[Photoshop – Tutorial 5] – Frequently used Shortcuts


Now, lets us look at the various shortcuts shortcut commands which will prove very helpful to us as we go further. Learning these shortcuts is not required but i can assure you that the more you work with Photoshop, you will understand the need. When we work with big projects, we switch between various tools very often so it is a good practice to use shortcut commands. Now we already know the shortcuts for the tools present on the toolbar. Let us summarize them again for ready reference.

Basic Shortcuts

The Shortcuts which we are going to use most often out of the mentioned above are of Move, Marquee, Magic wand, Lasso, Crop, Brush and Text Tools.

Please note that “Ctrl” is replaced by “Cmd” , “Alt “ is replaced by “Option” on Mac.

Now, let us discuss some other shortcuts apart from these.

  • “Ctrl + 0” (Ctrl + Zero) – This shortcut enables you to fit the image to the working window. You can also zoom into by “Ctrl +” (Ctrl with add sign ) and zoom out by “Ctrl –“ (Ctrl with subtract sign ).
  • The next is  “ Ctrl + T “ . This shortcut is for free transformation of your image. A box is made around the image which allows you to transform your image to any shape or size of your choice.
  • Then we have “Ctrl +D”. This allows you to deselect your current selection. And if you want to reselect your previous selection you can do so by “Shift + Ctrl + D”.
  • Using the left square bracket key ] you can increase the size of whatever tool you are working with. Similarly by using left square bracket key [ you can decrease the size of the tool you are working with.
  • Also “Shift + ]” and “Shift + [“ can be used to increase or decrease the hardness of the tool respectively. By hardness we mean that how severe the action of that tool will be. The tolerance limit is low if the hardness is high.
  • While using a tool you can swap the foreground and background colors just by clicking “X” on the keyboard. Also if you want to change the opacity if layer. You can do so just by pressing a number from 1-0 on a keyboard with the move tool in use. The number 1 – 9 represent opacity from 10 to 90 percent. 0 means 100 percent opacity.
  • If you want to merge a few layer, you can do so by selecting the layers and using “Ctrl +E”. Similarly if you want to group some layers you can do so by selecting the layers and pressing “Ctrl +G” on the keyboard.
  • Apart from these you can use “Alt + Backspace” to fill your current layer or selection with the current foreground color. Also you can use “Ctrl + Backspace “ to fill you current layer or selection with the current background color. If you want more choices, you can press f5 while holding Ctrl & Shift i.e. by pressing “Ctrl + Shift + f5 “ you get the fill dialogue window from which you can choose the way you want to fill the layer.
  • If you want to undo, you can use “Ctrl + Z” but if you want to keep undoing the work you can do so by using “Ctrl + alt + Z” until you reach to the desired result.


Now we will summarize these shortcuts for ready reference.

Advanced Shortcuts

So, this ends our tutorial for the frequently used shortcuts in Photoshop. Now, we will start using the Photoshop as an editing tool. We will see the basic functionality of some tools in the next tutorial using them on image to create effects. Please practice these shortcuts and try to memorize these, though it is not required but it is good practice. 


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