Photoshop Tools With Keyboard Shortcuts

When you open and load the Photoshop App on your computer, a sidebar of tools with multiple image-editing functions will appear on the left of the user interface screen. These default tools fall under categories of drawing, painting, measuring and navigation, selection, typing, and retouch. Some of the basic tools contain a small triangle in the bottom right corner of the icons. This allows you to expand similar tools in the same category. The newer versions of Photoshop are updated with new tools and features.


Photoshop is packed full of great tools and features. One other very important advantage of using this app is; it allows the user to custom design their own user interface and work space. This option can speed up workflow and final output.

Photoshop tools and keyboard shortcuts

Pen tool

There a few different versions of the pen tool. When using the pen tool you can create selected, precision paths around an object in a image that can be manipulated by using the anchor points that you select. The free form pen tool allows you to draw paths free handed, and using the magnetic pen tool, the drawn path will attach closely to original outlines of the object in an image, which is very useful for selecting and isolating them from a background.

Clone stamp tool

The Clone Stamp tool gives you the ability to duplicate one part of an image to another part of the same image by using a brush. The duplicated part can be either in full or in part depending on the mode you select. You also have the ability to clone part of one layer to another layer. The Clone Stamp tool is great for duplicating objects or even removing a defect you notice in an image.

Shape tools

There are several different shape tools which include rectangles, rounded rectangles, ellipses, polygons and lines. The shapes you create can be manipulated by using the pen tools. to make vector graphics.

Measuring and navigation tools

There is a eyedropper tool that allows you to select a color from a certain area of an image when clicked on, and it saves a sample for future use. The hand tool gives you the ability to navigate through an image by moving it in any direction, and the zoom tool will enlarge a certain part of an image allowing you a closer view.

Selection tools

Selection tools can be used to select all or any part of an image to perform a cut, copy, edit, or retouching function.

Cropping tool

The crop tool is used to select a particular section of an image and discard the rest of it outside of the chosen section.

Slicing tools

The slice tool and slice select tools, much like the cropping tool, are used for isolating certain parts of images.

Moving tool

The move tool is used to drag a single layer or more if they are selected.

Marquee tool

The marquee tool can be used to make selections that are in a single row, single column, rectangular and elliptical.

Lasso tool

The lasso tool is similar to the marquee tool, however, the user can make a custom selection by drawing it freehand. There are three options for the lasso tool – regular, polygonal, and magnetic.

The quick selection tool selects areas based on edges, similarly to the magnetic lasso tool. The difference between this tool and the lasso tool is that there is no starting and ending point.

Magic wand tool

The magic wand tool selects areas based on pixels that are similar. One click will select all of the neighboring pixels that have similar value within a tolerance level that is set by the user.

Eraser tool

The Eraser tool can erase content on a selected active layer by using a brush that can be set to a specific size needed.

Photoshop tools

Popular Tools With Keyboard Shortcuts

Action/Function For Windows For Mac
Free Transform Control + T Command + T
Decrease Brush Size [ [
Increase Brush Size ] ]
Decrease Brush Hardness { {
Increase Brush Hardness } }
Default Foreground/Background colors D D
Switch Foreground/Background colors X X
New layer via copy Control + J Command + J
New layer via cut Shift + Control + J Shift + Command + J
Add to a selection Any selection tool + Shift-drag Any selection tool + Shift-drag
Delete brush or swatch Alt-click brush or swatch Option-click brush or swatch
Toggle auto-select with move tool Control-click Command-click
Cancel any modal dialog window, including the Start Workspace Escape Escape
Select the first edit field of the tool bar Enter Return
Navigate between fields Tab Tab
Navigate between fields in opposite direction Tab + Shift Tab + Shift
Change Cancel to Reset Alt Option

Selection Tools Keyboard Shortcuts

When holding down the shortcut key it temporarily activates that tool. Letting go of the key will return you back to the previous tool used.

Special Note:

When there are multiple tools in a category, repeatedly press the same shortcut to toggle through the group.

Action/Function For Windows For Mac
Cycle through tools with the same shortcut key Shift-press shortcut key (if Use Shift Key for Tool Switch preference is selected) Shift-press shortcut key (if Use Shift Key for Tool Switch preference is selected)
Cycle through your hidden tools Alt-click + tool (except Add Anchor Point, Delete Anchor Point, and Convert Point tools) Option-click + tool (except Add Anchor Point, Delete Anchor Point, and Convert Point tools)
Move tool V V
Rectangular Marquee tool

Elliptical Marquee tool

Lasso tool

Polygonal Lasso tool

Magnetic Lasso tool

Magic Wand tool

Quick Selection tool

Cropping tool

Slice tool

Slice Select tool

Eyedropper tool

Color Sampler tool

Ruler tool

Note tool

Spot Healing Brush tool

Healing Brush tool

Patch tool

Red Eye tool

Brush tool

Pencil tool

Color Replacement tool

Mixer Brush tool

Clone Stamp tool

Pattern Stamp tool

History Brush tool

Art History Brush tool

Eraser tool

Background Eraser tool

Magic Eraser tool

Gradient tool

Paint Bucket tool

Dodge tool

Burn tool

Sponge tool

Pen tool

Freeform Pen tool

Horizontal Type tool

Vertical Type tool

Horizontal Type mask tool

Vertical Type mask tool

Path Selection tool

Direct Selection tool

Rectangle tool

Rounded Rectangle tool

Ellipse tool

Polygon tool

Line tool

Custom Shape tool

Hand tool H H
Rotate View tool R R
Zoom tool Z Z
Default Foreground/Background colors D D
Switch Foreground/Background colors X X
Toggle Standard/Quick Mask modes Q Q
Content-Aware Move tool J J
Perspective Crop tool C C
Artboard tool V V
Rotate View tool R R
Toggle Preserve Transparency / (forward slash) / (forward slash)
Decrease Brush Hardness { {
Increase Brush Hardness } }
Previous Brush , ,
Next Brush . .
First Brush < <
Last Brush > >
Use same shortcut key for Liquify