If you find yourself using a certain command time and time again, you probably should create a keyboard shortcut for that command, if one doesn’t already exist. Personally, I find myself returning to both the sharpen and blur filters almost every time I use Adobe Photoshop. Currently, there aren’t any keyboard shortcuts for these filters, so it would likely be in my best interest to make some. Doing so sure would save a lot of time.
In today’s post, I’d like to walk through the process of creating a keyboard shortcut in Photoshop. I’ll use a random photo in this post and will show you each step necessary to create the shortcut. As I mentioned above, I use the sharpen and blur filters often, so I’ll just choose one of those to work with. The process is fast and painless, so this shouldn’t take too long.
The Demo Photo
Not that it matters because I won’t be doing anything to it, but here’s the photo I’ll be using in this post. It’s of a few bubbles on top of a liquid. Simple enough.
The Current Situation
First, let’s make sure that no shortcuts already exist for the Smart Blur filter. I wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of doing all this if I don’t have to. To confirm its absence, I’ll head up to the Filter > Blur > Smart Blur menu item and simply hover over it.
Okay, it appears that there is no current keyboard shortcut applied to this filter. If there were, it would appear to the right of the menu item, as they are in the above filters such as Liquify and Vanishing Point, among others.
Creating the Keyboard Shortcut
To create the keyboard shortcut, I’ll head up to the Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts menu item.
I’ll click on that and then inside the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus panel that appears, I’ll add a new set.
Creating New Keyboard Shortcut Sets
When altering the existing set of keyboard shortcuts, it’s important to create a new set altogether. Doing this helps with organization and its keeps any changes you make separate from and default shortcut set.
To create a new set, I’ll click on the New Set button.
When I do this, the proper folder will automatically pop up, where I’ll have the ability to name the new set. In this case, I’ll call mine Custom. Notice how I kept the .kys file extension intact. I’m not sure if this is necessary, but I decided to keep it there because it was already like this when the folder opened.
When I’m finished with that, I’ll click on the Save button down in the lower right corner of this window and the new set option will appear in the Set drop-down. If I click the drop-down, I’ll notice that I have Photoshop Defaults and Custom. Perfect. I’ll choose Custom and continue on.
Choosing Which Shortcuts to Add or Edit
The next area I need to pay close attention is the Shortcuts For drop-down. As you probably already know, Photoshop is full of shortcuts and all those shortcuts can be broken down and divided into sections, The sections include Application Menus, Panel Menus and Tools.
Tools are the actual tools in the toolbars. For instance, if I wanted to use a Lasso Tool in the left vertical toolbar, I can use the keyboard shortcut of L.
Panel Menus are situated inside the panels. The menus are usually in the upper right corner of the panel and are indicated by four or so horizontal lines. Clicking on any one of these menus will offer many different options, some of which have keyboard shortcuts associated with them.
Finally, Application Menus are what I’m interested in today. These are the menus up at the top of the applications, such as those in the File menu, Edit menu and so forth. Since I’ll be working inside of the Filter menu, this is the option I’ll select.
Adding the New Shortcut
Okay, the time has come to add the new shortcut. To locate the one I’m interested in, I’ll need to do some clicking around in the large box that holds all the menu items. I’ll first click the small arrow that sits to the left of Filter and then I’ll scroll down a bit. When I locate Smart Blur, I’ll stop looking. That’s the one I want to edit.
If I click on the words Smart Blur, I’ll notice an editable field appear. It’s there I need to type in the keyboard shortcut that I’d like to add. The issue is, many shortcut combinations have already been used by other areas of Photoshop. I’m either going to have to get lucky and choose something that’s not already in use or overwrite something I don’t use all that often, which is completely doable. For now, I’ll choose Alt+F12 as the new shortcut. That hasn’t been used in Photoshop yet. I’ll just type that right into the waiting field.
And finally, I’ll click the Accept button to the right to apply my changes and then the OK button to close out of the window.
Verifying the Creation of the Shortcut
To verify that my new shortcut has actually been created, I’ll take a look at that menu item. I’ll click on Filter > Blur > Smart Blur and look to see if anything has been added to the right of Smart Blur.
It has. That’s good. As one final step, I’ll press Alt+F12 on my keyboard to make sure everything works and the Smart Blur panel opens. And, it does. That’s great.
I hope I clearly explained how to create a new keyboard shortcut in Adobe Photoshop. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!