How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Type a value in the text box, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS).

Drag the slider.

Move the pointer over the title of a slider or pop‑up slider. When the pointer turns to a Hand icon, drag the scrubby slider to the left or right. This feature is available only for selected sliders and pop‑up sliders.

Click the arrow buttons in the panel to increase or decrease the value.

(Windows) Click the text box and then use the Up Arrow key and the Down Arrow key on the keyboard to increase or decrease the value.

Select a value from the menu associated with the text box.

A. Menu arrow B. Scrubby slider C. Text box D. Dial E. Slider

About pop‑up sliders

Some panels, dialog boxes, and options bars contain settings that use pop‑up sliders (for example, the Opacity option in the Layers panel). If there is a triangle next to the text box, you can activate the pop‑up slider by clicking the triangle. Position the pointer over the triangle next to the setting, hold down the mouse button, and drag the slider or angle radius to the desired value. Click outside the slider box or press Enter to close the slider box. To cancel changes, press the Esc key.

To increase or decrease values in 10% increments when the pop‑up slider box is open, hold down Shift and press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key.

A. Click to open the pop‑up slider box. B. Drag slider or angle radius.

You can also “scrub” some pop‑up sliders. For example, if you hold the pointer over the word “Fill” or “Opacity” in the Layers panel, the pointer changes to the Hand icon. Then you can move the pointer left or right to change the fill or opacity percentage.

About scrubby sliders

In some panels, dialog boxes, and options bars, you can drag scrubby sliders to change option values. Scrubby sliders are hidden until you position the pointer over the title of sliders and pop‑up sliders. When the pointer changes to a Hand icon, you drag to the left or right. Holding down the Shift key while dragging accelerates the scrubbing by a factor of 10.

If you’re like thousands of other occasional users Photoshop, you may not have given this a thought. A lot of the popular editing software’s interface is customizable, which means you can play around with the default panel and toolbar. This video from the PTC gives you a quick demonstration for a better workflow:

Customizing the Photoshop Toolbar

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Click on Edit > Toolbar to bring up the Toolbar edit dialog.

The Photoshop toolbar is located on the left of the screen and this toolbar can be customized in Photoshop CC 2015 using two different approaches. You can either go to the Edit menu and click on Toolbar, or you can click on the icon with the three dots and open the Edit Toolbar dialog.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Click on the icon with three dots.

The Customize Toolbar dialog is pretty much a drag and drop thing. Each time you remove a tool or change its position, the toolbar is updated in real time.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Customizing the tools in Photoshop is a simple drag and drop exercise.

You can even create your own new sets of nested tools by dragging a tool out of its nested position and dropping it between two sections. From there you can drag and drop other tools under that new section to create your own new set.

Custom Workspaces

Custom Workspaces is a new feature that works in tandem with the Custom Toolbars. This feature lets you create a custom workspace that is attuned to the kind of work that you are doing.

Let’s say you’re working on a new logo or editing a photo or doing some sort of 3D work. For each of these tasks you may have a set of tools that you frequently use. With the standard toolbar it’s a big irritating to locate the specific tools each time you need it. The solution is to create a customized toolbar that is activated as soon as you switch to the specific workspace.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Create a custom Workspace in Photoshop.

Click on the Workspaces dropdown menu and select the type of task that you want to do to bring up the related panels on Photoshop. You can then change things around, adding the tools you need and closing the ones that you don’t normally use. Each time you bring up the Workspace your customized toolbars will be available to you. You can even assign keyboard shortcuts to each of the tools to make things easier to remember.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Save the custom Workspace.

To save the customized workspace and toolbars, drag the workspace to New Workspace and the Save New Workspace dialog will open up. Enter a name for the new workspace, check keyboard shortcuts, menus, and toolbars, and hit Save.

Have you tried this out? Let us know how you customize your Photoshop workflow.

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How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

The key to quick and painless retouching is creating a workflow that works for you. Photoshop has a highly customizable workspace that you can set up in a way that best suits your needs. Here are some tips on how to declutter your Photoshop workspace for a seamless and efficient workflow.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Photoshop workspace preferences

A workflow that’s effective for one photographer may not be as helpful for another.

