Michele Obama once said, “you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules. Success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” While Michele is one of my idols and I do believe she is correct… there is one glaring exception- keyboard shortcuts!

By taking the time to learn keyboard shortcuts and committing them to your daily routine, you’ll be able to zip through your work faster, and use your mouse less – a win-win. Read on for the shortcuts I use every day that help me save time and be my best work self.

The Basics

Mac: Command + S PC: Control + S

This may be one of the most well-known shortcuts in the game, and I cannot emphasize how important it truly is. When working in a document, I use this shortcut about every 3-4 minutes to ensure that my work is being saved. It’s less of a conscious act and more of an instinctual reaction at this point.

Mac: Command + K PC: Control + K

In my job, I do a lot of hyperlinking. Whether it’s sending a Dropbox link to a client or mentioning a website in a blog, much of my time is saved using this handy little shortcut.

Mac: Command + F PC: Control + H

Looking for a keyword in a document? Look no further than the trusty ‘Find’ shortcut. Typing this key combination will open a window where you can type in the term you’re looking for. Then just hit ‘Enter’ to cycle through all the instances in which that word is mentioned in the doc, webpage, manuscript, etc. that you’re looking through.

Paste to Match Formatting
Mac: Shift + Option + Command + V PC: N/A (sorry!)

If the ‘Save’ shortcut is the most well-known, the ‘Paste’ is a close runner-up. What less people know, however, is by clicking ‘Shift’ and ‘Option’ before your *classic* ‘Command + V’, the contents of your paste will match the formatting of the document you’re inserting the text into. This is awesome for everything from copying information into an email to pasting text into a Photoshop document.

Mastering Your Tabs

Reopen a Closed Tab:
Mac: Command + Shift + T PC: Control + Shift + T

If you’ve ever slipped up and closed a tab that you needed open (@everyone), this shortcut Is for you. If you’ve closed more than one, just continue tapping the ‘T’ key to open them in the reverse order in which you closed them.

Shift Between Tabs
Mac: Control + Tab PC: Control + Shift + Tab

Some people prefer to only work with one tab open. I am not one of those people. When I’m working on a project, I tend to have many tabs open. This shortcut allows me to transition through them with ease.

Copy a URL and Paste it Into a New Tab
Mac: Command + L (Go to Address Bar), Command + C (Copy), Command + T (New Tab), Command +V (Paste)

This little string of shortcuts is one I use many times a day. Being able to open a new tab and paste a URL quickly comes in handy more than you would think, and once you get the hang of it will only take a matter of seconds.

Adobe Go-Tos

Group Section
Mac & PC: Hold down Shift

Looking to nudge a few layers at the same time? Want to make a few layers larger to fit a new space? All of this (and more!) is possible by simply selecting the layers you’re looking to change while holding down ‘Shift’. Goodbye, individually re-sizing every layer!

Increase and Decrease the Size of Your Tool
Mac & PC: Increase: } Decrease: {

This was one of those shortcuts that I learned while watching over the shoulder of one of my coworkers and it blew my mind. When using tools like the Eraser or Brush, you’ll most likely be changing the size of your brush constantly. Rather than manually changing the size, use this shortcut to seamlessly change your brush size and continue on with your project. 

Viewing the Grid
Mac & PC: W

This shortcut goes out to all you InDesign users out there (as it is only applicable to this program). Tired of seeing the grid lines in your project? Simply de-select any layers you’re working on and hit ‘W’. They will disappear and allow you to see what your project will look like when exported.

Jody Greene
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