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Adobe Photoshop Tutorial: Basic Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/13/2010

Here are some of the most relevant keyboard shortcuts for new Photoshop users.

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    Raster Imaging

    PhotoshopBox Adobe Photoshop is the definitive raster imaging tool used in manipulating and outputting digital images. Photoshop is a required program not only for those who work in photography, but for those who work in any type of new media, graphic design, web design, video production and post-production, and anything to do with the arts. Since Adobe Photoshop is just an in-depth and creatively focused piece of software, it is important to bring the flow of working with its design into a way that the artistic mind can take hold. The best avenue toward this is to utilize Photoshop keyboard shortcuts to kick the workflow into high gear and make it more intuitive. The main thing that will separate an amateur Photoshop user and a veteran are these keyboard shortcuts, and it becomes easier if you start using the keyboard shortcuts right from your first moments in Adobe Photoshop. Here is a tutorial with basic keyboard shortcuts for new Adobe Photoshop users.

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    Basic Tools

    Adobe Photoshop is really just an artist's tool bench with a variety of different ones to choose from. Here are a number of Photoshop keyboard shortcuts to select the tools that you will need.

    • Add Shape - +
    • Subtract Shape - "-"
    • Decrease the Brush Size - ]
    • Increase the Brush Size - [
    • Next Brush - >
    • Previous Brush - <
    • Increase Brush Hardness by Twenty Five Percent - Shift and ]
    • Increase Brush Softness by Twenty Five Percent - Shift and [
    • Hand Tool - Space Bar
    • Airbrush - Option, Shift and P
    • Path or Direction Selection - A
    • Pencil, Color, and Brush Replacement - B
    • Crop - C
    • Default Colors - D
    • Eraser - E
    • Cycle Screen Modes - F
    • Gradient or Paint Bucket Tool - G
    • Hand Tool - H
    • Eyedropper, Measure, Sampler Tool - I
    • Healing, Spot Healing, Patch, Red Eye - J
    • Slice Tool - K
    • Lasso - L
    • Marquee Tool - M
    • Notes and Audio Annotation Tool - N
    • Dodge, Sponge, Burn Tool - O
    • Pen and Freeform Pen - P
    • Standard and Quick Mask Mode - Q
    • Blur, Sharpen, Smudge - R
    • Pattern Stamp and Clone Tool - S
    • Type Tool - T
    • Shape Tool - U
    • Move Tool - V
    • Magic Wand - W
    • Switch Colors - X
    • History or Art History Brush - Y
    • Zoom Tool - Z
    • Cycle Path and Direction Tools - Shift and A
    • Cycle Brush, Color Replacement, and Pencil - Shift and B
    • Cycle Eraser - Shift E
    • Menu bar - Shift and F
    • Toggle Gradient and Paint Bucket - Shift and G
    • Cycle Spot, Patch, Red Eye, and Healing - Shift and J
    • Toggle Slick and Slice Select - Shift and K
    • Cycle Lasso - Shift and L
    • Toggle Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee - Shift and M
    • Toggle Notes and Audio Annotation Tool - Shift and N
    • Cycle Burn, Sponge, Dodge - Shift and O
    • Toggle Pen and Freeform Pen - Shift and P
    • Cycle Sharpen, Smudge, and Blur - Shift and R
    • Toggle Clone and Pattern Stamp - Shift and S
    • Cycle Type Tools - Shift and T
    • Cycle Shape and Line Tools - Shift and U
    • Toggle History and Art History Brush - Shift and Y
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    Photoshop is really all about applying layers, so here are some of the most central Adobe Photoshop keyboard shortcuts that will help to just get started with this gradually more complicated process.

    • New Layer - Command, Shift, and N
    • New Group - Command, Shift and +
    • Next Layer - Option and ]
    • Previous Layer - Option and [
    • Flatten Image - Command, Option, Shift, and 0
    • Stamp Down - Command, Option, and E
    • Stamp Visible - Command, Option, Shift, and E
    • Merge Layers - Command and E
    • Merge Visible - Command, Shift, and E
    • Blending Options - Command, Shift and )
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    File Options

    Dealing with the basic project features of Adobe Photoshop is something that it has in common with almost every post-production software, especially those involved in digital video editing.

    • Browse - Command, Option, and O
    • Close - Command and W
    • Close All - Command, Option, and W
    • Open - Command and O
    • Open As - Command, Option, Shift, and O
    • Print - Command and P
    • Save - Command and S
    • Save for Web - Command, Option, Shift, and S
    • Close and Then Go to the Bridge - Command, Shift, and W
    • Edit in Image Ready - Command, Shift, and M
    • Exit - Command and Q
    • New Document - Command and N
    • New Document With the Previous Settings - Command, Option, and N