Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

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Oct 22, 2006
Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

In Photoshop, the mouse (or an equivalent tool) is indispensable—but that doesn’t mean the keyboard shouldn’t contribute as much as it can. Adobe has built into Photoshop a huge amount of keyboard functionality that many users largely ignore. By tapping into this functionality, and by customizing it to suit your needs, you can not only reduce the amount of work your mouse hand does but even get your work done faster.

As its title suggests, this chapter concentrates on keyboard shortcuts—commands you can issue by pressing keys on the keyboard. It also discusses some, but not all, of the instances when you can press one or more modifier keys to affect a mouse action, such as pressing [Alt] or [Option] to change the effect of a click or drag operation.

Opening, Closing, and Saving Files
No matter which types of work you perform in Photoshop, you’ll almost certainly need to open files to work with, save the changes you make, and close the files you’ve finished changing. You can perform all these tasks from the keyboard.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Creating New Files and Opening Existing Files
Windows [Ctrl]-[N], Mac [z]-[N]

Display the New dialog box

From the New dialog box , you can choose the details of the new picture you’re creating and assign it a name. Click the Advanced drop-down button to display the Color Profile drop-down list and the Pixel Aspect Ratio drop-down list.

Windows [Ctrl]-[O], Mac [z]-[O]

Display the Open dialog box

Use the Open dialog box to quickly open files whose locations and names you know.

Windows [Ctrl]-[Shift]-[O], Mac [z]-[Shift]-[O]

Display the File Browser

Use the File Browser to locate the files you want to open. You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to navigate and perform actions in the File Browser:


Move up a level in folder view.

Refresh the tree and thumbnail panes.

Rotate the selected thumbnail clockwise.

Rotate the selected thumbnail counterclockwise.

Open the selected file and close the File Browser.

Open the selected file, suppressing any open options or color warning dialog boxes.

Windows [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[O]

Display the Open As dialog box

Display the Open As dialog box instead of the Open dialog box when you need to specify the format in which to open a file. Choose the format in the Open As drop-down list. You may need to specify the format after moving or copying a file from Mac OS X to Windows or vice versa.

Note On the Mac, Photoshop doesn’t offer an Open As command because the Open dialog box contains a Format drop-down list that you can use to specify the format in which to open the file.

Windows [Ctrl]-[Shift]-[M], Mac [z]-[Shift]-[M]

Open the file for editing in ImageReady

Press this shortcut (or choose File | Edit In ImageReady) to open the current file in Photoshop for editing in ImageReady. From ImageReady, you can press this shortcut to open the current file for editing in Photoshop.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Closing Files and Quitting Photoshop
Windows [Ctrl]-[W], [Ctrl]-[F4], Mac [z]-[W]

Close the active file

If the active file contains unsaved changes, Photoshop prompts you to save them.

Note The two Windows keyboard shortcuts shown here, [Ctrl]-[W] and [Ctrl]-[F4], are alternatives to each other, not a sequence of commands. To indicate a sequence of commands, this book uses the word then—for example, [Alt]-[-], then [N].

Windows [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[W], Mac [z]-[Option]-[W]

Close all open files

If any of the open files contains unsaved changes, Photoshop prompts you to save them.

Windows [Ctrl]-[Q], [Alt]-[F4], Mac [z]-[Q]

Quit Photoshop

Keyboard Shortcuts for Saving Files
Windows [Ctrl]-, Mac [z]-

Save the active file

The first time you save a file, Photoshop displays the Save As dialog box so that you can specify the filename, the folder, and the format to use. Thereafter, when you issue a Save command, Photoshop saves the file under its existing name without displaying the Save As dialog box.

Windows [Ctrl]-[Shift]-, Mac [z]-[Shift]-

Display the Save As dialog box

Use this shortcut (or the File | Save As command) to save a previously saved file under a different name.

Windows [Ctrl]-[Alt]-[Shift]-, Mac [z]-[Option]-[Shift]-

Display the Save For Web dialog box

The Save For Web dialog box offers options for quickly saving the active file in a format optimized for the Web. You can click the Edit In ImageReady button to edit the file in ImageReady.


Senior Member
May 16, 2005
Good effort :thumbsup:

for complete list of shortcuts in various versions of photoshop:

and if you want more complex shortcuts, like changing colourspace in a particular method, etc, you might want to record the particular steps in an action and link the action to one of the F# keys (F2, F3 and so forth) or F# key plus another key (like shift-F2, control-F2, alt-F2, etc) so you have customized keyboard shortcuts :)


New Member
Sep 17, 2006
Thanks for sharing the links and the shortcuts. There is simply nothing faster than learning to use shortcuts effectively. Many thanks once again for the effort to share.

Oct 22, 2006
Thanks for the link RBK theres some amongst those I havent got :)


New Member
Jun 23, 2006
Do you know the shortcut where you want to open a new file with the same dimensions as the active image?

I had it one day and lost it the next!

Thanks :)

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