Photoshop Secrets: Unknown Tricks and Time-Savers — Smashing Magazine | Photoshop Services

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Photoshop Secrets: Unknown Tricks and Time-Savers — Smashing Magazine | Photoshop Services
  • 11 min learn
  • Graphics, Photoshop, Time Savers
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Abruptly, this straightforward shortcut has streamlined our course of and shaved fairly a little bit of day without work our day.

Collected listed below are some lesser identified however extraordinarily helpful shortcuts. Many of those aren’t documented within the “Keyboard Shortcuts” menu, and a few of them don’t even have equal menu choices. [Updated May/02/2017]

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Please observe that all the shortcuts listed under assume that you’re utilizing Photoshop CS4 on OS X. They may work on the Home windows platform by changing as follows: Command → Management and Choice → Alt.

Photoshop Secrets



Sifting by means of nests of layer units to search out the layer you want rapidly turns into tiresome. Fortunately, there are a selection of the way to pick layers extra intuitively. Utilizing the Transfer software (V), you possibly can Command + click on on the canvas to pick the uppermost layer with pixel information positioned instantly under the mouse. In case your layers are grouped inside layer units, this motion could have chosen the complete folder. You possibly can change this habits to pick the precise layer through the use of the Auto-select drop-down within the Transfer software’s property bar.

Layer Auto-Select Altering auto-select habits.

There will probably be instances whenever you need to choose a layer that’s positioned under numerous different layers. By right-clicking with the Transfer software, you’ll carry up a contextual menu containing a listing of all layers positioned under the cursor. In case your layers are correctly named, it’s best to be capable to rapidly choose the layer you want. By holding Shift whereas utilizing both of the choice strategies above, you possibly can choose a number of layers. After deciding on a number of layers, you possibly can hyperlink the layers collectively by right-clicking and deciding on Hyperlink Layers.

Layer List Proper-clicking to show all layers beneath the cursor.

The keyboard may also be used to pick layers. Urgent Choice + [ or Option + ] selects the layer under or above the present layer, respectively. Urgent Choice + < selects the bottommost layer, and Choice + > selects the uppermost. Choice + Shift + < selects all layers between the present layer and the bottommost layer, and Choice + Shift + > selects all layers between the present and uppermost.

Layer Selection


Sorting layers with the mouse may be clumsy and gradual. Just a few shortcuts hastens the organizing. Command + [ and Command + ] strikes the chosen layer up or down one place within the stack. If a number of layers are chosen, they’ll transfer relative to the uppermost or bottommost layer. Urgent Command + Shift + [ or Command + Shift + ] brings the chosen layer to the highest or backside of its present layer group. If the layer is already on the high or backside of the layer group, it jumps to the highest or backside of the mum or dad layer group.

Layer Sorting


Choice + clicking the attention icon of a layer is a generally identified approach to cover or present all different layers. There may be additionally a approach to broaden and collapse layer teams: by Command + clicking the arrow subsequent to the layer group, you possibly can shut or broaden all different layer teams; this doesn’t work on nested layer teams. Alternatively, right-clicking the arrow offers you a menu to carry out the identical actions; however it will work on nested layer teams.


There are a selection of the way to duplicate information from one layer to a different. Duplicating a whole layer is so simple as urgent Command + J. If a range is energetic, you should use the identical shortcut (Command + J) to create a brand new layer based mostly on the chosen space of the unique layer. Urgent Command + Shift + J with a range creates a brand new layer whereas slicing the information from the unique layer. Holding Choice whereas urgent one of many arrow keys permits you to duplicate the present layer and nudge it by 1 pixel. Holding Shift and Choice nudges the brand new layer by 10 pixels.

Layer Duplication

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Duplicating information from a number of layers may also be performed extra rapidly utilizing some keyboard instructions. Utilizing Command + Shift + C with an energetic choice copies the information contained inside it to the clipboard. You possibly can then paste it to a brand new layer (Command + Choice + Shift + N, Command + V). Should you’d wish to create a flattened copy of the complete doc, use the shortcut Command + Choice + Shift + E: a composite of all seen layers will probably be added as a brand new layer to the highest of your layer stack.

Layer Duplication


Form and Measurement

Having the ability to rapidly regulate the comb software is essential to getting a swift workflow. Many learn about utilizing [ and ] to lower and improve the comb’s diameter, in addition to Shift + [ and Shift + ] to lower and improve the comb’s hardness. Nevertheless, CS4 launched an much more intuitive means to do that. By holding Management + Choice and dragging on the canvas, you possibly can change the comb’s diameter with a visible help. Management + Command + Choice and dragging offers you management of the comb’s hardness.

The On-Canvas Drag makes brush adjustments more intuitive. The on-canvas drag makes brush changes extra intuitive.

If you want to utterly change the comb form to a special preset, press < or > to cycle by means of them and Shift + < or Shift + > to pick the primary or final brush. Proper-clicking contained in the canvas additionally shows a condensed menu of brushes.

Brush Shape

Opacity, Circulate and Mode

The opacity of the comb software may be rapidly tweaked utilizing the quantity keys: 3 = 30%; 3 + 5 = 35%; 0 + 3 = 3%; 0 = 100%. Holding Shift when inputting the numbers units the movement of the software. Be aware that if Airbrush mode is on, these two shortcuts swap (i.e. holding Shift controls opacity as an alternative of movement). You possibly can toggle Airbrush mode on and off utilizing Choice + Shift + P. The identical numeric enter methodology can be utilized to find out the opacity of a layer when the Transfer software (V) is energetic; urgent Shift permits you to alter the Fill of the layer.

