Top 7 Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Productivity

This is a list of my top 7 (or so) favorite and most used Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. Some might be obvious to you, some you might already know, and some might be new to you. Feel free to add your own below.

There’s nothing more damaging to your productivity than having to wrestle with the program you are using to get it to do what you want. Searching for tools or buttons is a task that can easily be bypassed with some quick memorization of shortcuts.

Undo, Multiple Times

[Ctrl + Alt + Z]

Most programs allow you to press [Ctrl + Z] multiple times to perform multiple Undo’s, but Photoshop requires [Alt], otherwise you’ll just keep undoing then re-doing then undoing then re-doing then undoing then re-doing.

Hand/Move Tool


Holding the spacebar will turn your cursor into the hand in almost any situation… when using different tools, with dialog boxes open, etc… allowing you to quickly navigate your document no matter what you’re doing.

Switch Document Windows

[Ctrl + Tab]

Your Photoshop workspace can become a mess when working on multiple files, especially when you hate minimizing, like I do, so being able to switch windows quickly is a must.

New Layer

[Ctrl + Shift + N] – with dialog
[Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N] – without dialog

Layers are the greatest thing(s) ever invented in any (design) program and being able to manage your layers properly is important. I’m Errorphobic, which makes me a layer junky, which also makes this a favorite shortcut of mine.

Duplicate Layer

[Ctrl + J] – without dialog
[Ctrl + Alt + J] – with dialog

You can duplicate an entire layer, or, if you have a selection, the selection will be duplicated to it’s own layer. This is great when trying different techniques or effects without having to worry about errors (Errorphobic, remember?).

Zoom In/ Zoom Out / Fit to Window

[Ctrl + =] – zoom in
[Ctrl + -] – zoom out
[Ctrl + 0] – fit to window

When you’re slightly obsessive and need to get that 1-perfect pixel zooming in and out quickly is a necessity to achieving that perfection.

Re-run Filter/ Fade Filter

[Ctrl + F] – run filter again
[Ctrl + Alt + F] – run filter again, with dialog
[Ctrl + Shift + F] – fade filter

Even though Photoshop provides preview windows in the dialog box for most filters, there’s still no true way of telling whether you’ve achieved your desired effect until you see the full image. If something goes wrong, you can quickly undo, then go back to your filter and try again without having to go through the hassle of moving your cursor. Or, if your filter effect is too intense, you can quickly fade it down without having to re-adjust the filter settings.

Making Your Own Shortcuts

These shortcuts may not be on the top of everybody’s list, but that all depends on your project and workflow. Luckily, Photoshop allows you to custom tailor your own Keyboard shortcuts to suit your needs. Just press [Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K] or go to [Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts].

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Comments Spill 10 Comments »

  1. June 3, 2008 9:02 pmSAM

    I have started learning Adobe Photoshop a few days back. I keep comming back to this web site as, unlike othere web sites, here i can find many useful tips for a beginner.


  2. August 16, 2008 4:47 pmPhotoshop Domain » Top 7 Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Productivity

    [...] the full article You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, [...]

  3. November 15, 2008 8:41 » Blog Archive » 30+ Useful Resources for Improving Your Photoshop Efficiency

    [...] Top 7 Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts for Productivity [...]

  4. November 25, 2008 1:48 pmE-Store Owners Can Save Time With These Keyboard Shortcuts « The With.Us Blog

    [...] PhotoShop keyboard shortcuts here and [...]

  5. November 30, 2008 10:20 amCOMPUTER GRAPHICS 2 » Blog Archive » Tips and Techniques

    [...] This is a list of my top 7 (or so) favorite and most used Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. [...]

  6. December 23, 2008 9:11 pmRielaz

    Great Beginners Shorcut Guide for Photoshop!!!! Thanks for this one, it helped me greatly

    I really appreciate it.


  7. May 28, 2009 11:31 amElizabeth Crump

    Just the things I need, shortcuts.

  8. May 28, 2009 4:15 pmRory Morris

    Pretty handy thanks, im not new to photoshop and was lookin for the duplicate layer shortcut ! Its a never ending process this lol

  9. July 15, 2009 7:35 amjohn

    Hi, anyone know the shortcut to zoom the image without increasing the window size on the desktop?

  10. July 20, 2009 6:51 amTommy Maloney

    It varies depending on mac/pc. Try Command/Ctrl + Alt/Option + “+”

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