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Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac & Windows

When navigating through Photoshop to make your editing changes to the photos, you can save time by using these handy Keyboard shortcuts to your advantage. You can use the shortcuts that are located on your keyboard, regardless if it is a Mac or a PC. This helpful Photoshop basic tutorial will provide tips on how to use your Keyboard to access shortcuts in Photoshop.

The following are a couple of minor substitutions for Mac or PC, depending which system you are working with, just keep these in mind.

Windows(PC): CTRL = MAC: Command
Windows(PC): ALT = MAC: Option
Windows(PC): Backspace = MAC: Delete
Windows(PC): Right-Click = MAC: Control

PC options and mac options

This next part includes most often used Keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop. These are some of your most basic commands that are fairly easy to use, and will find that it really speeds up your workflow and productivity. With a little practice, it is relatively easy to learn Keyboard shortcuts for use with Photoshop.

Tool bar items keyboard shortcuts:

Move tool: VToolbar keyboard shortcuts
Rectangular Marquee Tool: M
Elliptical Marquee Tool: Shift + M
Lasso tool: L
Polygonal Lasso Tool: Shift + L
Magnetic Lasso Tool: Shift + L
Quick Selection Tool: W
Magic wand tool:
Shift + W
Crop tool: C
Slice Tool: Shift + C
Slice Select Tool:
Shift + C
Eyedropper Tool: I
Color Sample Tool: Shift + I
Ruler Tool: Shift + I
Note Tool: Shift + I
Count Tool: Shift + I
Spot Healing Brush Tool: J
Healing Bruch Tool: Shift + J
Patch Tool: Shift + J
Red Eye Tool: Shift + J
Brush Tool:
B
Pencil Tool: Shift + B
Color Replacement Tool: Shift + B
Pencil Brush Tool: Shift + B
Clone Stamp Tool: S
Pattern Stamp Tool: Shift + S
History Brush Tool: W
Art History Brush Tool: Shift + W
Eraser Tool: E
Background Eraser Tool: Shift + E
Magic Eraser Tool: Shift + E
Gradient Too: G
Paint Bucket Tool: Shift + G
Dodge Tool: O
Burn Tool: Shift + O
Sponge Tool: Shift + O
Pen Tool: P
Free Form Pen Tool: Shift + P
Type Tool: T
Horizontal Type Tool: Shift + T
Vertical Type Tool: Shift + T
Horizontal Type Mask Tool: Shift + T
Vertical Type Mask Tool: Shift + T
Path Selection Tool: A
Direct Selection Tool: Shift + A
Rectangle Tool: U
Rounded Rectangle Tool: Shift + U
Ellipse Tool: Shift + U
Polygon Tool: Shift + U
Line Tool: Shift + U
Custom Shape Tool: Shift + U
3D Object Rotate Tool: K
3D Object Roll Tool: Shift + K
3D Object Pan Tool: Shift + K
3D Object Slide Tool: Shift + K
3D Object Scale Tool: Shift + K
3D Rotate Camera Tool: N
3D Roll Camera Tool: Shift + N
3D Pan Camera Tool: Shift + N
3D Walk Camera Tool: Shift + N
3D Zoom Camera Tool: Shift + N
Hand Tool: H
Rotate View Tool: R
Zoom Tool: Z

Some common Photoshop keyboard shortcuts:

Commit edits when typing: For this one you would click on the Command Return key and your changes are complete.

Hold down command and return-to commit edits when typing

Cross-hair cursor on any painting tool: Here you would click on the Caps Lock key to utilize the cross hair cursor with other Photoshop tools.

Press caps lock for cross hair cursor on any painting tool

Default Colors: Here you simply click on the D key and you will Return to the default colors, which are just (black and white). You are now back at the start, and can add whatever color changes you wish.

Press D for default color black and white

Deselect: Here you would hold down the Command key, while pressing the key D at the same time to deselect an Option or choice.

Hold down comand and D to deselect

Restore Last Selection: In the event you accidentally closed a selection, and wish to reopen it, all you have to do is hold down the Shift key and the Command key together while clicking on the D key, and your selection is restored.

Hold-down comand shift and D to restore last selection

Duplicate: To make more copies of your work, you would simply hold down the Command key and press the J key simultaneously in order to complete chosen function.

Hold down comand and J to make more copies

Fill with Background color: All you need to do for this function is to hold down the Command key and then press the Delete key at the same time.

Hold down command and Delete-to Fill with Background color

Fill with Foreground color: For this function, you need to hold down the Option key while pressing the Delete at the same time.

Hold down option and delete-to fill with foreground color

Flip foreground and background colors: For this action, all you need to do is click on the X key and you can easily Switch the colors between the foreground and the background as needed.

Press X to flip foreground and background colors

Full-screen: To achieve this effect, just simply click on the F key and your project now covers the entire screen for easier viewing.

