By Rich Seiling
One of the
tricks to using Photoshop quickly and effortlessly is learning how to
navigate using the keyboard shortcuts. When I’m making a creative
adjustment to an image, I want to see how each change affects different
parts of the image. This means I need to zoom in and out, and pan around
within the image constantly--and the quicker I can do this, the better.
Here are some of the shortcuts and tools I use regularly:
When I need to pan around within an image, I like to use the hand tool
instead of the scroll bars. In the end, the hand tool does the same thing,
but it works more quickly and intuitively for me. Oftentimes, I am using
a view mode that doesn’t let me see the scroll bars anyway, which
makes the hand tool the best tool for panning around. Regardless of what
tool you are using in Photoshop, you can switch to the Hand Tool by holding
down the space key.
You can use the zoom tool at any time by holding down Ctrl-SPACE to zoom
in or ALT-SPACE to zoom out (Mac users zoom in with Command-SPACE, and
zoom out with option-SPACE.) When using the zoom tool, you can click and
drag a box around an area you want to view closely. This lets you quickly
zoom into the area you want to examine.
Zooming in to look at a small area of an image is great, but I also need
to look at the whole image, too. The quickest way for me to do this is
with the Fit On Screen command. There are several ways to invoke this
command, but the way that has become second nature for me is Ctrl-zero
(command-zero on mac.)
Besides looking at the whole image, I often need to look at an image
at 100% magnification--especially when I’m cloning an image or
unsharp masking. Another name for this is Actual Pixels. This is because
at 100% magnification, Photoshop always displays one pixel of the image
using one pixel of your monitor--regardless of the resolution your monitor
is set to. This is a very valuable feature, because various effects and
defects can hide if the screen is averaging several pixels together.
a quick key for this (alt-control-zero), but I usually use the contextual
menu to choose “View Actual Pixels.” I find that the quick
key is awkward use to with one hand, but I can use contextual menu
without taking my hand off the mouse. Use what works for you!
Do you ever feel like there are too many palettes on your screen? I swear
that they have a secret palette breeding ground somewhere inside Adobe’s
San Jose headquarters where these things breed faster than rabbits. If
you want them off your screen--even for a little while--use the tab key.
It toggles them on and off. Even better, use a second monitor and put
all the palettes on that. You’ll never know how you got along without
Photoshop lets us view the image in three different Screen Modes: Standard
Screen Mode; Full Screen Mode With Menu Bar; and Full Screen Mode. These
are tucked away on the bottom part of the tool palette, but I find it
much easier to press the F key to cycle between the three.
just a few of the keyboard shortcuts we use here at West Coast Imaging,
but each are essential to working with fluidity. There are many more,
and you could go nuts learning them all, so my advice is just focus on
learning a few at a time for the things you do regularly. If you only
use a command once in a blue moon, or it has a hard-to-remember set of
keys to press, then just use the menu.
disclaimer: WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WORN-OUT KEYBOARDS. If you are
Photoshopping that much, then you need professional help that we are not
qualified to give. In our experience, spending some time in the field
making new photographs may alleviate this keyboard tension. It works for
us...but hey, we're just photographers.
and photos ©2004 Richard Seiling, All Rights Reserved. This page
may not be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.