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Adobe Digital Imaging How-to #53: Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop CS5

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In this excerpt from his book, Dan Moughamian shows you how to customize keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Photoshop CS5, including customizing shortcuts for the main menu and customizing Tools panel shortcuts.
From the book

#53 Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Once Photoshop's menus have been customized to suit your workflow, the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus dialog box (Figure 53a) can be used to customize your keyboard shortcuts. Click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab to get started, adobeimaging_keyboardtab.jpg . If the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus dialog box isn't open, access it by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Figure 53a

Figure 53a Keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop are customized from the same dialog box as menu items.

Customizing Shortcuts for the Main Menu

Decide which shortcut you want to modify first, and then open the menu list that contains that shortcut. For example, if you'd like to customize the Step Backward and Step Forward commands, open the Edit list. From there you can assign a shortcut by clicking the default keystroke that is listed (Figure 53b).

Figure 53b

Figure 53b Once the appropriate menu list is opened, click the shortcut's keystroke to select that command or function.

Next, press the keystroke that you want to use. The new keystroke appears in the shortcut field; if that combination of keys is already in use, a conflict warning is displayed (Figure 53c). To overwrite that shortcut, click the Accept button. This will apply the changes to the shortcut and display its new value; repeat as necessary.

Figure 53c

Figure 53c Click Accept to dismiss any warning that may appear.

You can also click Accept and Go to Conflict, adobeimaging_conflict.jpg , to accept your new shortcut and jump to the menu item that previously used the shortcut to set a new keystroke. You can undo a keystroke that you enter by clicking Undo. Once you have customized your shortcuts, you can save them as a set that will appear in the pop-up menu. Click the Save button, name the set, and then click Save.

Customizing Tools Panel Shortcuts

By default, most of the tools in Photoshop's Tools panel have single letter shortcuts. If you need to repurpose a shortcut by assigning it to a new tool, open the Shortcuts pop-up menu and choose Tools (Figure 53d).

Figure 53d

Figure 53d It is possible to customize Tools panel shortcuts.

Customize the shortcuts using the same steps noted earlier, but be aware that you cannot use the same shortcut for tools that are not grouped together. For example, by default the Count tool uses the shortcut I. If you assigned the shortcut C to the Count tool, the shortcut C would not be available to its default group (Crop, Slice, and Slice Select).

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