keyboard shortcuts:
(Scale, Scale proportionally, Rotate, Skew, Move)
Ctrl + T = Free transform path (Edit > Free Transform). This allows you to move, turn and resize the object you are editing. You will notice that the free transform path is activated when you’ll see the anchors on each corner, and in the middle of the object. You can scale (resize) the object by dragging from any of the anchors, rotate the object when you navigate with your mouse just outside the object, or click the object and drag and drop to a new location, remember to hit Enter to apply your changes. This is a very useful command and fits to many situations. However, when you are editing items, such as images, best is to resize them proportionally, otherwise the final result can look bad. You could try to adjust the image manually to make it seem like "normal", but a better way to do this is to use following shortcuts:
After pressing Ctrl + T, Hold down Alt + Shift, then find an anchor with your mouse that indicates and arrow sign, drag either front- or back-wards with a mouse: This method will resize the object proportionally from all sides
After pressing Ctrl + T, Hold Down Shift and move your mouse front or backwards from one of the four corners will make the object resize from one corner, if you resize from the middle-anchors, the object won’t scale proportionally.
After pressing Ctrl + T, Hold Ctrl + Alt, Hold Ctrl, Ctrl + Shift to skew the object
(Zoom in and out, look at your work like an artist examines his painting)
Ctrl & + (plus sign) = Zoom in
Ctrl & - (plus sign) = Zoom out
I’ve noticed that if your language bar is set to Chinese IME when operating a Windows PC, sometimes the zoom function seems to not work properly, but then works again if the language is set to an alphabet based type, this might be due to the fact that you can switch languages with the keyboard shortcut as well, though in this case with the language bar.
Cutting objects with Pen Tool
(Pen tool, straight lines, “curvy” / round lines, select, select inverse, deactivate)
Cutting images, objects, items etc. with the pen tool is easy(ish), and will make the cut look more professional than using, for example, the eraser tool, magic wand tool, or the quick selection tool, if used properly.
P = Activates the Pen Tool
Before starting to cut, double-check that the pen tool is selected with Paths (right ), instead of Shape Layers (creates a new layer from your paths). When the pen tool is activated, you will start to create the shape in the form of paths that you want to cut. If the object you are cutting has straight lines, such as a rectangle, you can first click for the starting point, then navigate to the next location for your point and when you know where you want to add the second point, hold down shift and left click for the new point, you will notice the line will be a straight line, you can add more points than just one. If you are finding that the shape is not really straight and has different forms and shapes, left click and hold down where you have made the new point and the path will skew, then it is up to you to shape the path, according to how you want to cut it by moving your mouse. When you have done your paths and connected the final dots, the path will become “selected”, then you can right click and see some options, if you want to cut the item, choose Make Selection and adjust the feather etc. according to your needs.
When you hit OK, then paths you just draw will become selected, if you hit delete, it will delete the contents inside the shape, but what to do if you want to select the area outside the shape? Click Ctrl + Shift + I = select inverse (area outside the paths you just made), you can then delete, or do what you have to do and if you were not happy with the paths, click Ctrl + D to deactive the selection. If you made mistakes when drawing the shape, you can hit backspace to delete the last point. This post won’t go more into detail for using the pen tool.
Ctrl + Z = Undo / Redo what you just did
Ctrl + Alt + Z = Step Backward
Shift + Ctrl + Z = Step Forward
Ctrl + R = reveal / hide the ruler. (Note: If you hover over to the rules, then right click, you can change type the dimensions shown)
Ctrl + C = Copy
Ctrl + X = Cut
Ctrl + V = Paste
Ctrl + S = Save
Hold Spacebar = allows you to navigate and move inside the document when working (i.e. with pen tool)
Your document may include only a few or even hundreds of layers. Shortcuts can help you to move them up or down a level, or simply just selecting them with ease:
Ctrl + [ = Moves the layer down 1 level
Ctrl + Shift + [ = Moves the layer to the back (last layer)
Ctrl + ] = Moves the layer up 1 level
Ctrl + Shift + ] = Moves the layer to the front (first layer)
If your document includes many layers, and you want to select it quickly inside the picture, right click on top of it to see what layers are in that particular area of the document, then you can choose the layer you want to edit.
When you need to increase your brush size, whether it is for drawing, paint brush, pencil, eraser, etc. you can use [ which makes the brush decrease and ] that makes the brush increase in size. Very convenient!
That's all for now. If you know more often used shortcuts that you use regularly, or found errors in this post, do share, comment and leave a message! Hopefully this information helps you to fasten your workflow and enhance your work.