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Photoshop Productivity Tips and Tricks

If you work with Photoshop on a frequent basis, you probably have some shortcuts that you use to help you save time. Photoshop has an immense amount of features, however, so there may be many shortcuts that you are unaware of.  The following will discuss Photoshop shortcuts that you can use to help you improve your productivity while using the program. Over time, you can become familiar with them and implement them into your routine to help cut down on the time you spend on projects.

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March 15, 2011
  1. · Photoshop Productivity Tips and Tricks
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Photoshop Productivity Tips and Tricks
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Some of the tips will be listed in both a Windows and Mac format, when applicable, for easier reference.

How to Access Photoshop's Keyboard Shortcuts

Want to see Photoshop's shortcuts on a first-hand basis?  Want to create your own shortcuts?  You can if you access the panel of Keyboard Shortcuts.  Do the following:

Windows: Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K

Mac: Press Command + Option + Shift + K

How to Save Your Project

Windows: Press Ctrl + S

Mac: Press Command + S

How to Fit the Canvas to the Screen

You may want to zoom out of your project quickly.  The following accomplishes that by fitting the canvas to the screen. 

Windows: Press Ctrl + 0

Mac: Press Command + 0

How to Cycle Between Open Documents

Use this if you have multiple documents open and want to jump between them easily.

Windows: Press Ctrl + Tab

Mac: Press Command + Tab

How to Increase or Decrease Units by Ten in a Pop-up Menu

Press Shift + arrow up to increase by ten or Shift + arrow down to decrease by ten.

How to Change the Workspace Background to the Color of Your Choice 

Are you tired of the same old workspace background?  If so, you can change it to the color of your choice.  To do so, select the color you want for the workspace background.  Once chosen, select the Paint Bucket tool.  Next, hold the Shift key and click on a spot in the workspace area.  The background should now be of the color you chose.

How to Zoom In or Out 

Windows: Press Ctrl and + to zoom in or Ctrl and to zoom out.

Mac: Press Command and + to zoom in or Command and to zoom out.

You can also press the Alt key and scroll your mouse upward to zoom in or press Alt and zoom downward to zoom out.

How to Zoom the Document to 100 Percent Size

Just double click on the Zoom tool.

How To Switch Between Cursors

This shortcut is useful when you want to toggle between a specific tool's cursor and the standard and precise crosshair.

To toggle the cursors, simply press the Caps Lock key.

How to Adjust Tool Opacity

The following shortcut applies to any tools that have opacity sliders.  Once you have the tool selected, you can change its opacity in a snap by typing in any numbers on your keyboard between 1 and 0.  Each number corresponds to a percentage.  For example, 1 equals 10 percent, 2 equals 20 percent, 3 equals 30 percent, and so on.  If the 10 percent increments are not exact enough, you can get even more precise percentages by quickly typing two numbers together.  For instance, typing 7 then 5 quickly will adjust the opacity to 75 percent.

How to Increase Brush Size

Press the ] key

How to Decrease Brush Size

Press the [ key

How to Increase Brush Softness by 25 Percent

Press Shift + ]

How to Decrease Brush Softness by 25 Percent

Press Shift + [

How to Activate the Free Transform Tool

Do you need to change the current layer by resizing, skewing, or rotating it?  Use this shortcut.

Windows: Press Ctrl + T

Mac: Press Command + T

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