Mac Users: A Note on Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts

This page may contain links from our sponsors. Here’s how we make money.

[OS X 10.5] While having a Volume, Brightness, Pause/Play buttons integrated into my keyboard may be convenient, it really drives me crazy that my function keys don't, well…function as I want them to in Photoshop. (or illustrator, etc.) I want to show you a way that I managed to get around this while keeping the functionality of the media buttons at the same time.

Keyboard & Mouse

It may become troublesome for you to manage all the keys at a single instance, therefore, doing little customization will help you perform all the functions properly without getting confused. Here is a little and important tip for the Mac users that will help you people get the advantage of both the function and specialty keys because both are of utmost importance. In order to customize all the keys for performing different functions in Photoshop and illustrator, you have to follow this simple tip. This tip is especially for designers who are habitual to using the keyboard instead of the cursor. If you have doubts regarding settings of any specific hardware or software, you must check its related settings so that you can customize its settings for your own ease. Before starting your work on Photoshop as a designer, you must be aware of all the keys and controls. Some of the keyboard controls for Photoshop are so complex that you will suffer from confusion at the beginner level. These keys and controls have been designed so that the designer has full control on all the functions and he can exhibit his productivity fully. This tutorial is a perfect guide for all the available keyboard shortcuts and the way you can customize those shortcuts so that you can achieve full control.

1. Reclaim your function keys!

Like in the screenshot above, go to your System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard. Now, directly below the 2 sliders, check the box that says “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.”

Now your keys will act normally in Photoshop (and everything else). For example, Shift + F5 will do a fill instead of turning up your volume! (Mac Book)

2. Regain the functionality of the specialty keys.

Specialty keys:

These are the keys customized for specific tasks and purposes. You can create a specialty key for almost any purpose thus you do not have to navigate deep down into different menus. You can just hit your specialized specialty key and get the task done. These specialty keys save a lot of time for the experienced designers and the productivity is also enhanced due to these keys. You may consider aligning specialty keys with your specified task. Some of the specialty keys work in alignment with the cursor. You must learn standard specialty keys as they will are set for all types of tasks and projects. Some of these keys perform different functions at the same time. These keyboard shortcuts have been created for the enhanced user experience and better interaction of users with the application. These keyboard shortcuts are designed so as to make your ideas more applicable and let your ideas be cast without any control barrier. These keyboard shortcuts are useful when you aim to do long projects in quick time lapse. They are to simplify the whole process and help you in multi-tasking while performing a lot of different functions altogether in Illustrator. Many users are unaware of the importance of these keyboard shortcuts. As a designer, you should be in full control of all the tools and features. This is only possible if you are fully aware of all the keyboard shortcuts. It is all about being in full control of the application that you are using. You should also learn to place your hands at proper keyboard buttons thus making yourself aware of all the possible features and outcomes. Many users hesitate in using the new keyboard shortcuts and applying their ideas. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts in your own way helps you in applying your ideas and reversing the whole process in a quick manner.

You can still use your specialty keys, but you have to hold the “Fn” (function) key to enable them. The function key is the bottom left key on a Mac book keyboard.

… as well as the wireless keyboard:

On the regular keyboards, the function key in up by the delete key:

Now, given the location of the key on the regular keyboards, this will likely require two hands in many cases. Which of the specialty key do you use the most? Have you ever used Adobe keyboard shortcuts in your work? Therefore, this little workaround might be much more convenient for laptop users, but as I like to say, It's nice to know your options. Happy Keyboarding 🙂