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CTRL+Z is my favourite shortcut in Photoshop. Accidently clipped a paper over your photo layer? CTRL+Z to the rescue! Resized an element and made it too small? CTRL+Z can fix that!
There are many more shortcuts than CTRL+Z (undo) though. Photoshop shortcuts can be a key part of a digital scrapbooker’s tool box.
I work in Photoshop CS5 on Windows, so my shortcuts will be different than if you work in, say, Photoshop Elements 8. Also, the way one scrapper works in their scrapbooking software may be quite different than another scrapper, so the shortcuts each would need will be quite different.
I think a great place to start learning shortcuts is with the commonly used tools. Most Photoshop tools have a one letter shortcut that you can easily learn by hovering your cursor over it.
For example, I find it so much faster to hit “T” for the type tool than to find it in the menu. (If you’d like a picture reference of all the tool shortcuts, you can find a beautiful Photoshop Tool Shortcut Cheat Sheet here.)
Perhaps the easiest way to identify useful shortcuts for you is to pay attention to the menu listings. The shortcut will be beside most action items.
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This is a great start to finding some useful shortcuts. However, some shortcuts aren’t immediately obvious (or they weren’t to me, anyway!). For example, my scrapbooking became so much easier when I learned that I could resize brushes by simply pressing the “[“ and “]” keys. Much better than toying with the brush resizing slider!
Here are some links to Photoshop shortcut articles to help you identify some new keyboard commands:
…and thousands more! Try searching for your Photoshop or Photoshop Elements version and the word shortcuts. There are even some handy “cheat sheet” images available that you print for easy reference.
Most software programs will let you set custom shortcuts and Photoshop is no exception. There are many great tutorials out there such as this one on How to Customize Photoshop Shortcuts.
I think the most useful custom shortcut I have for scrapbooking isn’t even in Photoshop. I use ACDSee to organize my digital supplies, so I have a custom shortcut to let me just hit the “+” sign to open any file directly into Photoshop. It’s saved me so much time!
Don’t feel like you have to learn all the shortcuts in one day! Start with a handful that you’ll use regularly, like for clipping papers and for accessing basic tools. Soon enough, you’ll be a shortcut pro!