By Scott Trudeau
I have a friend who is an art director for a design company and Photoshop is a BIG part of his daily work flow. This guy has been using Photoshop for a long time, pre-layers palette long! On a recent fishing trip we started to talk shop. The conversation center on Photoshop and eventually we found ourselves comparing our favorite Photoshop shortcuts. I mentioned the left and right bracket keys [ ] and he raised an eyebrow, smiled, and told me he didn’t know that one.
A week later I received a phone call. My fishing buddy exclaimed that his new favorite Photoshop shortcuts were now the left and right bracket keys; in fact, he didn’t know how he had gotten by without this little gem.
What do the bracket keys do? They change the size of just about every tool on the tools palette. The right bracket key makes the tool larger and the left bracket key makes the tool smaller. The bracket keys change, on the fly, the diameter of the tool by 10 pixels per click. Hold the bracket keys down and watch as the diameter quickly expands or contracts.
I know the keys work on the following tools:
• Paint brush
• Clone Stamp tool
• Blur, Sharpen, and Smudge Tools
• Healing Brush Tool
Although the bracket keys will not change the diameter of the Custom Shape tool they will sift through the shape library. Activate the Custom Shape tool (grouped with the Rectangle Tool) and click the bracket keys. Take a gander at the options bar (near the top of the Photoshop interface) as you click… the bracket keys shuffle through the shape library. Cool!
What are your favorite shortcuts?