55 Photoshop Shortcuts I can not live without!

Knowing my shortcuts in Photoshop is probably the most important thing to me and probably to any professional artist! It definitely has increased my work output rate a lot by cutting down on my time looking for these tools. Most of these tools are used in 90% of the artworks that I do on a daily basis.

I know it might look like a lot… but trust me… if you give it a try and learn one shortcut at a time as you go, you will have all of them in a matter of days! Start working like a pro!

Most of these are default Photoshop Shortcuts. For some, CTRL+Q … the most annoying default shortcut purpose of photoshop quit…! I changed that to Add Reveal Mask which helps me add masks to layers.


Certain tools or operations I haven’t set any shortcuts at all. Shortcuts like Flip Horizontal (ALT+E A H) looks like a lot at first, but its basically explained this way. Whenever you hold down ALT in any windows Application, the tools in the tool bar shows an ‘_’ underline below one of the letters.
For Example: File would show File meaning if you hold down ALT and F, you can get the File menu to open and any tool under that can be followed by just pressing the letter that shows the underline.

Similarly, “ALT E A H” can be explained by , ALT+E to get the Edit menu open, then A to get Transform and then Flip Horizontal. Simple 🙂

Tool Shortcuts




1.       V = Move Tool

2.       B or SHIFT B = Brush/ Pencil

3.       P = Pen

4.       ALT+P = Convert Anchor Point

5.       A = Anchor Selection

6.       Shift + A = Point Selection

7.       T = Text Tool

8.       U = Automatic Shapes

9.       Z = Zoom in

10.   O = Burn/ Dodge Tool

11.   D  = Reset color palette to Black and White

Tool Options

12.   Numbers 0 to 9 -> Control Brush Opacity. ( 1 would stand for 10%, and 1 1 would stand for 11% )

13.   Numbers 0 to 9 on Number Pad = Control Layer Opacity

14.   [ = Increase Brush Size

15.   ] = Decrease Brush Size

16.   < = Previous Brush

17.   > =  Next Brush

Layer and Document Shortcuts

18.   CTRL + = Zoom Document

19.   CTRL – = Zoom Out Document

20.   CRTL ] = Move layer or set upwards

21.   CRTL [ = Move layer or set Downwards

22.   ALT [ = Go to Previous Layer

23.   ALT ] = Go to Next Layer

24.   CTRL+E = Merge Current Layer

25.   CTRL + SHIFT +  E = Merge Visible

26.   CTRL+ X = Cut

27.   CTRL + C = Copy

28.   CTRL + V = Paste

29.   CTRL + SHIFT+ C = Copy Visible

Custom Shortcuts (CTRL ALT SHIFT K)

30.   CTRL G = Group Layers (works in Photoshop CS3)

31.   CTRL+Q = Add Reveal Mask (Default shortcut of Quit is not needed most of the time… more of a hassle! )

32.   CTRL+SHIFT+N = New Set from Linked Layers (shortcut used in CS versions and below)

33.   CTRL+SHIFT+H = Delete Hidden Layers and Sets (Very helpful to get those unwanted layers out of your PSD file)

Image Adjustments

34.   ALT+I + I = Image Size

35.   ALT+I + S = Canvas Size

36.   ALT+E A H = Flip Horizontal

37.   ALT+E A V = Flip Vertical

38.   CTRL+ T = Transform

39.   CTRL + T + SHIFT = Uniform Transform

40.   CTRL + T + ALT = Transform from Center

41.   CTRL + L = Level

42.   CTRL + U = Hue and Adjustments

43.   CTRL + SHIFT + U = Desaturate

44.   CTRL + M = Curves

45.   CTRL + I = Invert Colors

Selection Shortcuts

46.   CTRL ALT D = Feather

47.   CTRL A = Select All

48.   CTRL D = Select None / Deselect

49.   CTRL SHIFT I = Inverse Selection


50.   CTRL + ‘ = Show Grid

51.   CTRL + ; = Show Guides

52.   CTRL + R = Show Rulers

53.   CTRL+ H = Show Extras

54.   F7 = Layer Panel

55.   F9 = Actions Panel

Posted Originally at ArtistsValley

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15 Responses

  1. […] dragging that mouse all over the screen can drain you of your creative juices. Learning these Photoshop shortcuts will help you be more productive and more focused on your designs not the tools. Knowing my […]

  2. Hi,

    I guess you missed ‘X’ that switch between background & foreground color.


  3. @Stef : Yep I sure did. There are a lot more shortcuts that could be added..so feel free to comment some additional helpful ones!

  4. there are these many shortcuts in Photoshop? Thats a new one! I hope I can remember 10 atleast! But yes, it is an effecient way to do your artwork.

  5. this is a good one and definitely very helpful. It sure increases your ‘go around’ time in any application. Though, I’ve been working for a few days to compile the shortcuts for most such applications (including MSWord, Excel, etc).

    Good job. Will definitely Digg this.

  6. hi artist valley! ur layer opacity using the number pad doesn’t work!!!! ive tried holding control,alt, shift and turning off and on the number lock….

  7. never mind, found the answer, u didn’t specify that u had to chose the move icon first V+numbers

  8. @kim: Yes most of the shortcuts work if you are in Move “V” mode… or you can just hit ESC a couple of times just in case you are in middle of something else.
    Other ways to troubleshoot when you find nothing every happens is, to check if Quickmask Mode is accidently turned on, you can turn it off by “Q” shortcut. Or sometimes you may have CTRL+T Transform activated and may find that nothing else works… again if you hit ESC a couple of times, you can get back to normal mode.

  9. This topic is quite trendy in the net right now. What do you pay attention to while choosing what to write ?

  10. @Random T. : Thanks. But not really sure what you mean.

  11. [..] A little unrelated, but I really liked this blog post [..]

  12. I love the smiley face in the background!!!

  13. this is PS CS5?
    i like PS 7

  14. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to counsel you some interesting issues or tips. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to learn even more issues approximately it!

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