Press F for full screen

Hand tool while in another tool: In order to use the Hand tool at the same time you are working with another tool, but don’t want to stop using other tool, all you need to do hold the Spacebar down to accomplish this task.

Press space bar for hand tool

Hide Extras: In order to hide extra material, just hold down the Command key while clicking on the H key.

Hold down Comand and H to hide extras

Lock transparent pixels: To perform this function you would click on the / (back slash) key to keep the transparent pixels from moving.

Press back slash to lock transparent pixels

Move tool while in painting tool: To perform this function, just hold down the Command key to use the Move tool at the same time you are in painting tool mode.

Hold down command to use-move tool while in painting tool

Open Fill dialog box: In order to access this function, all you need to do is hold down the Shift key while clicking the Delete key.

Hold down shift and delete to open fill dialog box

Save As: To apply this function, all you need to do is to hold down the Command and Shift keys while clicking on the S key.

Hold down command shift and-S for save as option

Save for Web: In order to perform this function, you would hold down the Command and Shift keys and then press the Option and S keys simultaneously to save your images for the web.

Hold down command shift option and S for save for web and device option

Step Back: To perform step back function, you would hold down the Command and Option keys together, and then press the Z key at the same time.

Hold down comand option and Z to step back

Undo: To undo the Last action that you performed or to go back to a previous section, all you need to do is press and hold down the Command key while pressing the Z key.

Hold down command and Z for undo

Number pad keyboard shortcuts:

This next section deals with using the numeric keypad and shortcuts found there.

Number keypad shortcuts

The following part is about the Layer Opacity and also the tool Opacity. Each percentage give corresponds to the number key that you would click on to get the result that you want.

1= 10%
2= 20%
3= 30%
4= 40%
5= 50%
6= 60%
7= 70%
8= 80%
9= 90%
0= 100%

Layer opacity

Then if you wanted to have a specific percent, you would use a combination of number to get that result. For example; 2 and 3 would be the equivalent of 23% etc.

2 and 3 would be the equivalent of 23

Flow: use the Shift key and do the same as above.

Fit To Screen: Here you would simply press and hold down the Command key and click on 0 and your Image expands to fit the screen as you have selected.

Hold-down comand and 0 fit to screen

Actual Pixels (100%): Say for example that you want to your pixel size to be at 100%. All you need to do here is press and hold down the Command key and 1 key.

Hold-down comand and 1 fit for actual pixels

Load Channel as a selection: Here you would want to press and hold down the Option and Command keys and the 3 for red, 4 for green, and 5 for blue.

Hold down command option and 3 to select red channel

Hold down command option-and 4 to select green channel

Hold down command option-and 5 to select Blue channel

Arrow keys keyboard shortcuts:

In the next part of the tutorial we look at the Arrow keys and Other Keyboard shortcuts.

Now these keys are generally located between the regular typewriter keys and your numeric keypad on the right hand side of your keyboard. These particular shortcuts on your Keyboard are generally used to move objects around on the screen, even to move the screen to other points as needed.

Arrow keys

So when you currently using the Move Tool, you would simply clock on any of the arrow keys, and you can move 1 pixel any direction you wish. Now if you want to move a larger amount, say 10 pixels at once, you would press Hold and Shift to do that.

Now if your Move tool is not in active mode at the time, you would then hold the Command key down, while you “tap” the arrow keys, followed by hold and Shift together to move 10 pixels at once.

Hold down shift and arrow key to move the selection 10 pixel

In addition, if you wish to move duplicates of the previous selection 1 pixel, you can also press and hold Command and Option while pressing and of the 4 arrow keys.

To move duplicates of selection 10 pixels, you would press and hold Command, Option, and Shift while pressing any of the 4 arrow keys.

Still “other” keys:

In some keyboards you will see 2 sets of 3 keys right on top of each other.

Click on the “Home” key to move your view of the Image to the upper left corner of the screen.

Home, page up, page down etc.. keysClick on the “End” key to move your view of the Image to the lower right corner of the screen.

Click on the “Page Up” key, in order to scroll up 1 screen.

Click on the “Page Down” key, in order to scroll down 1 screen.

Click on the “Command and Page Up” keys together to scroll 1 screen to the left.

Click on the “Command and Page Down” keys together to scroll 1 screen to the right.

If you Hold Shift for any of the first four keys above, you can move up to 10 units in the direction of your choice.

Keyboard shortcuts used for painting:

The Keyboard shortcuts used for painting, will also work quite well with any of the brush tools or painting tools too.

Click on the Command Delete keys if you want to fill area with background color.

Hold down command and Delete-to Fill with Background color

If you use the Shift Command Delete, then it will only work on the opaque pixels, instead of all of them.

Background color in opaque pixels only

Click on the Option Backspace keys if you wish to fill the area with foreground color.

