20 Photoshop Keyboard Cuts You Need to Know

20 Photoshop Keyboard Cuts You Need to Know

Stuart Holmes

Instead of spending hours trawling through the Photoshop menus, boost your productivity with these handy shortcuts.


1. Create a New Layer
MAC: Shift+Cmd+N
WINDOWS: Shift+Ctrl+N
Instantly create a new layer and dialog box

2. Create new layer behind selected layer
MAC: Ctrl+New Layer icon
WINDOWS: Cmd+New Layer Icon
Drop in a layer behind the new one you just created

3. Fill a layer
MAC: Alt+Backspace (foreground) or Cmd+Backspace (background)
WINDOWS: Alt+Delete (foreground) or Ctrl+Delete (background)
Fill the empty layer with the current background or foreground colour

4. Finding Size Handles
MAC: Command+T, then Command+0
WINDOWS: Ctrl+T, then CTRL+0 (zero)
If you have a layer section that is larger that the image, then it can be hard to find the size handles. This shortcut selects transform and sizes the image inside the window so you can see the sizing handles.

5. Select Colour from an Image
MAC: Opt+Brush Tool
WINDOWS: Alt+Brush Tool
Instead of using the eyedropper tool, this shortcut allows you to sample a colour from the image. Hold down either the Option or Alt key to switch temporarily, then let go to return to the brush tool.


6. Increase Brush Size
MAC: ]/[
Get your brush size just right with this command

Increase/Decrease Brush Hardness
MAC: }/{
It’s easy to get to grips with this important feature using this command

7. Previous/Next Brush
MAC: ,/.
A timesaving shortcut when browsing the brushes on offer

8. First/Last Brush
MAC: </>
Go back to the start or the end of the list of brushes when you don’t have time to view them all

9. Fill
MAC: Shift+F5
This shortcut helps you quickly fill the foreground or background section with colour
Working with Images

10. Levels
MAC: Command+L
A handy time saver when editing images

11. Lens Correction
MAC: Shift+Cmd+R
WINDOWS: Shift+Ctrl+R
Reduce the effect of barrel distortion, pincushion distortion and vignetting

12. Free Transform
MAC: Cmd+T
Open up the free transform tool for resizing, rotating, and skewing the image

13. Colour Balance
MAC: Cmd+B
Make simple changes to the colour of your image with this command

14. Hue/Saturation
MAC: Cmd+U
This shortcut will aid your colour balance endeavours and decrease the amount of crossover


15. View Actual Pixels
MAC: Cmd+Opt+0
WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+0
Work more effectively with your image by viewing actual pixels.

16. Zoom In
MAC: Cmd+plus(+)
WINDOWS: Ctrl+plus(+)
Get up close to your image and seek out the imperfections

17. Zoom Out
MAC: Cmd+Minus(-)
WINDOWS: Ctrl+Minus(-)
Check out how it will look from far away

Text Options

18. Increase/Decrease Size of Selected Text by 2pts
MAC: Cmd+Shift+>/<
WINDOWS: Ctrl+Shift+>/<
Use command to change text by 2pts

19. Increase/Decrease Size of Selected Text by 10pts
MAC: Cmd+Option+Shift->/<
WINDOWS: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+>/<
Same as above but change by 10pts

20. Increase/Decrease kerning or tracking
MAC: Option+Right/Left Arrow
WINDOWS: Alt+Right/Left Arrow
A quick top to help you sort out the spacing between the text