Here are a few handy keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop for those of you out there like me who spend an inordinate amount of time in the Creative Suite primarily using Illustrator. These are not keyboard shortcuts that you can use in Illustrator, but rather are keyboard shortcuts providing methods of doing things in Photoshop that you are used to doing in Illustrator that at first it might seem isn’t possible, like click directly on an object to select it, drag to a new layer, etc.
Key commands are formatted for Macintosh; Windows users swap out “Command” for “Control” & “Option” for “Alt”
Create A New Layer: Command (Apple key)-Shift-N
Illustrator bonus tip: I used to think you couldn’t do this in Illustrator using a keyboard command, but I was recently digging into the Keyboard Shortcuts prefs and discovered the keyboard shortcut for creating a new Layer: Command-L. Awesome!
Jump to the next/previous layer: Option – ] or [
This would be similar to selecting an object
Move The Selected Layer Up or Down: Command – ] or [
This would be similar to moving an object up or down
Copy A Selection To A New Layer: Command – J
Similar to an option-drag to copy an item
Select Any Object, Regardless of the Current Layer:
Similar to selecting Illustrator’s Selection tool and selecting/moving an object. When using Photoshop’s Move tool, hold the Command key and click on the object. That object’s layer will be selected as well. The Move tool’s options allow you to set this as the default behavior, but I find it odd to work that way. I much prefer using the modifier key to enable the feature.
Manipulate An Object With Transform Handles:
Highlight the layer whose object you wish to manipulate, then hit Command-T. The Transform box will appear, and you can then drag the object around as well as resize with the transform handles.
A bonus, non-keyboard tip for resizing just a Selection: make your selection using the Marquee tool (or any other selection tool), then go to the Select menu and choose “Transform Selection” to get the transform handles.