Photoshop Tips & Tricks

It is proven that by using software shortcuts can boost up productivity. Here are secret Photoshop shortcuts that I’ve learned from years of experience. Well, what I mean by “secret” is that these shortcuts are not documented in the menus. Keep reading and you will find how these shortcuts can speed up your productivity. I bet you don’t know all of them.

  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 )
  16. Collapse or expand all layer groups
    You can collapse or expand all root-level layer groups by holding down Cmd + click on the triangle icon. Hold down Cmd + Opt + click on the triangle icon will collapse or expand all level layer groups.
  17. Navigate layer blending mode
    Opt + Shift + “-” or “+” key allows you to navigate through the blending mode dropdown.
  18. Lock layer transparency
    Press forward slash (“/”) to lock layer transparency.
  19. Precise cursor
    Caps lock will display tool cursor in precise mode.
  20. Drag to adjust numberic value
    Mouseover the input box, hold down Cmd + drag left or right to increase / decrease. Hold down Cmd + Opt or Shift key and drag can change the value in decimal or 10 interval. This shortcut works in all dialog palettes.
    Done for today. Keep these tips in mind next time you work in Photoshop. Stay tuned!!

Founder of, an author, blogger, designer, and SEO expert who designs and develops websites as a freelancer. Offcourse, you can follow me on Twitter @designstutorial.