Your Photoshop workflow has to be built around your preferences and your most-used tools and windows. For example, the tools that I use most for my food photography may not be as useful for wedding photography or street photography.

For this reason, you may want to have multiple workspaces set up for different applications, especially if you shoot in more than one genre.

You may want to have a workspace for black and white photography only, and another you use for color retouching. It’s up to you if you want to have multiple workspaces and how you organize them.

The important thing is that you arrange your workspace in a way that you’re best prepared for the type of retouching that you want to do. This will keep distractions to a minimum and make the process of retouching go faster.

Photoshop comes with some pre-configured workspaces, depending on what you use the program for. You’ll find these, as well as your various options to set your preferences, under the Window tab at the top of the Photoshop workspace. The panels that show up in your workspace are denoted with a checkmark. Click them on or off accordingly.

Choose the default Photography workspace as a base and customize it from there.

When setting up your workspace, I recommend always showing your Layers and Histogram panels to keep you on track while retouching. I also like to sometimes have my History and Actions visible.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Rename your workspace in a way that will help you quickly differentiate it from other workspaces, if you have them. I personally only use one workspace because I mostly shoot in one genre – food photography.

Creating a new workspace

To create a new photoshop workspace:

go to > Window
navigate to > Workspace
choose > New Workspace
Give your workspace a name
Hit >Save

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Toolbar and windows

The toolbar and various menus in the Photoshop workspace can be easily dragged to where you want them. In the default workspace, you can find the toolbar on the left-hand side. However, you can drag it to the right-hand side of your workspace, so you have all your tools and menus on one side. This can make the workspace cleaner and more effective because everything you need to access will be consolidated in one area, and your eyes won’t be bouncing around, looking for things.

Make sure that your most important windows are visible, and that you hide or collapse any that are unused, or rarely used.

Observe which windows and tools you use the most and make sure that they are prominent and easy to navigate to.

You can make your menus larger or smaller in relation to the rest of your workspace, depending on your preference. If you have a large screen, you might feel comfortable having several wide menus.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

In my Photoshop workspace, I want to see my Histogram and Navigator panels at the top, where I’m used to seeing them in my RAW editor.

Below that, I have my Adjustments and Actions, which I access regularly.

I also always have my Layers panel open so I can see them all and know exactly which one I’m working on.

You can minimize a given window and have it noted by an icon. For example, I have minimized my History panel to a small icon because I want it accessible in case I need to step back in my retouching process, but it’s not a panel that I constantly use, therefore I don’t need to expand it.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menusHistory panel denoted with an icon.

When you move your panels around, note that they will be saved as such in the organization of the current workspace. If you go to another workspace and then come back, all your panels will be found in their most recent arrangement.

Floating menus

Any of the individual panels can be moved onto the screen. They can be moved outside the Photoshop window, or even onto other monitors, if you use a double or multiple monitor set-up.

Some photographers like to work this way, while others find floating panels annoying and intrusive.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Docking panels

You can dock panels with other panels to create panel groups.

To do this, you hover the pointer of the mouse over the boundary of another panel. A blue outline will show you where the panel will be docked.

You can also dock several panels into columns, as I did with my History panel. Again, you probably want to do this with the panels that you need but use less often.

Conclusion

An organized workspace is one of the most important factors in working effectively in Photoshop. Arrange your tools and panels in a way that makes sense for you.

This might mean:

  • creating multiple workspaces with various preferences for different applications
  • consolidating your toolbar and panels on one side of the screen
  • hiding unused menus and collapsing those that are used less often
  • docking floating panels and tools together or using floating panels on another monitor
  • minimizing the number of panels in your workspace to avoid distractions

At the end of the day, your retouching process has to make sense for you. Hopefully these tips will help you declutter your Photoshop workspace for a faster and efficient retouching workflow.

If you have any other tips for decluttering your Photoshop workspace, let us know in the comments.

