Photoshop can be a very daunting place, especially when you’re first starting out. Between tools, actions, layers, modes, and adjustments, the whole experience can easily make you head for the X button and try again another day.

Whether you’re new to photo editing or have finally got the hang of it, there are so many tips and tricks that can help elevate and advance your workflow.

For me, it all starts with my workspace. Customizing and understanding my personal workspace was such a game-changer for me when I first started. It gave me the ability to work faster and more efficiently. At the start, I loathed flicking from image to toolbar constantly just to change my tool or layer, it made me feel as though my whole workflow was messy and clunky. Being the perfectionist that I am I went in search of a solution and just like that, I discovered the world of shortcuts.




You might be thinking, shortcuts...really? And trust me, yes really. They really did change my game when editing large quantities of images and I think with the right knowledge, they could help you too!

Photoshop automatically comes with some pre-set shortcuts such as:

V = Move Tool

M = Rectangular Marquee Tool

L = Lasso

J = Spot Healing

E= Eraser

O= Dodge/ Burn

But these aren’t all the key tools you need on hand throughout an edit, what about the rest of them? This is where customization comes in. On Photoshop you have the ability to customize all tools and menu items into your own shortcuts, you can even change the one’s Photoshop pre-program. How do you do it? It’s easy!


To customize your toolbar, simply go to EDIT > TOOLBAR. Here you will find a list of all the tools Photoshop has to offer and their shortcut. As you can see, some of the tools have the same shortcut, which is exactly what we are here to change.

When editing the tools I found myself always switching between was the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch Tool, both under the pre-set shortcut J. This was one I could not wait to change. I found it fitting to keep my Spot Healing Brush as the J button on my keyboard and the Patch Tool P. Now when editing all skin I can easily switch between the two tools with a simple touch of my keyboard.

This is just one example of many that can be achieved when customizing your shortcuts.


Your toolbar isn’t the only thing you can customize. You can also customize things in your top menu bar. The most important menu item (besides save of course) that needs a shortcut is Flatten Image. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have used my flattened image shortcut in all my years of using Photoshop. The way to customize this or any menu item is by simply going up to EDIT > KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS….Once there you will find every menu selection, some paired with a shortcut. You can go through here and make any selection of anything you would like! It is that easy!

CLICK HERE to download my own personal cheat sheet! This will give you a peek into my entire photoshop setup and how I have customized things to suit my workflow. I have also created a blank sheet, for you to create your own cheat sheet to print out and have on hand when entering the world of shortcuts.

Head to our blog sources page to download!





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