Woody's Top 10 Photoshop Shortcuts

Before we get too far into this post, let me say up front that this is not a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts. This post is simply meant to describe how one could work a bit quicker. It’s meant for anyone who is either just beginning to work in Photoshop, or anyone who is looking for some handy ways to accomplish common tasks more quickly. If you are looking for a more comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop, I recommend going to Adobe.

Common Tasks

Some of the more common tasks that I perform include duplicating layers, using the pen tool to cut out paths, and opening and closing documents. Ten years ago, I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting by mousing up to click on File > Open. It wasn’t until shortly after that I discovered the handy Command + O shortcut. This shortcut, coupled with the one for closing documents Command + W, shaves off seconds of precious time that can otherwise be used for design.

It is this prospect of saving time that led me to the desire to learn the shortcuts for some of my most oft used Photoshop tools and commands. I have not committed all of the Photoshop shortcuts to memory, just the ones that I use on a daily basis. I recommend that you do the same if you frequently utilize the program for your designs. With that said, here are ten of the shortcuts I use often (in no particular order):

  1. Command + O = Opening a document
  2. Command + W = Closing a document
  3. P = Pen tool
  4. M = Marquee tool
  5. Command + J = Duplicating selected layer
  6. T = Type tool
  7. Command + A = Select All
  8. Command + D = Deselect
  9. Command + S = Save
  10. Command + Option + Shift + S = Save for Web

Slightly Misleading

Now, the title of this post is slightly misleading. It says My Top 10…, but in truth these shortcuts listed are simply ten of my most used. They help me on a daily basis and have saved me lots of time that I’ve been able to apply towards design. Additionally, they allow me to keep one hand on the keyboard and one hand on my mouse (or Wacom pen) when I’m designing. By committing to memory these shortcuts and the position of my hands, my eyes can stay glued to the screen. To add to the deception of this blog post’s title, I’m going to go ahead and add an eleventh shortcut: Command + Z. One of my most dependable shortcuts, this one serves to undo whatever action has just been performed. Pretty handy when you make a wonky shape or weird brush stroke.

All right, these shortcuts help me, but do they help you? Do you have other tasks that you utilize more often in Photoshop? If so, I recommend that you look up and start practicing with keyboard shortcuts (if you haven’t already). Utilizing these powerful techniques could save you valuable time that you could apply towards your designs.