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Mac Users: A Note on Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts

[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 like 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.

Mac Users: A Note on Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts

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 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 specially for designers who are habitual to using keyboard instead of 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.

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! (MacBook)

2. Regain the functionality of the specialty keys.

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 Macbook keyboard.

Mac Users: A Note on Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts

… as well as the wireless keyboard:

Mac Users: A Note on Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts

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

Mac Users: A Note on Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts

Now, given the location of the key on the regular keyboards, this will likely require two hands in many cases. 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 🙂

I'm the editor-in-chief of I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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