I would award with a Noble Prize the person who invented shortcuts and hot keys. Especially when you are working on something that requires focus and concentration. Thankfully, the Photoshop creators provided us with many hotkeys that are extremely useful. They save time and most important of all – your concentration.
So I decided to round up 15 most important tips and tricks a Photoshop user has to know about. I am using Adobe Photoshop CS4, but those tricks must work on almost all versions as well [try and let me know if it ain't so].
1. Multiple Undo
You are used to the Ctrl+Z, right? Well, PS’s Ctrl+Z does only one step back, do it again – you “undo the undo”. Wanna take a few steps back? Press Ctrl+Alt+Z.
2. Quickly Resize Brush
To resize an active Brush use “[" to reduce and "]” to enlarge it.
3. Set Foreground/Background To Default
Default colors for the foreground and background are Black and White respectively. You need those frequently. So instead of clicking on the color and selecting one from the palette just hit “D” on your keyboard.
4. Switch Foreground/Background Colors
To switch between the two use “X”.
5. Fill With Color
To quickly fill a selection/layer with foreground color use Alt+Backspace and Ctrl+Backspace to fill with background color.
6. Reset Rather Than Cancel
Sometimes when you use a filter or any other tool to edit an object/image you mess up everything and press Cancel in the tool dialogue box, then go to that tool again and start over. Is that you? Well, here’s a better solution: while still in that dialogue box, hold Alt and press Reset.
7. Select Multiple Layers
To select two or more layers, hold Ctrl and click on the desired layers. If you want to select consequent layers, then hold Shift, click on the starting one and [still holding Shift] click on the last in the sequence.
8. Draw a Perfect Line With Brush
Using the Line tool might be better, but sometimes you want it quicker. To draw a straight line with a brush just click where you want the line be started and Shift+click at the endpoint.
9. Re-use The Last Filter
Used a filter and it looks like you need to do it once more? Use Ctrl+F. Remember, it works only if you have used any filter earlier.
10. Duplicate a Layer
There are some ways, yeah. But the fastest is Ctrl+J. Make sure you have a (any) layer selected [highlighted].
11. Resize an Object Keeping The Aspect Ratio
To resize any object without distortion enter Free Transform mode by Ctrl+T, hold Shift and stretch/shrink the object with your mouse. Holding Alt+Shift will resize the object with respect to its center.
12. Quick Distort
If you want to distort an object/selection, use Ctrl+T (Free Transform) and hold Ctrl to distort it. The longer way: with Free Transform active, right-click on the selection and choose Distort.
13. Create a New Layer Below an active one
Sometimes you need a new layer below an active one and you press the New Layer button , then drag the fresh layer under the active, right? Here’s a quick solution: hold Ctrl and click on the New Layer icon.
14. Fade Last Filter
Feeling like the filter you applied is too much? Use Fade. Shift+Ctrl+F, play with options in the dialogue box until you get what you need:
15. Turn Background Into A Regular Layer
I hate the lock icon on the default Background layer. If you do too, then unlock it by double-clicking on it. A dialogue box will appear (give the new layer a name or leave it as it is and press ok):
Done for today. Keep these tips in mind next time you work in Photoshop. Stay tuned!!
TrueKolor.net Owner. Professional Graphic Designer.