Shoots and Ladders
This week I have a short article about short-cuts. Keyboard short-cuts can speed your Photoshop work-flow, but it is impossible to keep track of all of the options. I find that just a few short-cuts take care of my most frequent and repetitive tasks.
Sometimes it seems as if I spend half of my conscious existence with my eyes wandering through the magical effects that Photoshop can produce on my images. Recently my photoshop time has been substantially reduced by my pre-editing in Lightroom, but all my images still pass through Photoshop for final tweaking. Photoshop can be a confusing soup of menus and options. It is easy to get lost in the seemingly limitless creative possibilities, but, for most images, my editing incorporates a fairly limited number of steps which often takes only a few minutes to complete.
|Blueberry Row, Green Mt. Orchard, Putney, Vt|
|Trevor Morris' List|
|Ctrl Alt Shift K to View and Create Short-Cuts|
For a more exhaustive list, check out Trevor Morris' lists which include the short-cuts for various versions of Photoshop
My Favorite Short-Cuts
Everyone's approach to editing is different and your favorite short-cuts may be quite different from mine, but here are a few of the key-board commands that I find most useful. These few probably account for 90% of the short-cuts I use on a routine basis.
First I have to mention the simple editing functions:
"Ctrl-X" : Cut
"Ctrl-C" : Copy
"Ctrl-V" : Paste
"Alt-Ctrl-Z" : back up one step
Given my fumbling editing, the backup key is used often.
Selections and Masks
My most frequently used short-cuts have to do with the creation and refinement of selections and masks.
|Four Focus-Stacked Images with Complex Selection Edits|
"Ctrl-A" : Select whole image
"Ctrl-D" ; DeSelect
|Show the Mask|
Revealing the mask in a red overlay is a great help in refining its effect and catching any missed locations.
"Alt-I" : Invert mask
A carefully drawn mask is a great resource within an image and can be copied to control the effect of various layers. Masked can also be inverted to apply an effect to the opposite area.
These allow quick adjustments in brush size and togggling between revealing and hiding areas of selections or masks.
"[" : make brush bigger
"]" : make brush smaller
Quick changes in brush size also helps when painting or cloning.
Brush size can be refined with repeated presses on the "[" or "]" keys.
"X" : toggle foreground and background color
The mantra is "White reveals / Black conceals " and the "X" key allows easy toggling between the two as editing is refined.
|Bringing It Home, Chesterfield, NH|
That's it, my top ten, and ten is about all my aging brain can retain. Those nit-pickers out there will have already figured out that my list actually includes 11 short-cuts. To you I can only say, "Don't you have any better things to do"! Go make your own list.
I would enjoy hearing about your favorites.