17 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2010 12:38 AM by Marijan Tompa [tomaxxi]

    Keyboard Shortcuts

    sfjedi Level 1

      There are a number of issues I have with the way keyboard shortcuts are implemented in Adobe Photoshop. First off, not every command in Photoshop has a menu bar equivalent! For example, unless I'm totally mistaken here (please correct me), but if you want to create a selection of an entire layer you have to CTRL+click the layer in the layers panel. How would I map this to a keyboard shortcut if it doesn't have a menu bar equivalent? I know that I can CTRL+A to select the entire document, but this isn't the same function as CTRL+clicking the layer in the layers panel, which only selects the active alpha of that layer.


      Second, I noticed that the keyboard shortcuts do not allow the binding of arrow keys? This might seem trivial to you, but for someone attempting to convert from Corel PHOTO-PAINT to Adobe Photoshop (like me) it's a nightmare! For example, in Photoshop you could hit CTRL+J to perform the Layer >> New >> Layer via Copy command. In Corel PHOTO-PAINT, the equivalent is CTRL+up arrow. There's no way for me to make this translation!


      Lastly, since I'm on the topic of keyboard shortcuts, it would be extremely helpful if there was a pre-configured workspace called Corel PHOTO-PAINT that would handle all of these keyboard shortcuts for me. You might think I'm just being lazy, but I am a full-time student and I'm constantly switching from one machine to another and I just go crazy when I've been using Corel PHOTO-PAINT religiously for the last 15 years.


      Please, don't stop there! Why not add pre-configured workspaces for other similar apps like Fireworks? I don't use any of those other programs, but it might be helpful for someone else.


      Thanks for listening

        • 1. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
          sfjedi Level 1

          While I'm at it, I forgot to mention one other command which I don't believe has a keyboard shortcut equivalent. CTRL+clicking a layer in a document window selects that layer in the layers panel for you, instead of trying to scroll through a list of layers and find the one you want to select. Myself, I would like this to behave exactly like Corel PHOTO-PAINT as well, which is just to click the layer in the document window (no CTRL required). Any way of achieving this goal would be greatly appreciated!


          Also, I mentioned CTRL+clicking a layer in the layer panel in the previous post. To make this all easier on you guys, I'll let you know how Corel handles this shortcut. For them, it's Mask >> Create From Object. For Photoshop, it should be something like Select >> Alpha or Select >> Layer Alpha. I think that would make good sense, don't you?


          Honestly, I really don't care what it's called as long as I can bind it to a shortcut key.


          Oh, and CTRL+down arrow would merge the active layer with the background. I thought that was pretty intuitive.

          • 2. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
            c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

            If You’re serious about a Shortcut for selecting the active Layer’s transparency in Photoshop, there is at least a workaround:

            In ExtendScript Toolkit (part of the Photoshop-installation for some versions now) copy this text


            // =======================================================

            var idsetd = charIDToTypeID( "setd" );

                var desc2 = new ActionDescriptor();

                var idnull = charIDToTypeID( "null" );

                    var ref1 = new ActionReference();

                    var idChnl = charIDToTypeID( "Chnl" );

                    var idfsel = charIDToTypeID( "fsel" );

                    ref1.putProperty( idChnl, idfsel );

                desc2.putReference( idnull, ref1 );

                var idT = charIDToTypeID( "T   " );

                    var ref2 = new ActionReference();

                    var idChnl = charIDToTypeID( "Chnl" );

                    var idChnl = charIDToTypeID( "Chnl" );

                    var idTrsp = charIDToTypeID( "Trsp" );

                    ref2.putEnumerated( idChnl, idChnl, idTrsp );

                desc2.putReference( idT, ref2 );

            executeAction( idsetd, desc2, DialogModes.NO );


            into a new document, save it as jsx-file into Photoshop’s Presets – Scripts-folder and after the next restart of Photoshop You can assign the Script a Shortcut under Edit – Keyboard Shortcuts. (I work with CS4, so I don’t know if older versions handle it as intended.)


            Maybe a more direct way exists, but eludes me …

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
              sfjedi Level 1

              Thanks. I got your script to work, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to assign the script to a keyboard shortcut. I went into the keyboard shortcuts dialog and I see no buttons for importing scripts. In fact, I'm finding the keyboard shortcuts dialog to be so far from intuitive it's not even funny! What's up with the way the dividers are handled? And how come I can create a new menu shortcut, save it, and I don't see it in the menu? And why can't I name the menu item? It just stays blank. I can't F2 to rename it. I can't double-click on it the rename it. I can't even right-click to get a context menu. What's the deal? I'm completely locked out! This is not intuitive at all! Very frustrating!


              Also, it would be ideal if I could rename the menu bar items and create new folders/groups, into which multiple commands could be stored.


              Unless I'm the only one here, I find most of Photoshops menus and commands to be nonintuitive, for lack of a better word.

              • 4. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                I hope this helps clear things up:

                Picture 3.jpg

                And I would recommend saving Your customized Shortcuts.


