Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts or commands are combinations of certain keyboard keystrokes to perform an action quickly without having to click through menus or find the right option. For example, to copy a string of highlighted text you could either right click and find the 'Copy' option, or simply hit ⌘(Ctrl on Windows) and C. Below are many of the most important and convenient keyboard shortcuts including an exhaustive list of shortcuts to use with Adobe's graphic design trifecta: Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

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General Commands:

These commands work in most programs as specified below.

Image description Image description Description
⌘ + Ctrl + Zoom in
⌘ - Ctrl - Zoom out
⌘ C Ctrl C Copy: copies highlighted text or element to clipboard to paste elsewhere.
⌘ X Ctrl X Cut: cuts hightlighted text or element to clipboard to paste elsewhere.
⌘ V Ctrl V Paste: pastes content from clipboard.
⌘ P Ctrl P Print
⌘ Z Ctrl Z Undo
Shift-⌘ Z Shift-Ctrl Z Redo
⌘ A Ctrl A Select All
⌘ F Ctrl F Find: allows you to search for specific text in webpage or document.
⌘ N Ctrl N New: opens a new document or window.
⌘ S Ctrl S Save: saves current progress in a document. If the document is unsaved to that point, a dialogue box will appear asking for save settings/location.
⌘ W Ctrl W Close: closes the frontmost window.
⌘ Q Ctrl Q Quit: quits/ends the current program.
Shift-⌘ Esc Ctrl-Alt-Delete Force quit: allows you to select which program or task to force quit.

Adobe Commands:

Image description Image description Description
Option-Drag Alt-Drag Duplicates object
⌘ F Ctrl F Paste in front
⌘ B Ctrl B Paste in back
⌘ { Ctrl { Send backward
⌘ } Ctrl } Send forward
Shift-⌘ { Shift-Ctrl { Send to back
Shift-⌘ } Shift-Ctrl } Send to front
Shift-Drag Shift-Drag Constrain proportions
⌘ G Ctrl G Group: groups elements into one element.
⌘ J Ctrl J Join: joins multiple paths into one.
⌘ D Ctrl D Duplicate: used as a shortcut for repeating a function that was just performed.
Shift-⌘ P Shift-Ctrl P Place: place will allow you to browse computer files to select an image or file to place into the current document.

Illustrator:

Chart of the keyboard shortcuts to use in Adobe Illustrator:
Tools Shortcuts
Selection V
Direct Selection A
Group Selection Shift
Magic Wand Y
Lasso Q
Pen P
Add Anchor Point +
Delete Anchor Point -
Convert Anchor Point Shift+C
Type T
Touch Type Shift+T
Line Segment \
Rectangle M
Ellipse L
Paintbrush B
Pencil N
Blob Brush Shift+B
Artboard Shift+O
Tools Shortcuts
Eraser Shift+E
Scissors C
Rotate R
Reflect O
Scale S
Width Shift+W
Warp Shift+R
Free Transform E
Shape Builder Shift+M
Live Paint Bucket K
Live Paint Selection Shift+L
Perspective Grid Shift+P
Perspective Selection Shift+V
Mesh U
Gradient G
Eyedropper I
Blend W
Symbol Sprayer Shift+S
Tools Shortcuts
Column Graph J
Slice Shift+K
Hand H
Zoom Z
Toggle Fill and Stroke X
Default Fill and Stroke D
Swap Fill and Stroke Shift+X
Gradient .
Color ,
None /
Toggle 3 Screen Modes F
Show/Hide All Panels Tab
Show/Hide All But Toolbox Shift+Tab
Increase Diameter ]
Decrease Diameter [
Symbolism Tools: Increase Shift+}
Symbolism Tools: Decrease Shift+{
Toggle Drawing Mode Shift+D
Tools Shortcuts
Selection V
Direct Selection A
Group Selection Shift
Magic Wand Y
Lasso Q
Pen P
Add Anchor Point +
Delete Anchor Point -
Convert Anchor Point Shift+C
Type T
Touch Type Shift+T
Line Segment \
Rectangle M
Ellipse L
Paintbrush B
Pencil N
Blob Brush Shift+B
Artboard Shift+O
Eraser Shift+E
Scissors C
Rotate R
Reflect O
Scale S
Width Shift+W
Warp Shift+R
Free Transform E
Shape Builder Shift+M
Live Paint Bucket K
Live Paint Selection Shift+L
Perspective Grid Shift+P
Perspective Selection Shift+V
Mesh U
Gradient G
Eyedropper I
Blend W
Symbol Sprayer Shift+S
Column Graph J
Slice Shift+K
Hand H
Zoom Z
Toggle Fill and Stroke X
Default Fill and Stroke D
Swap Fill and Stroke Shift+X
Gradient .
Color ,
None /
Toggle 3 Screen Modes F
Show/Hide All Panels Tab
Show/Hide All But Toolbox Shift+Tab
Increase Diameter ]
Decrease Diameter [
Symbolism Tools: Increase Shift+}
Symbolism Tools: Decrease Shift+{
Toggle Drawing Mode Shift+D