Brush Opacity

Fast Fill

As a substitute of choosing the Fill software (G), you possibly can rapidly carry up the Fill menu utilizing Shift + F5. Even higher, bypass the menu completely utilizing Choice + Backspace to fill with the foreground coloration or Command + Backspace to fill with the background coloration. These keyboard instructions may also be used to rapidly set the colour of a sort or form layer. To protect transparency when filling, you can first lock the transparency of the layer by urgent / after which fill, however there’s a better means. Urgent Choice + Shift + Backspace or Command + Shift + Backspace fills with the foreground or background coloration whereas preserving transparency.

Quick Fill

Pressing Command + Shift + Backspace to preserve transparency while filling. Urgent Command + Shift + Backspace to protect transparency whereas filling.

Mixing Modes

You possibly can cycle by means of mixing modes or leap to a selected one through the use of simply the keyboard. By urgent Choice + Shift + (+) or Choice + Shift + (-), you possibly can cycle ahead or backward by means of accessible modes. Alternatively, you possibly can set a selected mode utilizing the shortcuts under.

Blending Modes


Setting kind is a fragile and time-consuming course of, however shortcuts pace it up. First off, hiding the inversed block that’s created by deciding on textual content is extraordinarily helpful. Command + H permits you to toggle the visibility of each the spotlight and baseline stroke, making it simpler to see the ultimate end result. When completed enhancing your textual content, you possibly can commit adjustments by urgent Enter on the numeric keypad or Command + Return. Urgent Esc discards adjustments.

Type Setting


There are six shortcuts for altering the font variant, however they need to be used with warning. If the suitable variant or character doesn’t exist throughout the at the moment chosen font household, Photoshop creates a pretend variant. These pretend variants are frowned upon throughout the typosphere and are extraordinarily straightforward to identify. So, when you use these shortcuts, be sure that Photoshop has chosen an precise variant and never faked it. Now, onto the shortcuts:

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Type Variants


To set the justification, use one of many instructions under. Be aware {that a} choice should be made throughout the goal paragraph for these to work.

Type Justification

Spacing and Sizing

Correctly sizing and spacing kind is a tedious job, however Photoshop does present some useful—albeit broad—shortcuts. Sadly, there isn’t a approach to fine-tune the increments by which they regulate. Be aware that these shortcuts will work provided that a textual content choice is made; deciding on a sort layer will not be sufficient. To alter the kind measurement by increments of two, press both Command + Shift + < or >. To bump the increment as much as 10 factors, use Command + Choice + Shift + < or >. Main may also be modified by 2 or 10 level increments utilizing Choice + Up or Down arrow or by Command + Choice + Up or Down arrow.

Type Sizing

The arrow keys may also be used to regulate kerning and monitoring. Urgent Choice + Left or Proper both kerns or tracks 20 items relying on whether or not or not a sort choice is energetic (i.e. if the cursor is between two characters, kerning is utilized; if a number of characters are chosen, then monitoring is adjusted). The increment may also be modified to 100 items utilizing Command + Choice + Left or Proper arrow. Lastly, the baseline may be shifted by 2 or 10 factors utilizing Choice + Shift + Up or Down arrow or Command + Choice + Shift + Up or Down arrow, respectively.

Type Spacing


Typically, we’ve to return to the defaults. Beneath are some shortcuts to get you again on monitor.

Type Resets


Hidden inside lots of Photoshop’s menus are numerous shortcuts that make changes sooner and simpler. Nearly each menu—whether or not for Adjustment, Filter or the rest—permits you to revert to the unique settings; by merely holding Choice, the Cancel button will flip right into a Reset button. Relying on the menu, holding Choice would possibly even change a number of the different buttons (e.g. the Executed button within the “Save for Net and Units” menu will change to Keep in mind). Sure menus, such because the Filter Gallery, additionally mean you can maintain Command to show the Cancel button right into a Default button.

cancel Utilizing modifier keys to uncover in-menu choices.

Spring-loaded Instructions

By default, most menus remodel the cursor into the Hand software or Transfer software. These instruments can be utilized on the canvas whereas the menu is open to pan the doc or to regulate settings, such because the Angle and Distance settings for a Drop Shadow. Extra instruments, nonetheless, can be found through spring-loaded shortcuts. The zoom instruments may be accessed utilizing both Command (to zoom in) and Choice (to zoom out) or Command + Area (to zoom in) and Command + Choice + Area (to zoom out). The hand software may also be accessed by holding the area bar.

Holding Command + Spacebar to access the zoom tool within Blending Options. Holding Command + Spacebar to entry the zoom software throughout the Mixing choices.

Adjustment Menus and Layers

The Curves adjustment, like most different changes, accommodates some useful shortcuts. Just like how one can cycle by means of the Channels in a doc, you possibly can cycle by means of the adjustment’s channels utilizing Choice + 2, 3, 4, 5, and many others. You can too cycle by means of the factors on the precise curves utilizing – and =. With a degree chosen, you possibly can nudge the factors in increments of two in any route utilizing the arrow keys. Holding Shift along with the arrow keys strikes the purpose by 16 items. When working with an adjustment menu, you possibly can toggle the Preview possibility on and off by urgent P. Adjustment layers don’t have a Preview possibility, however you possibly can briefly disable it by urgent and holding .

Adjustment Menus and Layers

Photoshop Secrets and techniques Abstract

Hopefully, studying this has taught you just a few new tips and uncovered for you a number of the extra obscure choices inside Photoshop. Whereas memorizing shortcuts could be a chore, integrating them into your day by day workflow saves you an unbelievable period of time. Do you’ve different obscure time-savers? Share your favorites within the feedback!

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