A new, interactive tool showcases (pretty much) every keyboard shortcut available for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign; you don’t even have to leave your web-browser.
If you’re familiar with the Adobe suite of applications, you’ll probably know that each one (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) is packed with hundreds of useful, yet difficult-to-access, keyboard shortcuts.
No matter what task you’re trying to undertake, you can bet that there’s a keyboard shortcut for it built right into the application.
The problem: these shortcuts aren’t that easy to find.
In fact, the process of finding a keyboard shortcut for any particular command usually involves going to the Adobe website, finding the documentation for the particular application you’re working in, and then sifting through a lengthy and poorly organised document, searching for that particular shortcut.
A process that could, in some cases, take quite a while.
Luckily, we’ve discovered a new tool that makes this process a whole lot simpler and more intuitive.
The Adobe Shortcut Visualization Tool: An Introduction
The Adobe Shortcut Mapper/Visualizer tool is an interactive, browser-based tool that allows you to find pretty much any keyboard shortcut for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. It was developed by FastPrint, a UK-based printing company.
Unlike Adobes own documentation, the shortcut visualizer tool offers a much more intuitive way to browse for shortcuts. You don’t have to sift through a boring documentation file; instead, you simply look for the shortcut(s) on an on-screen keyboard.
Here’s how the tool works:
1. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
First things first, you need to tell the visualizer what application you’re working in (and thus, the application you wish to see shortcuts for).
To do this, simply select the application from the drop-down box (shown above).
Currently, there are three applications to choose from: Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
Note: Upon selection, the entire colour scheme of the tool should change (the colour scheme should resemble the colour scheme of the chosen application itself – e.g. orange, blue, or pink).
2. Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux
If you’ve ever used both a Mac and PC, you’ll already know that there are small differences in the keyboard layout between each device.
You might also know that on a Mac, the CMD key is typically used in place of the CTRL key.
Because of this, it’s important to tell the shortcut visualization tool exactly which operating system you’re currently using, as doing so will ensure that you don’t run into that pesky CMD/CTRL issue.
Again, this is done via selecting your OS from the drop-down menu (shown above).
3. Get Modifying
With hundreds of keyboard shortcuts mapped to each Adobe application, it’s impossible to view all of the shortcuts at once (there’s only so many keys on a keyboard, right?).
To combat this issue, the tool splits the keyboard shortcuts up based on the modifier keys they use.
What are modifier keys? CTRL, CMD, Shift, and Alt.
By toggling any combination of these keys on the on-screen keyboard, you can view the shortcuts that correspond to that combination.
Simply click any of the modifier keys to select them (and click again to de-select).
4. Magnify Those Shortcuts
By this stage, you might have noticed a small issue with the keyboard shortcut mapper: the text on the on-screen keys is quite small and difficult to read!
While this may not be a problem for the more visually gifted users, it can be a problem for anyone with less than 20/20 vision (or perhaps those with a low resolution computer monitor).
Not to worry though, the application has your back!
Simply rollover any key with your cursor and you’ll see the text on the key replicated in large type below the on-screen keyboard. Perfect.
With hundreds of keyboard shortcuts mapped by the tool, it might take a while to find a particular shortcut simply by perusing the various options.
So, if you have a keyboard shortcut in mind, why not use the search function?
You’ll see this located just below the keyboard. You just have to start typing to start searching.
As you type, the tool will automatically suggest the shortcuts it thinks you’re looking for. The more you type, the better the suggestions will get.
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign Wallpapers [BONUS DOWNLOAD]
The interactive nature of the browser-based keyboard shortcut visualizer works perfectly if: a) you’re looking for a particular shortcut; and b) if you have an Internet connection.
If, on the other hand, you happen to be without a connection, or if you simply want to view a few of the most commonly used shortcuts as a reminder, the interactive nature of the tool might not be so useful.
For this, we recommend downloading one of the beautifully designed desktop wallpapers (also from FastPrint).
Not only are these wallpapers exceptionally minimalistic and stunningly well designed, but also they’re also available in a tonne of different variations.
You can download them for Mac or PC (meaning they combat the CMD/CTRL issue), as well as for a total of ten different screen resolutions.