InDesign:

Chart of the keyboard shortcuts to use in Adobe InDesign:
Tools Shortcuts
Selection V, Esc
Direct Selection A
Toggle Selection and Direct ⌘/Ctrl+Tab
Page Shift+P
Gap U
Pen P
Add Anchor Point =
Delete Anchor Point -
Convert Direction Point Shift+C
Type T
Type On Path Shift+T
Pencil (Note) N
Line \
Tools Shortcuts
Rectangle Frame F
Rectangle M
Ellipse L
Rotate R
Scale S
Shear O
Free Transform E
Eyedropper I
Measure K
Gradient G
Scissors C
Hand H
Temporarily Selects Hand Spacebar
Tools Shortcuts
Zoom Z
Temporarily Selects Zoom ⌘/Ctrl Spacebar
Toggle Fill and Stroke X
Swap Fill and Stroke Shift+X
Toggle Between Formatting Affects Container and Text J
Apply Color ,
Apply Gradient .
Apply No Color /
Switch Between Normal and Preview View Mode W
Frame Grid (Horizontal) Y
Frame Grid (Vertical) Q
Gradient Feather Shift+G
Tools Shortcuts
Selection V, Esc
Direct Selection A
Toggle Selection and Direct ⌘/Ctrl+Tab
Page Shift+P
Gap U
Pen P
Add Anchor Point =
Delete Anchor Point -
Convert Direction Point Shift+C
Type T
Type On Path Shift+T
Pencil (Note) N
Line \
Rectangle Frame F
Rectangle M
Ellipse L
Rotate R
Scale S
Shear O
Free Transform E
Eyedropper I
Measure K
Gradient G
Scissors C
Hand H
Temporarily Selects Hand Spacebar
Zoom Z
Temporarily Selects Zoom ⌘/Ctrl Spacebar
Toggle Fill and Stroke X
Swap Fill and Stroke Shift+X
Toggle Between Formatting Affects Container and Text J
Apply Color ,
Apply Gradient .
Apply No Color /
Switch Between Normal and Preview View Mode W
Frame Grid (Horizontal) Y
Frame Grid (Vertical) Q
Gradient Feather Shift+G

Photoshop:

Chart of the keyboard shortcuts to use in Adobe Photoshop:
Tools Shortcuts
Move V V,0
Rectangular Marquee M V,0
Elliptical Marquee M A,1
Lasso, Polygonal Lasso L M
Magnetic Lasso L L
Magic Wand W L
Quick Selection W C
Crop C C
Slice C W
Slice Select C N
Eyedropper I P
Color Sampler/Ruler/Note Tools I U
Count I T
Spot Healing Brush, Red Eye J B
Healing Brush, Patch J P
Clone and Pattern Stamp S O
Tools Shortcuts
History and Art History Brush Tools Y Y
Eraser, Background Eraser, and Magic Eraser E E
Gradient, Paint Bucket G G
Dodge, Burn, and Sponge O O
Pen, Freeform Pen P P
Horizontal and Vertical Type/Type Mask Tools T T
Path and Direct Selection A A
Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Line, and Custom Shape Tools U U
3D Object Rotate, Roll, Pan, Slide, and Scale K K
3D Camera Rotate, Roll, Pan, Walk, and Zoom N N
Hand H H
Rotate View R R
Zoom Z Z
Brush, Pencil, Color Replacement, and Mixer Brush Tools B Q
Tools Shortcuts
Move V V,0
Rectangular Marquee M V,0
Elliptical Marquee M A,1
Lasso, Polygonal Lasso L M
Magnetic Lasso L L
Magic Wand W L
Quick Selection W C
Crop C C
Slice C W
Slice Select C N
Eyedropper I P
Color Sampler/Ruler/Note Tools I U
Count I T
Spot Healing Brush, Red Eye J B
Healing Brush, Patch J P
Clone and Pattern Stamp S O
History and Art History Brush Tools Y Y
Eraser, Background Eraser, and Magic Eraser E E
Gradient, Paint Bucket G G
Dodge, Burn, and Sponge O O
Pen, Freeform Pen P P
Horizontal and Vertical Type/Type Mask Tools T T
Path and Direct Selection A A
Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Line, and Custom Shape Tools U U
3D Object Rotate, Roll, Pan, Slide, and Scale K K
3D Camera Rotate, Roll, Pan, Walk, and Zoom N N
Hand H H
Rotate View R R
Zoom Z Z
Brush, Pencil, Color Replacement, and Mixer Brush Tools B Q