In any application Keyboard shortcuts is a time saver. You may already know some basic keyboard shortcuts like cut, copy and paste. Ctrl+X for Cut, Ctrl+C for Copy, Ctrl+V for Paste in Windows OS. Mac users may use Cmd Key instead of Ctrl Key and Option key instead of Alt key.
Knowing more keyboard shortcuts will show you as a computer expert. Working with keyboard shortcuts in Word processors like MS Word or spreedsheet like Excel might be a easier one. Working with keyboard shortcuts in image editing applications like Photoshop CS6 may look like very complex one. But its not. Working with keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop CS6 is also very easy one and its a god of time saver. With little practice you can save a lot of time and can quickly apply various options in a very short time rather than using mouse operations.
Along with the basic keyboard shortcuts like Cut, Copy and Paste, you must be familiar with popular tools in photoshop like Move, Select, Brush, Patch, Marquee, Eyedropper and Transform. These are the must use tools in Photoshop CS6 commonly used by majority of people. First we must know about keyboard shortcuts for these basic tools.
Photoshop has inbuilt keyboard shortcut list and can be found in “Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts”. It may look like very complex and difficult to memorize that very big list of keyboard shortcuts. Take a look at that list once, but no need to memorize them all.
First we should memorize and practice a very few keyboard shortcuts. This small list of keyboard shortcuts is much enough for a professional photo edit. For your easy understanding each tool shortcut tip given in bold text. Just reading twice will make you remember these keyboard shortcuts very easily.
A PAth Selection, Direct Selection
B Brush, Pencil, Color Replacement
C Crop Tool
D Default colors
E Eraser tools
H Hand Tool
I Eyedropper (Spell Eye)
J Healing Brush and Patch
K 3D Tools
L Lasso Tools
M Marquee Tools
N 3D Camera Tools
P Pen tools
Q Quick Mask mode tool
S Stamp tool(Clone Stamp, Pattern Stamp)
T Type tool
U CUstom Shape tool(Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Line or Custom Shape)
V MoVe Tool
W Magic Wand tool
X Switch Foreground and Background colors
Y HistorY Brush, Art History Brush
If you feel the above list is big then you may short it out like this,
B Brush Tool
C Crop Tool
E Eraser Tool
I Eyedropper Tool
T Type Tool
S Stamp Tool
W Magic Want Tool
Z Zoom Tool
Each tool is grouped into number of tools. By pressing keyboard shortcut will choose the Last selected Tool in that group. If you want to choose the next tool within that group you may need to press Shift key along with that keyboard shortcut.
For example, For Marquee tool, pressing M is enough. But if you want to choose Rectangular Marquee tool or Elliptical marquee tool then you need to press Shift+M to cycle between tools within that Group.
Keyboard shortcuts to working with Layers
Photoshop’s backbone is Layers. You must be familiar with these layer shortcuts to be a Photoshop expert.
Ctrl+Shift+N Create new layer
Ctrl+Click Layer Select non-contiguous layers
Click one Layer then Shift+Click another layer to Select contiguous layers
Del Delete Layer
Alt+Click Layer Mask icon to View contents of layer mask
Shift+Click Layer Mask icon to Turn-off Layer Mask temporarily
Alt+Drag Clone layer
Number keys (while W/M tool selected) Change layer opacity
Shift+(+) or Shift+(-) Cycle down or up through blend modes
Final list of Keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop CS6
Ctrl+(~) Switching between open documents
Ctrl+Z Redo again (Cycle the Last step)
Ctrl+F Apply last filter
Space Bar Hand tool (Usefull to click and move)
UP/Down Arrow in any option field will increase/decrese the values
Shift+UP/Down arrow in any option field will increase/decrese the values by 10 units
Ctrl+Shift+T Repeat Last Transformation
Changing default keyboard shortcuts and customize to your keyboard shortcut
If you don’t feel the default shortcuts suit your style, always you can have the option to change all the keyboard shortcuts to your style. Make sure before editing default keyboard shortcuts use export the default shortcuts to file. Later it will be helpful if you changed your mind to work with default keyboard.