                Renaming or regrouping menu-items would seem inadvisable to me (in the interest of communicating with other users for example), but one can color-code or hide items under Edit – Menus.


                A very useful tool for CS4 is Configurator, which allows one to create custom panels that can be populated with Tools, Menu Items, Actions, Scripts, text, movies, …


                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                  sfjedi Level 1

                  Originally, I thought you were talking about creating my own new menu item anywhere I wanted and assigning a keyboard shortcut to it. Thanks for the effort in producing the screencap. I totally see it now! That's cool! But I really wish I could place it in the "Select" menu bar item. You have to admit, Photoshop can do a better job at keyboard shortcuts and menu bars.


                  Yeah, I do save my custom shortcuts. I already created my own Corel PHOTO-PAINT workspace with all the keyboard shortcuts and layout I could figure out. The thing that frustrates me is that I would like to get closer to PHOTO-PAINT, but I can't because of the lack of certain features I'm used to as well as the lack to program arrow keys in shortcuts.


                  You're right about communicating with others. If someone looks over my shoulder I can easily switch the workspace back to Photoshop's Default for them, but for my own use I'm more interested in increasing my productivity at this point until I get comfortable with Photoshop, which won't happen until Photoshop provides all the features that I find so productive. That is, I will continue to use Corel PHOTO-PAINT unless forced to use Photoshop for school and such (computer labs), until Photoshop becomes a tool that I would consider purchasing for personal use. I will admit, Photoshop has already adhered to my most major request (the new docking capabilities of the panels), but there's still a long way to go before I take Photoshop seriously, especially considering the major price difference.


                  I know it's kind of hard for someone to understand where I'm coming from, especially if you've used Photoshop and nothing but Photoshop, but it's really frustrating when you switch between two image manipulation programs regularly and you keep trying to hit certain shortcuts that don't work in the other. Hell, I even find myself trying to zoom in with Maya's ALT+RMB-drag. Speaking of which, that would be really cool if Photoshop's keyboard shortcuts were THAT flexible so as to incorporate such a zoom feature, because I'm pretty sure no other function is assigned to ALT+RMB-drag.

                  • 6. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                    c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                    Well, I guess I can appreciate how You feel to a certain degree, 

                    because I was a longtime Freehand-user who, after Macromedia had been 

                    purchased by Adobe, familiarized himself with Illustrator … and even 

                    now I find some things missing there.

                    But actually Illustrator has features that Freehand did not and even 

                    when they still competed Illustrator did some things cleaner than 



                    By which I’m not trying to imply that Photo-Paint is inferior to 

                    Photoshop, because I do indeed have zero experience with Photo-Paint.

                    Occassionally some Painter-features got mentioned in these Fora and at 

                    least one highly coveted one has finally been implemented with CS4 

                    (the rotate canvas-capability) but I don’t even know if Photo-Paint 

                    has that, too.

                    So without impugning Painter in any way I recommend simply investing 

                    the necessary time and You may soon be familiar with the way 

                    Photoshop’s interface is structured …

                    Easy said of course after more than a decade of experience.


                    In the field I work in (image-manipulation and prepress) Photoshop is 

                    the standard; I suppose You work in 3D though?

                    Anyway You will have to assess Yourself how the different features 

                    measure up and if Photoshop is worth Your while, but please try to 

                    avoid getting inflexible about it and (if the proper help- and web-

                    search fail) some items may be cleared up by the Photoshop-Fora-



                    Does Photo-Paint have a feature comparable to Photoshop’s Smart 

                    Objects by the way?


                    (I work on a Mac with a non-english-keyboard so I don’t even know what 

                    key RMB is supposed to be … command-space-drag works fine for zooming 

                    here, but that works across the Creative Suite so I guess it is most 

                    probably non-editable.)

                    • 7. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                      sfjedi Level 1

                      Ha! Yeah, I have issues with Illustrator too, coming from a CorelDRAW background. I know what you're talking about. Really, I just find Corel products to be more intuitive, but I admit that they lack certain features of Adobe that I do admire like the healing brush. Also, Corel products crash more in my experience, but they've been getting better.


                      Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not totally unwilling to discover the realm of Photoshop. I'm the kind of guy that when a new version of Windows comes out I learn all the new features instead of just turning everything onto classic mode. I've actually presented many Photoshop enthusiasts, including a Photoshop instructor here at the Academy of Art University about some of my Photoshop requests and they had nothing for me that would translate into Photoshop commands. I'm friends with a lot of Photoshop nerds and I've only posted the requests that they couldn't help me with, mostly because I didn't want to look stupid to everyone in the www.


                      RMB just means "right mouse button," which LOL might be foreign to some Mac users.


                      I come from a web developer/designer background, but I've been in animation school the last couple years at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. So, at school I'm constantly switching between Maya and Photoshop, but at home I'm constantly switching between Maya and PHOTO-PAINT!