Finding the right tools when you need them in Photoshop often requires clicking through a myriad of menu options. Keyboard shortcuts are like worm holes that let you slip through those menus and options and get to what you need at the blink of an eye. In this video, Aaron Nace demonstrates how you can customize keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow:

Though Photoshop comes with a lot of default keyboard shortcuts, there are a lot of frequently used tools without them. Let’s take an example. The often used Gaussian blur has no Photoshop shortcut by default. To select Gaussian Blur you have to go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. That’s a three-click, time-consuming process.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Getting to the Gaussian Blur tool without a keyboard shortcut

Nace shows how to create a shortcut for the Gaussian Blur:

  1. Go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. This pops open the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus window.
  2. Expand the Application Menus option.
  3. Scroll down to Filter and then find Gaussian Blur on the list.
  4. Click to edit the shortcut.
  5. To edit the shortcut you have to actually press the keyboard shortcut that you want to use. In this case, the letter ‘G’ makes sense as the shortcut for Gaussian Blur.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

The new keyboard shortcut for Gaussian Blur on Nace’s copy of Photoshop

    1. Don’t forget to press either the Command / Control key or a Function key before the letter. Photoshop will prompt you in case the shortcut collides with an existing shortcut.
    2. Press Accept to set the keyboard shortcut. Now you have a keyboard shortcut to bring up the Gaussian blur tool without having to traverse through that myriad of menu options.

You can create keyboard shortcuts for not only what’s there in the Application Menus but also under the Panel Menus and Tools. So if you want to create a keyboard shortcut for a new brush preset you can do that using the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus option. But why keep it at just that? You can change around the keyboard shortcuts to override what’s been set by default and use your own shortcuts, something which makes more sense when editing your images.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Keyboard shortcut download

Let’s say that you want to download a list of all the possible keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop. Yup, that’s possible too. Photoshop can generate that list for you. While in the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus option go to Summarize. When you do that Photoshop will give you the option to Save the keyboard shortcuts as an *.htm file. Hit Command / Control P to print it out or save that as a browser shortcut. Voila! Now you have a ready reference for all the current keyboard shortcuts on your version of Photoshop.

Let us know about your Photoshop customization in the comments section below!

April 23, 2016. Posted in: Tip Of The Day.

You can assign an F key or “Function key” keyboard shortcut for any action.

To do so, select your action from the Actions Panel, then double click on the space next to the action name to bring up the Actions Options. Then select the F key that you would like to use from the Function Key drop down menu.

You can also add the Shift key or Ctrl (Mac: Command) Key to the shortcut by clicking on the corresponding check boxes.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

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How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Flipping your canvas is an important part of many digital artists’ and designer’s workflow. It allows you to see with fresh eyes the image you’re working on without spending valuable time elsewhere. It lets you notice compositional imbalances that may have otherwise slipped through your naturally lopsided human perception. It lets you compare quickly alternative versions of the same image. Traditional painters use mirrors. In programs like Krita or Procreate it’s as easy as pressing M or dragging to the left via gesture controls. Surprisingly, however, Photoshop doesn’t make it so easy.

Luckily, we’re here to help.

  • How Flip Layer in Photoshop
    • Flip Layer Keyboard Shortcut in Photoshop
    • How to Flip Canvas in Photoshop
    • Flip Canvas Shortcut in Photoshop

How Flip Layer in Photoshop

  • How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus
  • How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

The default way to flip a layer is to go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal (or Flip Horizontal). It’s important to note that this will, as the name suggests, flip only the layer that is currently selected.

In order to flip multiple layers, selecting multiple layers using right-click + ctrl/shift and using the same Flip edit will apply the transformation to all layers selected. However, if you’re looking to flip the entire canvas and everything on it, scroll down to How to Flip Canvas.

Flip Layer Keyboard Shortcut in Photoshop

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

To set a Flip Layer shortcut in Photoshop, your first option is to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and then select the Application Menus shortcut from the dropdown at the top of the panel. Inside the same panel, open up Edit, find Transform, and click on Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical — whichever one is more important to you — and select the textbox to input your desired shortcut. Note that you will have to add a modifier like alt/cmd or a function key to the shortcut — single-letter keyboard shortcuts can only be applied to tools. For example, if you’re playing

How to Flip Canvas in Photoshop

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Similar to Flipping Layers, there is no default shortcut to flip all layers in Photoshop; to flip the canvas in Photoshop, you have to go to Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Horizontal/Flip Canvas Vertical. This works well enough for photo editing or for those who use it infrequently, but for many artists, illustrators and many designers, flipping the entire image is a regular and important part of their workflow — and flicking through menu panels every couple of minutes isn’t a great way to maintain a creative flow state.

