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by Jason Caligiore

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      The Adobe applications are truly some of the best creative software options out there. They have dominated the industry and have become a required knowledge skill on the majority of creativity-based jobs. If you aren’t proficient in at least one of their applications, for example, Photoshop, good luck finding a job. They have an application for just about any type of artistic outlook. From animation, website coding, photo editing, to two-page spreads and illustration, you can create anything using their apps. Top that off with Creative Cloud’s publishing capabilities and large database of stock content and Adobe becomes any successful artists’ or designers’ one-stop-shop for everything digital.

      With such a large array of available products, there will always be copy-cats and free versions of any tools they offer but nothing can really compare with the versatility and expansive features of Adobe. That being said, all these features come with a price (both figuratively & literally). If you get enough allowance from the Queen, you can afford to enjoy at least a few of Adobe’s most popular applications like Photoshop.

      Trying to navigate through their applications for the first time can be daunting. On most of their apps there are at least six different tabs in the header, 20 tools on the left sidebar and even more confusing words like layers, channels and masks on the right! Even when you’ve reached a “beginner” level it can still be challenging and extremely time consuming to find exactly what you’re looking for. That’s why whenever I’m using one of their applications I make it appoint to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Below are just a few of the keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop I use daily and believe are the most helpful. Unfortunately, one of Adobe’s biggest downfalls is that not all their keyboard shortcuts are universal to all applications so be careful when going back and forth between them!

These shortcuts are for PC keyboards, for Mac keyboards may vary & use “Command” in place of “Ctrl” or “Option” in place of “Alt”

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts –

One Step Functions:
B: Brush tool*
C: Crop tool
D: Select default foreground/background colors (B & W)
E: Eraser tool*
F: Toggle fullscreen
G: Paint Bucket tool*
H: Hand tool
I: Eyedropper tool
L: Lasso tool*
M: Rectangular Selection*
O: Dodge tool*
P: Pen tool*
R: Rotate view
S: Clone tool*
T: Text tool*
U: Shape tool*
V: Move tool
W: Wand tool*
X: Swap foreground & background colors
Z: Zoom
[: Decrease Brush/Eraser size (when selected on Brush/Eraser)
]: Increase Brush/Eraser size (when selected on Brush/Eraser)

* indicates other tools share this shortcut & is dependent on what tool is shown / used last

Two Step Functions:
Ctrl A: Select all
Ctrl C: Copy
Ctrl D: Deselect
Ctrl G: Group layers
Ctrl I: Invert
Ctrl J: Duplicate Layer
Ctrl P: Print
Ctrl R: Show/hide rulers
Ctrl S: Save
Ctrl T: Transform
Ctrl V: Paste
Ctrl X: Cut & Copy
Ctrl Z: Undo
Ctrl ;: Show/hide guides
Ctrl 0: Fit on screen
Ctrl +: Zoom in
Ctrl -: Zoom out

Three Step Functions:
Ctrl, Shift, I: Select Inverse
Ctrl, Shift, S: Save As
Shift, Ctrl, Z: Step forward
Alt, Ctrl,  Z: Step backward
Click, Hold Alt, Drag: Duplicate selected layer/shape/text etc.
Alt, Ctrl, I: Image size
Alt, Ctrl, C: Canvas size
Click, Hold Shift, Drag: Move vertically/horizontally in a straight line

Other Creative Cloud applications that might have similar keyboard shortcuts include:

  1. Illustrator
  2. InDesign
  3. Adobe XD

What are some of your favorite keyboard shortcuts? Do you use more shortcuts in Photoshop or another Adobe Creative Cloud application? Leave them in the comments below!

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