Whether you’re painting or masking with the Brush tool, one thing holds true: You often need to zoom way in for precision pixel control, but then zoom back out to get a big-picture preview. But switching between the Brush and Zoom tools so frequently will disrupt your painting groove. Not to worry. You can swap tools and remain efficient with a simple keyboard combination.
First, you need to enable Scrubby Zoom: Choose the Zoom tool and select Scrubby Zoom on the Tool Options bar. Now, select the Brush tool and get painting. To zoom in while using the Brush tool, press and hold [command][Space Bar] ([Ctrl][Space Bar] in Windows) to temporarily switch to the Zoom tool. Drag to the right to zoom in or to the left to zoom out. Release the keys to resume using the Brush tool.
If you’ve ever needed to apply the same adjustment layer to multiple images, you may have gotten frustrated opening each one, adding the adjustment layer(s) and configuring the settings. For example, maybe you have a batch of images all shot under the same lighting that need the same Exposure adjustment. You don’t have to configure each one individually, because there’s a more clever way to accomplish this: Drag the adjustment layer from one image to another to copy it. Open the first image, add an adjustment layer, and configure the settings. Next, open a second image and arrange the two image windows side by side. Then, with the original image active, click the adjustment layer from the layers panel, and drag and drop it on the second open image. Repeat for each image to which you want to apply the adjustment!
Image editing with multiple layers presents some navigational challenges. Sometimes you select the wrong layer, or sometimes you simply want to cycle through the layers panel selecting different layers. It’s easy to select different layers with the keyboard instead of the mouse, saving yourself some time and aggravation. First, see what layer you have selected in the Layers panel. To select the layer above, press [option][ ] ]([Alt][ ] ] in Windows). To select the layer below, press [option][ [ ]([Alt][ [ ] in Windows). For either direction, if you continue pressing the bracket key while holding the modifier, Photoshop will cycle through the layers.
Select the Dodge or Burn tool from the Tools panel. Press [ [ ] to decrease the brush size, and press [ ] ] to increase the brush size.
To edit the Exposure, you don’t need to highlight the text field on the tool Options bar, simply enter a value on the keyboard from 0-100. For a value of 1-9 percent, enter values as two digits, such as “02” for 2 percent.
To select which range you wish to target, press [shift][option]S ([Shift][Alt]S in Windows) to select Shadows, press [shift][option]M ([Shift][Alt]M in Windows) to choose Midtones, or press [shift][option]H ([Shift][Alt]H in Windows) to select Highlights.