Flip Canvas Shortcut in Photoshop

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Similar to the Flip Transformation, the Flip Canvas action doesn’t come with a default shortcut and needs to be set manually by going to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, selecting Application Menus in the dropdown menu, and moving down to the Images section within the panel. Click on Flip Image Horizontal or Flip image Vertical, depending on the one you want to set, and insert your desired shortcut in the input box.

Like any other Application Menu shortcut, you’ll need to add a modifier like cmd/alt or an F-key rather than one of the keyboard shortcuts reserved for tools.

And that’s pretty much all you need to know about flipping layers and canvases in Photoshop. Feel free to shoot any other questions you have at us in the comments below — we’d love to help!

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Will Heydecker is a writer, screenwriter and illustrator who still likes dragons. As part of his bitter war against adulthood, he likes to distill art, gaming, technology, and entertainment info into digestible topics people actually enjoy reading.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

The Adjustments Panel:

This is the simplest panel in Photoshop and the easiest way to add an Adjustment Layer. Just press the icon for the desired adjustment and 2 things happen:

1. The Adjustment Layer shows up in the Layers Panel.

2. The properties and controls for that adjustment show up in the Properties Panel.

Two of the icons for the adjustments you should be using the most, Levels and Hue-Saturation, are shown in the diagram. If you want to know what the others are, hover your mouse over the icon, and the “tool tip” balloon will tell you what it is.

Tip: For more on setting up your Photoshop Workspace with Panels, visit Setting Up a Photoshop Workspace with Panels.

Tip:

For more on why you should be working in Adjustment Layers, visit Photoshop CS6 / CC: The Levels Adjustment Layer – Part 1.


The Properties Panel:

The Properties Panel has two “Views”, both tied to the active Adjustment Layer on your Layers Panel:

1. The Adjustment Properties View

2. The Mask Properties View

Two ways to switch…

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

There are two ways to switch between the Views:

1. Click on the appropriate Icon in the Properties Panel

2. Click on Adjustment Icon or Layer Mask Thumbnail in your Adjustment Layer (in your Layers Panel)

An explanation of some of the functions in the Adjustment Properties View:

Toggle Layer Visibility – This shows and hides the visibility of the layer – when this is toggled, the Layer Visibility button in your Adjustment Layer (in your Layers Panel) will show the same results.

Reset to Default – This returns the adjustment to its default settings.

Delete Layer- This discards the current layer in your Adjustment Layer.

Clip to Layer – Most of the time, it’s best to leave this one alone. Otherwise, click it to affect only the layers below it in the Adjustment Panel.

Previous State – Click to view the previous state (one step back) of your adjustment.

An explanation of some of the functions in the Mask Properties View.

By the way, these will make more sense once you start creating and “shaping” Layer Masks. To learn more about Layer Masks visit this series: The Power of Layer Masks in Photoshop: Part 1:

Mask Density This is just an Opacity slider: If you’d like to adjust the opacity of your Mask, here’s an easy way to accomplish it, although I personally don’t use it very often.

Mask Edge This is a shortcut to the “Refine Mask” tool – – to be discussed in the future.

Color Range This is a shortcut to the “Color Range” tool. See “Photoshop Help” for more on this interesting Selection Tool.

Feather Edge This is a non-destructive way to feather and soften the edge of your Mask.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Invert Selection This simply inverts your selection.

Delete Mask This deletes your current Layer Mask.

Disable/Enable Mask This disables your Mask, which is good for ‘before and after” scenarios.

Load Selection from Mask This reloads your selection, allowing you to use another adjustment or tool with the same selection.

by John Watts, Watts Digital Imaging
All text & photos / screen shots: © 2014 John Watts, Watts Digital Imaging. All rights reserved.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to hide all the panels at once in Photoshop? With all your toolbars, panels, and settings options, there’s a lot of stuff in the way. With so much going on, the default Photoshop workspace might give hardcore minimalists heart palpitations. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to toggle between different full screen modes in Photoshop to get a better view of your image.

