by Julieanne Kost
As I mentioned in yesterday’s shortcut, you can vary the Brush Size and Hardness with the following shortcuts:
• With a painting tool selected, Control + Option (Mac) – drag left/right in order to decrease/ increase brush size. Control + Option (Mac) – drag up/down to decrease/ increase brush hardness.
• On Windows, Control + Alt + Right Mouse -drag left right to decrease/ increase brush size and up/down decrease/ increase brush hardness.
If however, you would prefer to change the Brush Opacity (instead of the Brush Hardness), based on the vertical drag movement, select Preferences > General and uncheck “Vary Round Brush Hardness based on HUD vertical movement”. By disabling this preference, Photoshop enables a change in Opacity when dragging up/down.
Of course you can also use the number keys on the keyboard to change the opacity of a painting tool. Tapping one number assigns the percentage of the hit number (1 = 10%, 2= 20% etc. and 0 = 100%). Tapping two numbers quickly will give you that exact amount (5 + 4 = 54%). Tapping 00 (zero-zero) in Photoshop CS6 will decrease the opacity to 0. Note: If you have a tool selected that is not a painting tool, these shortcuts will affect the Opacity on the Layers panel.