Hot Keys and keyboard shortcuts help you design faster and more efficiently. They make your life better and might also help you live longer. Here’s a list of 33 keyboard shortcuts to improve your workflow.

Cover image via mirtmirt

We already covered some basic shortcuts for the budding designer. These include the need-to-know keys that will help you design smarter from the every beginning. In this keyboard shortcut list, we’ll share more advanced goodies for your enjoyment.

Keyboard Shortcuts for All Adobe Design Programs

1. Save For Web

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Save for Web Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + Shift + S

Open the Save For Web window to save a file as any web-based file type. You’ll get sizing and quality options right there, so you don’t have to change the original. It looks complicated but you’ll have the pinky + middle + thumb + index combo down in no time.

2. Show and Hide Guides

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Show and Hide Guides Shortcut

Windows: Control + ; (semicolon)

Toggle show/hide guides in Adobe design programs. It’s handy for getting a look at things with all the guidelines you built to align things.


Keyboard Shortcuts for InDesign

3. Import an Image into a Content Box

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Import Image into Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + D

Build your grid, then import an image to a layout with pre-determined content boxes. Select the box, hit Command + D to import the image into that box at 100%. Then use the following shortcuts.

Image Fitting in Content Box

4. Fill Frame Proportionally

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Fill Frame Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + Shift + C

Centers the image and enlarges it to the largest dimension, retaining the image’s proportions.

5. Fit Content Proportionally

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Fit Content Proportionally in Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + Shift + E

This does the opposite and shrinks the image to the smallest proportional dimension

6. Fit Frame to Content

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Fit Frame to Content in Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + C

Makes the content box the exact size of the image.

7. Fit Content to Frame

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Fit Content to Frame in Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + E

Distorts the image to fit the exact size of the box, i.e. squishes and stretches it to fit.

8. Center Content

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Center Content in Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + E

Centers content in the box.

9. Paste Without Formatting

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Paste Without Formatting in Content Box InDesign Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + V

To paste raw text InDesign or web text copied from a formatted page.


Keyboard Shortcuts for Illustrator

10. Duplicate Action/Repeat Copy

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Duplicate Action/Repeat Copy Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + D

Repeats the last action. For instance, if you copy a vector shape and paste it .5″ to the right, hit Command + D to paste a copy of the same shape again .5″ to the right of that shape. Indispensable for creating patterns or graphs.

Lock/Unlock Objects and Paths in Illustrator

11. Lock selected objects 

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Lock Selected Objects Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + 2

12. Unlock locked objects 

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Unlock Locked Objects Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + 2

Hide/Unhide Objects and Paths in Illustrator

13. Hide selected objects 

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Hide Selected Objects Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + 3

14. Reveal hidden objects 

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Reveal Selected Objects Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + 3

Special Paste

15. Paste in Place

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Paste in Place Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + V

Paste the object in the same place on the canvas or artboard, exactly over the place it was copied.

16. Paste in Front of Current Object

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Paste in Front of Current Object Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + F

17. Paste Behind Current Object

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Paste Behind Current Object Illustrator Shortcut

Windows: Control + B


Keyboard Shortcuts for Photoshop

18. Paste Within a Selection or Mask

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Paste Within a Selection or Mask Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + Option + V

Paste an image into a live selection, creating a mask.

Undo and Redo More Than Once

You already know Command + Z as the life-savingest keyboard shortcut ever, but did you know by adding Option or Shift key to that combo you can go back more than once (depending on history states allowed) in Photoshop? Boom. Knowledge.

19. Undo More Than Once

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Undo More Than Once Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Alt + Z

20. Redo More Than Once

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Redo More Than Once Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + Z

Brush Settings

21. Decrease Brush Size

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Decrease Brush Size Photoshop Shortcut

22. Increase Brush Size

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Increase Brush Size Photoshop Shortcut

23. Decrease Brush Hardness by 25%

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Decrease Brush Hardness Photoshop Shortcut

24. Increase Brush Hardness by 25%

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Increase Brush Hardness Photoshop Shortcut

25. Brush Opacity

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Brush Opacity Photoshop Shortcut

With the brush tool selected, hit a number on the keyboard and the brush’s opacity will change to that x10. For instance, hit 5 and opacity will change to 50%. Hit 1 for 10%, and 0 for 100%. Additionally, for getting super precise, hit two numbers quickly to change to that exact opacity, i.e. 47%.

Layers

26. New Layer

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Create New Layer Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + N

27. Duplicate Current Layer or Selection

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Duplicate Current Layer Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + J

28. Move Layer Up 

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Move Layer Up Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + ]

29. Move Layer Down 

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Move Layer Down Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + [

30. Move Layer to Top

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Move Layer To Top Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + ]

31. Move Layer to Bottom

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Move Layer To Bottom Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + [

32. Reselect Previous Selection

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Reselect Previous Selection Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + D

33. Select the Inverse of the Current Selection

33 Must-Know Keyboard Shortcuts for Designers – Select the Inverse of the Current Selection Photoshop Shortcut

Windows: Control + Shift + I

This means if you have an object selected, hitting this combo will select everything but that object instead.


Pair your freshly learned keyboard shortcuts with some of our design tutorials and tips: