10 Part Series: How to Increase Your Productivity as a Designer — Tip # 3: Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
In the Adobe Suite alone, there are a multitude of keyboard shortcuts that can help improve your workflow considerably. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been completely frustrated with repeatedly finding drop-down menus, selecting tools, and transforming shapes before I finally look up the keyboard command. Funny, the more keyboard commands I know, the less time I spend selecting, clicking, dragging, and transforming objects in programs, the faster the workflow, and the less frustrated I become.
While it may sound a bit beyond nerdy to know every keyboard command in the book, I can’t stress enough that the more you know, the better. The first step is learning how to find these keyboard commands. Knowing how to find a keyboard command to an action that you repeatedly execute will first of all make the program much more intuitive and quick to learn.
Almost all menu items that reside on the top drop-down have the keyboard shortcut listed alongside them. For example, if you were to select the ‘file’ drop-down, you would see that alongside the ‘save’ command, there is the command symbol followed by an ‘S.’ Additionally, every menu item has a keyboard command next to it. In the Adobe Suite, you will find that if you hover the curser over an item, a keyboard command will appear. Using these keyboard commands makes it faster to select tools, save, undo, redo, and perform virtually any task.
In addition to finding existing keyboard commands, it is possible to create new commands for anything that doesn’t have an existing keyboard command. For example, it is easily possible to create a keyboard command for a Photoshop action that you have created, saving even more time!
Below are resources to both Mac OS-x and Windows shortcuts, as well as Adobe Suite shortcuts:
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