May 12, 2015

The Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts of 7 Successful Creatives

 

Keyboard shortcuts can change your life... or at least save you a few precious seconds of it on your next project. Shortcuts help you work more seamlessly and efficiently, whether you're designing a rad album cover in Illustrator or balancing a sensible budget in Excel.

A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys that, when pressed simultaneously, perform some task that ordinarily requires use of a mouse or other input device*. Regardless of your background, you're most likely familiar with the basics: Undo, Copy, Paste, and Control-Alt-Delete. But you may not know that there are hundreds of fancy shortcuts out there that can save you valuable time and energy.

I've found that every artist, designer, and creative has their own unique tricks of the trade and go-to shortcuts. In the interest of uncovering some of these priceless productivity gems, I've asked designers, artists and creatives to share their favorite keyboard shortcuts with us! (Keep in mind, most shortcuts are interchangeable for Mac and PC, just swap ⌘ and Ctrl.)



Kathleen Shannon | Braid Creative

creative branding & blogging goddess
⌘Z - forever and always. I also love shift+⌘+ [ and ] for moving objects above and below each other in InDesign.


Ciera Holzenthal | Ciera Design

graphic designer & meet up maven
I love being able to quickly navigate around the screen, so my favorite keyboard shortcuts are for zooming in and out, ⌘+/- and ⌘0 for “Fit page in window” for when I need a quick view of the full design.



Robert Cornelius | Robert Cornelius Photography

photographer & photoshop powerhouse
In Photoshop: I use ⌘J alllll the time to duplicate my layers. I’m constantly trying something crazy and if I just duplicate my layer before I try it, then I can always delete that layer if I don’t like it, or maybe turn down the opacity a bit. Also ⌘E to merge a layer down to the one below it.



Jamie Starcevich | Spruce Rd. Design

graphic designer & branding buff
Spacebar is the easiest way to navigate to different areas of your artboard! Before using this, I used the navigator tool... which I am not sure they even still have that! I never use it anymore, clearly. I use the guides in illustrator like nobody's business! ⌘; toggles the guides on and off. “V” is probably my most used shortcut! This toggles to the selection tool, and basically just off of whatever previous tool you had selected (shape, transform, etc.)



Sara Cornelius | Cake Over Steak


illustrator & fantastic food blogger
For Photoshop, I love being able to use the brackets [ and ] to change brush size, and you can swap between your foreground and background colors (if you're using a brush tool or whatever) with "x" - knowing shortcuts like these for the Adobe programs is a game-changer in your workflow and speed.



Sarah Moore | Smoorelovin

interactive designer & playlist perfectionist
option + ← or →  = single letter kerning is definitely my favorite, such a HUGE time saver. It allows me to put as much care into letter setting as possible with a little more control.



Chrystina Cappello | Christina Noel

greeting card crafter & bringer-together of bloggers
I don't usually have a mouse attached to my laptop, so I spend most of the day using keyboard shortcuts. Some of my favorites are Ctrl-E to center in Microsoft Word, Ctrl-> and Ctrl-< to make fonts bigger and smaller in Microsoft Word, Ctrl-T to open a new tab in Chrome, Alt-tab to switch between programs, and Ctrl-Z to undo.



BONUS - Me! | brigette i design

graphic designer & hotkey hoarder
For the Mac operating system - if you hit ⌘-spacebar it brings up a “spotlight” search bar in the right hand corner. Start typing and you can open any application or file from there instead of manually going through folders.


Thank you to all of the amazing creatives who shared their keyboard shortcut expertise with us - now go forth and use their gifts of knowledge!

Do you have any must-know shortcuts, or just a favorite? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for a visual reminder to use your hotkeys, check out my "Know Your Hotkeys" series of printables and prints in my etsy shop.


16 responses , join in!

16 comments:

  1. Great post, Brigette! Design-wise, I LOVE the way you put this together. ha! Of course I would love that. But these are all great tips, and I'm using a lot of them already. It's crazy how often I use them .. but they are SO NECESSARY. Great roundup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Sara - and thanks for contributing! It really does make a big difference, especially when they become second nature!

      Delete
  2. love love love love this post!! I don't remember when I started using keyboard shortcuts but I know I've probably saved days of my life dragging the poor mouse around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katie! It's true - all those little moments saved certainly add up over time!

      Delete
  3. This post turned out AWESOME. Love the group of bloggers you came up with here too. And my titles, thank you so much for my titles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chrystina! I'm glad you like it - thanks so much for contributing! :)

      Delete
  4. This is brilliant and it's great to see so many others using mac products too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Erin! Agreed - I could never go back to PC, especially for my design programs.

      Delete
  5. I should definitely use more keyboard shortcuts. All I really use is ctrl+c and ctrl+v, but those seem to be the newbiest newbie ones. It's time to up my shortcut game.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a fun post, great job Brigette! With all my Photoshop work, mine is definitely ⌘-S to save. Having accidentally lost work a few times, I do it reflexively when I pause at almost any computer task, even accidentally when I'm writing blog comments lol I've actually un-bound that key in most programs because it causes error message issues if I don't ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for checking it out Kyla! :) I'd definitely say it's better to ⌘-S too much than not often enough - losing unsaved work is the worst feeling!

      Delete
  7. Love this! Some great shortcuts listed here :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I bookmarked this so I can come back to the new shortcuts I've learned. Thank you so much for posting this!

    I'm compulsive with the ctrl+s combo, and I'm a huge fan of ctrl+z. When I'm working with a large data file in excel, I love using ctrl+directional button to navigate to the beginnng or end of a line. If you need to highlight a large chunk of data, ctrl+shift+direction is a lifesaver!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it Sarah! Being compulsive with saving work is always a good idea. Thanks for sharing the Excel ones, those are great to know!

      Delete
  9. Nice and useful blog and very informative article about keyboard shortcuts of 7 successful creatives. I will surely stay tuned
    App Development company | web design and development company

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Cado, I'm glad you found it helpful!

      Delete

 
original template by Main-Blogger - Blogger Template
;