                      I did some research and tinkered around in the help files and I don't believe PHOTO-PAINT does anything close to smart objects. In fact, it doesn't even let you create collapsable folders in your layers panel, but you can group them. They also have adjustment layers, but they call them lenses. They also have clip masks, but not vector masks. Some might say they don't have vector shapes either, and they don't per se, but they do let you create rectangles, ellipses and other shapes and tinker around with them before rasterizing them. It's also smart enough to keep text as text so you can upscale without losing resolution. They support paths too.

                      • 8. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                        c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                        Ah, right-mouse-button.

                        I admit I’ve turned that off … unflexible as charged.


                        Well, it may do Photoshop good to have some competitors.

                        And as an individual user (as opposed to working at a company) the 

                        cost-factor takes on a different relevance, I guess.


                        Your web-developer-background might be beneficial if You want to 

                        really streamline working in Potoshop by the way, because if You have 

                        some JavaScript-experience that can really help with repetitive tasks.


                        Anyway, best of luck with all the software!

                        • 9. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                          sfjedi Level 1

                          I'm a pro at JavaScript and I've written many scripts for Corel PHOTO-PAINT using VB. I also write about 6 other languages, but I'd much rather have the tools built in, you know?


                          Besides, scripting is more about automating tasks than creating new tools in most cases.

                          • 10. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                            c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                            I’m no pro at JavaScript myself and VB is foreign to me (obviously – 

                            as a Mac-user).


                            With the interface-matters You remarked upon Scripting may be no help 

                            anyway, but with some matters it may and other than that, who knows, 

                            some of Your requests may get noticed … the interactive Gradient Stops 

                            are there in Illustrator CS4, so that may be a good sign.

                            • 11. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                              Reynolds (Mark) Level 4

                              Jed - as is often the case with requests in this "feature requests" forum -  some of what you have asked for already exists. Its in there, unfortunately most professional users who participate in this forum don't seen to have looked around properly.  Unfortunately have to say, you will also find, with your requests and questions, that if you ask them here, instead of assuming that your tutors know, that there are easy and simple answers for them. I can almost guarantee this. Photoshop is enormously powerful and of course deep, and to expect any professional to know everything is impossible.


                              1 Firstly there is an easy menu command to select layer transparency - Select/Load Selection - this will automatically load the transparency (what you have called alpha?) of the current layer. You can either assign a shortcut to this, or even better use an Action (assign an F key to your action) which will mean that there is no dialog at all. Pressing a single key will then load the transparency of whatever layer you have highlighted.


                              2 For auto-selecting layers. Choose your move tool (shortcut V key) - in your options bar there is a checkbox for "auto-select". You can choose to auto-select layers or layer groups. Unfortunately you haven't told us whether you are using CS3 or CS4. In CS4 holding down your V key (press and hold) at any time will now autoselect layers. in CS3 holding down control/option/right click will select layers whatever tool you are using


                              3  Photoshop is 1000 times more powerful and customisable than Corel Photopaint. Eventually you will come round to realising this, promise. I do think that predefined workspaces for different apps may be a good idea, its a pity these are not available on Adobe Exchange.

                              • 12. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                                sfjedi Level 1

                                Reynolds, thanks for the tips. I'm using CS4 by the way.


                                1. Select >> Load Selection is definitely one of the things I was looking for. Thanks!


                                2. The "Auto-Select" checkbox is also exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!


                                3. You don't have to convince me that Photoshop is more powerful, but I think 1000 times is a gross exaggeration. Of course, my opinion will be more worthy when I have more exposure to Photoshop, but before taking your opinion for any worth, can I ask what, if any, experience you have with Corel PHOTO-PAINT that allows you to make such a claim? Thanks though, for acknowledging the usefullness of the workspace request.


                                Finally, I want to reemphasize the original scope of this discussion towards "keyboard shortcuts." Regardless of whether certain features are available in Photoshop, the menus for those commands are still unable to be renamed or new commands created and placed in whatever menu bar item I choose.


                                Even Corel falls short in the latter half of this request, but they are definitely on the right road, as illustrated by this screenshot...




                                As you can see, I've renamed the Edit command to "Edit Schmeddit" and the Copy command to "Copy Schmoppy." That's the kind of flexibility I'm talking about here! The only thing missing now is creating my own new command and placing them wherever I want in the menu bars.

                                • 13. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                                  ghost zero Level 1

                                  How about add this feature to Photoshop?


                                  Hold down mouse middle button = hold down spacebar panning?

                                  • 14. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                                    sfjedi Level 1

                                    Yes, the proposed new keyboard shortcuts interface should handle that as well. It should be flexible enough to handle all of these types of keyboard shortcuts requests.

                                    • 15. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                                      sfjedi Level 1

                                      sfjedi wrote:


                                      [PHOTO-PAINT] doesn't even let you create collapsable folders in your layers panel, but you can group them.


                                      This is no longer true with the release of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 and perhaps even X4, but definitely not X3.

                                      • 16. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                                        dec9 Level 5

                                        This has to do with Photoshop problem because......................?

                                        • 17. Re: Keyboard Shortcuts
                                          Marijan Tompa [tomaxxi] Level 4



                                          Selecting current Layer Tranparency: Ctrl+Click on layer, and Ctrl+Shift+I to inverse selection...