The great thing about Photoshop’s full screen modes is that you still have the option to edit your image. No matter what view you’re using, it’s still possible to access your layers, toolbar, and other essential settings to edit your project. Let’s get started!

How To Toggle Full Screen In Photoshop With A Shortcut

To access the full screen in Photoshop, you don’t need to go through the process manually. All you need to do is press F to toggle between the three main full screen options.

The three types of screens you can toggle between with this shortcut are:

– Standard Screen Mode

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

This is the default view you are likely using right now. In this screen mode, everything is visible at once.

– Full Screen Mode With Menu Bar

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

This screen mode gives you a more minimalist look by taking out the project window and creating floating panels. Rather than seeing extra areas you don’t need, such as project tabs, you can focus on what matters. This is a preferred view by many who favor a cleaner Photoshop interface.

– Full Screen Mode

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Full screen mode takes it one step further by getting rid of all your adjustment panels. All you see is your image, creating a distraction-free workspace!

You can still access most of your adjustment panels by moving your mouse to the left or right of your screen.

The right side will bring up your layers panel, while the left will reveal the toolbar.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menusHow to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menusHow to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

These panels will only be visible while your cursor is hovering over them; otherwise, they disappear.

How To Exit Full Screen Mode In Photoshop

If you find yourself in full screen mode and want to go back, you can continue pressing the F key to toggle screen modes.

Alternatively, you can press the ESC key to switch back to the standard screen mode.

How To Manually Switch Between Photoshop’s Full Screen Options

Although keyboard shortcuts are much faster, it’s still nice to know how to do the process manually. To switch between full screen modes in Photoshop, you’ll need to look to the bottom of your toolbar.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

At the very bottom of the toolbar is screen mode options. Click and hold on this icon and select the screen mode you want to use.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

When you use the keyboard shortcut (F), you are simply switching between each of the screen mores you see here.

How To Show And Hide Panels In Any Screen Mode

Regardless of what screen mode you’re using, you can show and hide different panels to further refine your workspace.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Before hiding panels

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Using the Tab key to hide all panels

To hide all the adjustment panels and toolbar, just press the Tab key. This hides everything to offer a better view of your image. To show your panels again, just press the Tab key once again.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Before hiding panels

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Using Shift + Tab to hide only the adjustment panels

If you want to just hide your adjustment panels but keep your toolbar, hold Shift + Tab. This will hide all your layers and other adjustment panels, giving you a more open workspace. To reopen these panels, press Shift + Tab again to toggle their visibility.

How To Fit Your Image To The Screen

When you’re more zoomed out of an image, it will be hard to see all the details in any screen mode. Rather than zooming in to a better size, there’s another simple shortcut to fit your image to the screen.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Just press Command + 0 (Mac) or Control + 0 (PC) to fit your image to the screen. The exact size of this will change depending on what screen mode you’re using.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Image fit to screen. The result will change depending on your screen mode.

If you prefer to do it manually, just go up to View > Fit On Screen.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Conclusion

Using the different full screen modes in Photoshop can help you to get a better view of your image as you work. Rather than dealing with heaps of distracting panels, you can keep things simple with a distraction-free interface. What screen mode do you prefer to work with?

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How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

Photoshop is an incredibly flexible program. To keep the interface flexible, Photoshop uses “Panels” for each tool or feature.

For example, here’s how I have Photoshop set up. Everything on the right hand side is a different Panel. There are a couple of near-universal panels that you will need to use every time you use Photoshop, like the Layers panel. In every one of my Photoshop tutorials for How-To Geek, like how to add falling snow to your photos, I’ve told you to do something with it. But what happens if you can’t find it?

Since Photoshop’s interface is so customizable, it’s very easy to accidentally close or misplace an important panel like the Layers Panel. If you can’t see it, all you have to do is go to the Window menu. All the panels that you currently have on display are marked with a tick. To reveal the Layers Panel, click Layers.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

And just like that, the Layers Panel will appear, ready for you to use it.

How to customize photoshop’s panels shortcuts and menus

It’s the exact same with any other Panel in Photoshop. If you’re ever following a tutorial and you’re told to go to the Channels Panel or Path Panel, if you don’t know where it is, just open the Window menu and select it.