Hold down option and delete-to fill with foreground color

If you wish to fill only the opaque pixels, then you would use the Shift Option Delete.

Foreground color in opaque pixels only

To access the Fill Dialog box, all you need to do is click on the Shift Backspace keys together.

Hold down shift and delete to open fill dialog box

Say for example that you want to take a sample of the background color; you would click on the Option and I (eyedropper key) together.

Press option and I to select sample of the background color

Or maybe you want use the Move tool while using another tool at the same time. Then you would press and hold the Command key while using the tool.

If you want to use the Eyedropper tool while work with another tool, you just press and hold down the Option key.

To use the Cross-Hair Cursor, click on the Caps lock.

Press caps lock for cross hair cursor on any painting tool

You can Decrease/Increase your brush size by clicking on the “[“ or “]” keys.

Increase and decrease brush suze

In order to decrease or increase hardness of brush, just simply click on “Shift [“ or “Shift ]”.

Click shift and [ or ] to decrease or increase hardness of brush

If you wish to Switch between the different preset brush styles, use < or >.

In order to erase to History source state, you would press and hold down the Option and Eraser Tool simultaneously.

Keyboard shortcuts for selections:

Select all: To select all use the Command and A keys together.

Hold down command and A to select all

Select all opaque pixels: To Select all the opaque pixels hold down command click on Layer Thumbnail.

Hold-down-command and click on layer-thumbnail to select all opaque pixels

Inverse the selection: Press shift command and I to inverse the selection.

Hold down shift command and I to inverse the selection

Deselect all: To deselect all or part of an image, click on Command and D keys simultaneously.

Hold down comand and D to deselect

Restore previous selection: To restore your previous selection, click on Command, Shift and D keys.

Hold-down comand shift and D to restore last selection

Feather selection: Hold down shift and F6 for feather selection.

Hold down shift and F6 for feather selection

Draw marquee from center: Hold down Option to draw marquee from center.

Option key

Add to any selection: To add to any selection, click on the Shift key while using selection tool.

shift key

Subtract from a selection: Hold down Option to subtract from your selection.

 Option key

Intersect with a selection: Press Shift and Option to intersect with you selection.

Hold down option and shift to intersect with a selection

Move the selection 1 pixel: To Move the selection 1 pixel at a time use the arrow keys.

Arrow keys

Move the selection 10 pixel: To move the selection 10 pixels at once, use the Shift/Arrow keys simultaneously.

Hold down shift and arrow key to move the selection 10 pixel

Move the marque: To Move the marque at the same time you are drawing the selection, click on Hold and Space keys simultaneously.

Press space bar for hand tool

Keyboard shortcuts using Type Tools:

Click on the Command, Shift, C keys together to perform the Align center action.

Hold down command shift and C to align center action

Click on the Command, Shift, R keys together to perform the align right action.

Hold down command shift and R to align right action

Click on the Command, Shift, F keys together to perform justify paragraph.

Hold down command shift and F to justify paragraph

Click on the Command, Shift, B keys together to perform bold or faux bold action.

Hold down command shift and B to bold or faux bold action

Click on the Command, Shift, I keys together to perform italic or faux italic action.

Hold down command shift and I-for italic or faux italic action

Click on the Command, Shift, U keys together to perform the underline action.

Hold down command shift and U for underline action

A few other helpful shortcuts to use:

Use the Command and Tab to switch between documents that are currently open.

Hold down command and tab to switch between opened documents

Use the Command and F keys together to apply the previous filter.

Hold down command and F to apply the previous filter

Use the Command, Option and F keys together to open the previous filter dialog box.

Hold down command option and F to open the previous filter dialog box

Use the Command, Option and C keys together to open the canvas size dialog box.

Hold down command option-and-C-open the canvas size dialog box

Use the Command, Option and I keys to access the image size dialog box.

Hold down command option and I to open image size dialog box

This Photoshop tutorial was designed to give you assorted helpful tips on using the shortcuts provided by your keyboard in order to improve your productivity and faster work flow.

As mentioned earlier, many of the shortcuts presented here were designed to be for the Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts for Mac. However, you may have noticed the section at the beginning gave the minor adjustments one needs to make and the Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts for windows are nearly the same as for Mac.

These shortcuts are the most commonly used, and hopefully you will find them useful in your Photoshop retouching work. You may find that once you get used to using them, your work may move along a little faster than you expected.

You may find useful in my other related tutorials:
6 Photo Editing Tips
Photoshop Pen Tool Tutorial

About the auther 

Rokaiya is a creative graphic designer, Internet marketer, and a blogger. She joined the team of clippingpathspecialist.com is a brand of Outsource Experts Ltd on 2010 as a head of it’s marketing department, and she's been working with the tool ever since! She likes to share tips and tricks on photo editing and graphic design!

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