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  • Pro Photoshop Tip: Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

    Although fairly easy to find, not many people make use of custom Keyboard Shortcuts on photoshop.

    If you're already using V, B, U, X, D, ⌘D, ⌘H, ⌘A  etc you might want to expand your horizon and set shortcuts for some other commonly used actions that either lack shortcuts or have obscure or impossible to press ones.

    To do it just go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

    Here are some that I have set, which overrode some other default shortcuts I didn't care about.

    Copy and pasting layer styles is extremely useful and probably the one I use the most. You can even paste the style onto multiple layers by selecting them all. 

    • Copy Layer Style: ⌘⇧C
    • Paste Layer Style: ⌘⇧V

    And since you're going there, you might as well set these too:

    • Clear Layer Style ⌘⇧* or ⌘⇧X
    • Open Blending Options ⌘⇧F19 or ⌘⇧+ (easy to reach with your right hand)
    • Open shape color picker ⌘⇧F18
    • Change layer name (or group name) ⌘⇧0 (also easy to reach on numpad)
    • Convert to Smart Object ⌘⇧O
    • Window > Arrange > New Window (which opens a duplicate window of the same file so you can view it with different zoom levels etc) ⌘⇧N (overwriting new layer which I never use)

    Then there's Saving for Web which by default has got to have the most complicated shortcut ever! It's like ⌘⌃⌥⇧S easy for a finger contortionist but not anyone else. So I overrode the "Save As" shortcut...

    • Save for web: ⌘⇧S

    The other useful thing to do is to create an Save for Web action and assign a shortcut to it. The problem with that is that you HAVE to specify a folder, so I send it to the desktop where I can easily move it where I want.

    To create the action go to Window > Actions then click on the new icon at the bottom of the pane, give it a name, and then save any file to web to the desktop (with your favorite settings, mine is PNG with transparency) then click the pause button on the action panel, double click the action on the right side and you can assign a function key (a shortcut). I chose ⇧F15.

    And here's a list of not so well known default shortcuts that are really useful.

    • Control Brush Size with the [ ] keys
    • Control Brush Hardness with Shift + [ ] keys
    • Control layer opacity simply by selecting the layer and typing numbers 0 to 9 which go by 10% increments and 0 is 100%. If you want something in between like 13 you can type 1 and 3 quickly. Still can't find a way to do 0%.
    • Control fill opacity by selecting the layer and typing Shift + 0 to 9
    • Transform an object with the same dimensions / move as you just did by pressing ⌘⇧T (really useful for repeating actions)
    • On the toolbar, certain options have multiple suboptions, like the shape one (U) for example. TO toggle between them just press Shift + U
    • Press Shift + arrows to nudge objects 10px at a time
    • NEW! Change the layer filter by pressing Shift + + and - really handy for toggling through filters to see which ones look best.
    • NEW! Change the color of the canvas back with the fill tool by holding shift and clicking on the canvas.
    • NEW! On CS5 you can now drag an image file straight into the canvas and it'll import it as a smart object. Before you used to have to open the image on photoshop first and THEN drag it.