Photoshop can be such an incredible tool in making the most of your digital images.

However, like any software program, it can take a long time to learn how to use and even longer to perfect the craft.

Learning some quick and simple tricks and shortcuts in Photoshop can save seconds – even minutes – on each photo, which can cut your editing time by hours in the course of a month, even days in the course of a year.

In our busy lives that extra time can be put to good use, right?! I’ve put together my top five Photoshop shortcut tips that I use the most. Put these tips in your back pocket and enjoy that new-found free time!

Learning some quick and simple tricks and shortcuts in Photoshop can save seconds – even minutes – on each photo, which can cut your editing time by hours in the course of a month, even days in the course of a year.

1. Duplicate layer (and erase layer)


Command + J for duplicate
 (Control + J on a PC)
Command + E for erase
 (Control + E on a PC)

This tip is likely already the most widely known, but it is also my most commonly used tip so I had to include it first. I have come across seasoned photographers who didn’t know this tip so it’s an important one to discuss! I do all my editing on a duplicate layer, both so I can adjust the opacity of what I’ve done and also so I can easily erase back over anything I don’t like. Quickly create a duplicate layer by pressing and holding Command and J and when you want to flatten that layer simply press and hold Command and E!

how to quickly make a duplicate layer in Photoshop by Shey Detterline

2. Quick selection tool decreaser


Option + drag

I use the quick selection tool all the time for color adjustments, lightening transition lenses, darkening the sky, and correcting issues. Your quick selection tool makes the best choice of what pixels to include based on like colored pixels surrounding the point you chose, and usually it does a great job. Sometimes though, the area that gets selected goes a bit outside of what you actually want to choose. To decrease the area, click and hold the option key while dragging your selection area down to remove the unwanted area. Super simple!

3. Change brush size

[ for smaller
] for bigger


To increase or decrease the brush size (or clone stamp size, or any tool size) while it’s selected, simply press the [ key to decrease the brush size or ] to increase the brush size. This makes it easy to flow through editing without stopping to mess with the brush settings.

4. Zoom tool

Double click on zoom tool

This one is my favorite shortcuts that I just discovered this year and it has saved me so much time. I like to edit while viewing the entire image on my screen, but then often want to zoom in at 100% to do fine detail editing. Simply double click on the zoom tool to view at 100%!

how to zoom in 100% on a photo in Photoshop by Shey Detterline

5. Move tool/hand tool


Command (Control on a PC) for move tool
Space bar for hand tool


When I’m zoomed in on an image I often want to move the image around to see other portions of the photo. Quickly do this by pressing and holding Command to bring up the move tool, or pressing and holding the space bar to bring up the hand tool.

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