Scrap Faster (and easier!)

computertipsandtricks

In my four years of scrapping, I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of my online friends. I have met designers, fellow scappers, store owners, creative team members, and friends.  It is always so fun to get spend face to face time with people I usually only get to interact with online. In July 2007 I travelled to Chicago for summer CHA.  After a fun night in the city with some digi friends, I got back to my room, excited to finally meet my long time internet friend Hollie.  When I walked in, I saw her sitting in a nice comfy chair, leaned back with her Wacom tablet on her lap, scrapping away.  Her laptop was on the table in front her, far from arms reach.  I stood there, quite confused, wondering how she was scrapping. I asked, and she told me she doesn’t need her keyboard.  Utterly confused, I let it go and we got to know each other “in real life.”

That moment has come to my mind often since that night.  Addicted as I am to my keyboard shortcuts, I really can’t fathom someone taking my keyboard from me. Personally, I hate the thought of having to click on every tool I want to use and got through menus for every function I want to perform.  Instead, when I scrap, my hands work furiously together…my mouse in my right hand (yea, I gave the pen a try and didn’t like it) and my left hand is on the keyboard, pecking at keys without thought. Keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop/Elements are a complete necessity to me.  Hollie may be more comfortable in her chair but I am convinced that I can get the work done faster 🙂

There are lots of ways to learn keyboard shortcuts.  You can hover over tools and see the shortcut in parentheses, you can look on drop down menus and see the command listed, or you can look at written lists of shortcuts. As extensive and helpful as these lists are, they can be overwhelming!  When I was first learning them, I made a list of ones I wanted to learn (starting with tools and commands I used most often).  I put them right next to my computer and when I had to perform the action, I looked at my cheat sheet and practiced.  When I wanted to learn a few more, I wrote those on sticky notes and put them on my computer. In time, I knew most of them by heart!  I still have many more to learn, but I am thrilled with the way my workflow has sped up and I hope yours can too!

I have found some great websites that have detailed information on keyboard shortcuts for various programs. Since we all use different computers, different programs, and different versions of those programs, you are best up looking up the information you need.  These sites can get you started.

THIS SITE has a printable pdf document for Photoshop Elements (PC and Mac).

THIS AMAZING SITE has printable pdfs for the following programs (both PC and Mac):

  • Photoshop CS4
  • Photoshop CS3
  • Photoshop CS2
  • Photoshop CS
  • Photoshop 7
  • Photoshop 6
  • Photoshop 5
  • Adobe Bridge & Adobe Camera Raw

HERE you can see a list of shortcuts for Paint Shop Pro

Don’t try to learn them all at once — take the actions you do most often and write those out.  Then, as you learn those and are using them without thinking, add some more.  In time, your knowledge will build and you will be scrapping and editing photos faster (even if less comfortably!)  Here is a list of my most used shortcuts. You can print this list along with the shortcut for your computer and program and go from there.  Don’t get discouraged…it gets easier with time and before you know it, you will wonder how you ever lived without shortcuts!

keyboardshorcuts

DOWNLOAD PDF FILE HERE

Or, if you are a visual person and use a Mac and Photoshop, you can try one of these cool keyboard skins, available at the Photojojo Store.  They fit right over your keyboard and let you learn as you peck!

keyboardskins2

keyboardskins

No matter which way you choose to learn, you will be amazed at how second nature using shortcuts can become.  I love being able to just hit a key and move on!  Give it a try and see what you think!

janet_sig16

P.S.  A big congrats to some winners of some great coupons!  Random.org picked some great people! Thanks to everyone who challenged themselves to a MORE WITH FOUR CHALLENGE! Here is what they won:

Christie won a $10 gift card to Pineapple Plantation Designs.  Love the outcome of her truly taking on the MORE WITH FOUR challenge!

Side by Side won a $10 gift card to Melissa Bennett Designs for this layout, where she replaced two of her title letters with other elements

Becki won a $10 gift card to Shabby Miss Jenn Designs for this cute layout, using materials all from THE DIGI FILES no. 1

Kate Teague won a $10 gift card to Flergs for this layout (which, if you are already craving chocolate from Sunday’s post, you may not want to see it!)

Congrats, ladies!  Email me at janet [at] thedailydigi [dot] com to claim your prize!