photoshop keyboard shortcuts

If you are working (or plan to work) as a designer, be it graphic or web, you probably know that Photoshop is (or will be) one of the most useful programs you use for at least seven hours a day.

Being a full-time designer often has its benefits – you usually do it because you love it – but, unfortunately, there are things that slow the process down. Especially when it comes to deadlines – and clients often set them too short – it is crucial that you work fast, yet effectively.

This is why we talked to our team of graphic designers to give us away a couple of basic tricks they find the most useful in Photoshop CS6. As you will see in time, these keyboard + mouse shortcuts are intuitive and time-saving, they will make you work like a pro, and keep loving your job!

Mind you that this list of basic Photoshop shortcuts is for Windows (it differs from Mac, and our designers use it, so we could not help but take their advice). However, if you are working on Mac, press the Cmd button instead of Ctrl, and Option instead of Alt, and you can use all these Windows options without a problem.

Also, since some of them are pretty universal (like copy or paste, or create a new document), we still had to put them on the list because, without them, it would be incomplete.


A to Z Keyboard Shortcuts for Tools:

(Key – tool(s))

a – direct Selection tool

b – Brush

c – Crop

d – background/foreground color changed back to default (reset to black and white)

e – Eraser tools

f – Screen mode

g – Gradient

h – Hand

i – Eyedropper

j – Spot healing brush

k – 3d object tools

l – Lasso

m – Marquee tools (select tool)

n – 3d camera tools

o – Dodge

p – Pen tools

q – toggle between Standard and Quick mask modes

r – Rotate

– Clone stamp, Pattern stamp

t – Type tools

– Rectangle

– Move / Pointer

w – Quick selection

x – toggle between background and foreground colors

y – History brush tool

z – Zoom


Basic Command Shortcuts:

Create a new document: Ctrl + n

Open: Ctrl + o

Close: Ctrl + w

Quit: Ctrl + q

Copy: Ctrl + c

Paste: Ctrl + v

Paste in place: Shift + Ctrl + V

Cut: Ctrl + x

Save: Ctrl + s

Save as: Ctrl + Shift + s

Save for web: Ctrl + Shift + Alt + s

Undo: Ctrl + z

Redo: Ctrl + y

Step backwards: Ctrl + Shift + z


Moving Around:

Space: move image around

Zoom in: Alt + scroll up

Zoom out: Alt + scroll down

Show grid: Ctrl + ‘ (horizontal and vertical lines for better aligning)

Change image size: Ctrl + Alt + i

Change canvas size:  Ctrl + Alt + c

Fit on screen: Ctrl + o

View actual pixels: Ctrl + Alt + o



New layer: Ctrl + Shift + n

Fill layer: Alt + Delete (with foreground color), or Ctrl + Delete (with background color)

Merge all visible layers: Ctrl + Shift + e

New layer via copy: Ctrl + j

New layer via cut: Ctrl + Shift + j

Bring layer to top of stack: Ctrl + Shift + ]

Send layer to bottom of stack: Ctrl + Shift + [

Bring layer forward: Ctrl + ]

Send layer back: Ctrl + [

Select all layers: Ctrl + Alt + a

Combine all layers into a new one: Ctrl + Shift + Alt + e



Select all objects: Ctrl + a

Reselect: Ctrl + Shift + d

Deselect: Ctrl + d

Invert selection: Ctrl + Shift + i

Invert colors on selected layer: Ctrl + i


A few more:

Finish editing text: Ctrl + Enter

Transform object: Ctrl + t (resize, rotate)

Brush size: [ or ]

Opacity: any number you type will increase the percentage


Learn more on the official Adobe Help site:


Did you find this article about Photoshop shortcuts useful? Do you have something to add? Make sure to tell us in the comments section below, so that we can improve and update it.


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Vesna Savić

Dedicates her time to learning about better means of communication, translating knowledge into practice, and is a passionate reader.