Basic and Functional Photoshop Shortcuts for Beginners

For people who use Photoshop all day every day, the program is less a piece of software and more of a world in which they live. Like anywhere we spend a lot of time, it’s good to know time-saving tricks and shortcuts for Photoshop.
While it’s sometimes nice to go the long-way round, most of us try to take the faster route. Photoshop keyboard shortcuts are one of the best ways to make your life easier on this enormously complex program.
Adobe Photoshop


Currently, Photoshop is the most popular web designing tool on the planet, followed by Picasa and Irfan View. The top image editing software has at least 495,155 users worldwide and is a Twitter topic every 10.5 minutes, according to the infographic entitled ‘The Most Popular 20 Designing Tools and Their Users’.

Working with Photoshop can be time consuming for both beginners and professionals, as it requires creativity, speed, and precision.  Professional Photoshop experts memorize all the shortcuts for each Photoshop tools because they make small but significant difference to their workload.

In this article, we will provide you with the most useful Photoshop keyboard shortcuts that you can utilize to improve your workflow. Note: Mac users must replace Ctrl key to Cmd and the Alt key to Opt key.

1.Zoom in and out

The easiest way to zoom in on the image is to press the Z key. If you want switch to zoom out mode, you need to hold down the Alt key. Another way to use the zoom tool is to press Ctrl + (+) to zoom in and Ctrl + (-) to zoom out. You can also zoom in and out in precise increments using the Ctrl + (0/numeral zero) to fit the document to your screen and Ctrl + (1) to zoom the image to 100% or 1:1 pixel magnification.

2.Redo and Undo

There will be actions that you want to undo and to redo when editing. The Ctrl + (-) + Z shortcut is a common shortcut combination for undo in most programs. But in Photoshop, that shortcut is only useful for the little mistakes we made during our editing process. If you need to undo many steps, use Alt Ctrl + Z command so you can go back faster. You can also redo your previous action by pressing and holding the Shift + Ctrl + Z.

3.Changing brush size and texture

To increase and decrease brush sizes, use the square bracket keys. You can quickly decrease the brush size to reach those tight spots by using the ([) key and increase the size by using the (]) key. By adding the Shift key to the command, you can adjust the texture (hardness or softness) of the brush. The shortcut Shift + ([) decreases the softness of the brush by 25%, while Shift + (]) increases the brush’s hardness by 25%.

4.Move Tool

The spacebar has a lot of functions in Photoshop shortcuts list. When you press the spacebar key, it will switch you to the hand tool so you can move across your document using whatever tool is active, except the text tool. You can easily move selections and shapes as you create them by using the spacebar. There are also spacebar modifiers such as the Space + Ctrl to zoom in and Space + Alt to zoom out.

5.Create selection and de-selecting from layer content

During the course of your photo-editing process, you will have to select and de-select items from the image. If you want to create a selection from the filled pixels on a layer, you have to use the Ctrl key while clicking on the layer thumbnail. At some point, you are going to de-select the filled pixels on the layer. You can do that by using the Ctrl + D shortcuts on the keyboard.
Photoshop without any keyboard shortcuts can really be time consuming. If you adopt the shortcuts presented above, you can turn your daily photo-editing routine into a tour de force. You can also bookmark or print out this infographic entitled ‘Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts’ to give you a visual cheat sheet the next time you need to edit photos without pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K to bring up the Help dialog on keyboard shortcuts.

This is a guest post by Jimmy Wentz You can usually find him on O2 talking about the latest development in the tech world.


  1. says

    I want more of your tutorial :), im a certified newbie when it comes to photoshop but with this tutorial there’s something i learned it will be a big help for me in the long run :)

Leave an awesome and valuable reply