CMD plus O, CMD plus +++, C, Drag Mouse, click, CMD+A, CMD+L, drag mouse, return, CMD+M, drag mouse, return, S, Option plus Mouse click, hold mouse button and move mouse, CMD plus F, CMD plus Shift plus S, add x to filename, return, return, CMD plus W.

Photoshop power users can read the above and understand my basic publish-to-web Photoshop workflow. On a fast computer, this whole process takes just about a minute.

Keyboard shortcuts are a serious time-saver when working in the digital darkroom. You may be familiar with a couple of keystroke shortcuts, such as CMD + C for Edit>Copy, and CMD + Z for Edit>Undo, but there are many more keystroke shortcuts in Photoshop that can help make you a more effective digital darkroom technician.

You can explore Photoshop’s menus to see which commands have keystroke shortcuts. Also, if you float your pointer over any tool on the toolbar, a pop-up box will tell you the tool’s name and key command.

Study your workflow — which tools do you use most often? If you use the Lasso, Magic Wand, and Clone Tool often, you’ll want to memorize L for lasso, W for the Wand, and S for the rubber stamp Clone Tool. Soon it will be second nature — instead of dragging your mouse back and forth to the toolbar and drop-downs, you’ll be shortcutting your way through your workflow.

Speed isn’t the only benefit of using keyboard shortcuts. Your pointer doesn’t move when you toggle between tools, so you can stay on the exact group of pixels you need to adjust as you switch from the airbrush to the Healing Brush, giving you much more control over your final output.

In Photoshop CS2, you can even change or make your own keyboard shortcuts by choosing Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts (Shift + Option + CMD + K) and selecting a new series of keystrokes for your favorite commands. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to read the first paragraph of this article not just as a bunch of keystrokes, but a very efficient workflow: Open image, zoom in twice, crop to screen size, select all, adjust levels, adjust curves, clone out a dust spot, apply last filter (UnSharp Mask for screen display, in this case) save as filename[ADD’X’], and close file.

See, keystroke shortcuts save time, even when just writing about them!

In many cases, when there are multiple options for a toolbar button, such as the dodge/burn/sponge tool button, the keyboard shortcut will activate the tool current tool, so ‘O’ will convert your pointer to whichever is the active tool.

Rectangular Marquee Tool M
Elliptical Marquee Tool M
Move Tool V
Lasso Tool L
Polygonal Lasso Tool L
Magnetic Lasso Tool L
Magic Wand Tool W
Crop Tool C
Slice Tool K
Slice Select Tool K
Spot Healing Brush Tool J
Healing Brush Tool J
Patch Tool J Red Eye Tool J
Brush Tool B
Pencil Tool B
Color Replacement Tool B
Clone Stamp Tool S
Pattern Stamp Tool S
History Brush Tool Y
Art History Brush Y
Eraser Tool E
Background Eraser Tool E
Magic Eraser Tool E
Gradient Tool G
Paint Bucket Tool G
Blur Tool R
Sharpen Tool R
Smudge Tool R
Dodge Tool O
Burn Tool O
Sponge Tool O
Path Selection Tool A
Direct Selection Tool A
Horizontal Type Tool T
Vertical Type Tool T
Horizontal Type Mask Tool T
Vertical Type Mask Tool T
Pen Tool P
Freeform Pen Tool P
Rectangle Tool U
Rounded Rectangle Tool U
Ellipse Tool U
Polygon Tool U
Line Tool U
Custom Shape Tool U
Notes Tool N
Audio Annotation Tool N
Eyedropper Tool I
Color Sampler Tool I
Measure Tool I
Hand Tool H
Zoom Tool Z
Default Foreground / Background Colors D
Switch Foreground / Background Colors X
Toggle Standard / Quick Mask Modes Q
Toggle Screen Modes F
Toggle Preserve Transparency / Decrease Brush Size [
Increase Brush Size ]
Decrease Brush Hardness {
Increase Brush Hardness }
Previous Brush ,
Next Brush .
First Brush Last Brush >

File Menu:
New Cmd+N
Open Cmd+O
Browse Opt+Cmd+O Shift+Cmd+O
Edit in ImageReady Shift+Cmd+M
Close Cmd+W
Close All Opt+Cmd+W
Close and Go To Bridge Shift+Cmd+W
Save Cmd+S
Save As Shift+Cmd+S Opt+Cmd+S
Save for Web Opt+Shift+Cmd+S
Revert F12

Select All Cmd+A
Deselect Cmd+D
Reselect Shift+Cmd+D
Inverse Shift+Cmd+I or Shift+F7
All Layers Opt+Cmd+A
Feather Opt+Cmd+D or Shift+F6

Levels Cmd+L
Auto Levels Shift+Cmd+L
Auto Contrast Opt+Shift+Cmd+L
Auto Color Shift+Cmd+B
Curves Cmd+M
Color Balance Cmd+B
Hue/Saturation Cmd+U
Invert Cmd+I
Desaturate Shift+Cmd+U
Invert Cmd+I

Edit menu:
Edit Undo / Redo Cmd+Z F1
Step Forward Shift+Cmd+Z
Step Backward Opt+Cmd+Z
Fade Shift+Cmd+F
Cut Cmd+X F2
Copy Cmd+C F3
Copy Merged Shift+Cmd+C
Paste Cmd+V F4
Paste Into Shift+Cmd+V Clear
Fill Shift+F5
History Pallette:
Step Forward Shift+Cmd+Z
Step Backward Opt+Cmd+Z

Image Size:
Zoom In Cmd++ Cmd+=
Zoom Out Cmd+-
Fit on Screen Cmd+0
Actual Pixels Opt+Cmd+0

Layer via Copy Cmd+J
Layer via Cut Shift+Cmd+J
Create / Release Clipping Mask Opt+Cmd+G
Group Layers Cmd+G
Ungroup Layers Shift+Cmd+G

Arrange Layers:
Bring to Front Shift+Cmd+]
Bring Forward Cmd+]
Send Backward Cmd+[
Send to Back Shift+Cmd+[
Merge Layers Cmd+E
Merge Visible Shift+Cmd+E

Image size:
Image Size Opt+Cmd+I
Canvas Size Opt+Cmd+C

Printing and File info:
File Info Opt+Shift+Cmd+I
Page Setup Shift+Cmd+P
Print with Preview Opt+Cmd+P
Print Cmd+P
Print One Copy Opt+Shift+Cmd+P

Hide Photoshop Control+Cmd+H
Hide Others Opt+Cmd+H
Quit Photoshop Cmd+Q