101 Photoshop Tips: Transcribed!

On June 24, I and my proud partners will launch the 2008 pilot episode of dekePod, titled “101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes.” Half music video, half shortcut free-for-all, half crazy antics (yes, it has three halves), this very special, slightly explicit episode of dekePod is sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike. Honestly, it’s magical. Witness me below at the site of our first exterior shoot (as captured by O’Reilly editor Colleen Wheeler). That’s not me jumping, that’s me momentarily disregarding Earth’s gravitational forces. See? Magical.

Anyway, it occurred to the staff here at dekeOnline that the tips might fly by a little quickly. So we thought it wise to publish the verses — which contain the actual tips — here at dekeStuff for your amusement. (I thought of including the choruses, but they’re mostly just me bragging.) Here goes:

11 Photoshop Tips in Five Minutes

The actual tips from 1 to 106 and back to 101
by Deke McClelland

Time it:

Time: 00:00.00

#1: Wanna copy a layer? I say jump it: Ctrl+J.
You a Mac user? Awesome.
#2: When I say Ctrl, press Cmd, the one with an apple on it.
#3: For a new layer, press Ctrl+Shift+N (Cmd-Shift-N on the Mac).
#4: To delete a layer, get the move tool and press Delete (or Control-Delete).
#5: Every letter selects a tool.
#6: Except F for full-screen,
#7: Q for quick mask,
#8: and D
#9: and X for default and switch colors.
Who knew X stood for “switch”?
#1: Press a number to change the opacity.
#11: Or two numbers for better control.
#12: Press Shift+plus to advance a blend mode;
#13: Shift+minus to back up.
#14: Press Shift and Alt with a letter for a specific mode.
#15: Mac folks, Alt means Option.
#16: Ctrl+plus zooms in.
#17: Ctrl+minus zooms out.
#18: Spacebar gets the hand so you can drag the image around.
#19: There’s also Ctrl+spacebar in
#2: and Alt+spacebar out.
#21: Ctrl+spacebar-drag to zoom way the hell in.
#22: Ctrl+Z undoes.
#23: Ctrl+Alt+Z backsteps.
#24: Ctrl+Shift+Z steps forward.
#25: Ctrl+Shift+F fades an edit.
#26: F12 reverts,
#27: Itself an undoable operation.
You hear that? You can undo a revert? That’s a hell of a tip!
All that pasteboard stuff works too:
#28: Ctrl+X cuts.
#29: Ctrl+C copies.
#3: Ctrl+V pastes.
Dan Gookin of DOS For Dummies fame joked that V stood for “vomit,” as in vomiting up the Clipboard. His publisher refused to print that. They actually refused to print that!

Time: 01:15.43

#31: Photoshop’s most essential command? Image Size: Ctrl+Alt+I.
#32: It’s partner, Canvas Size, Ctrl+Alt+C.
#33: Ctrl+F repeats the last filter.
#34: Ctrl+Alt+F for different settings.
#35: Using a selection tool? Drag to start a new selection
#36: Or move a selection outline.
#37: Shift adds to the selection.
#38: Alt deletes.
#39: Shift and Alt finds the intersection.
#4: Press the spacebar to move the selection on-the-fly.
#41: Ctrl+A selects everything;
#42: Ctrl+D selects nothing.
#43: Ctrl+Shift+I selects what’s not selected and deselects everything else.
#44: Ctrl+Alt+R brings up Refine Edge.
#45: Alt-click with the lasso tool to draw straight-sided selections.
#46: Shift-click with a brush to paint straight lines.
#47: Press Alt with a brush to get the color-lifting eyedropper.
#48: Press Ctrl to get the move tool.
#49: Ctrl+H hides selections and other “extras.”
What’s an extra? Press Ctrl+H and find out?
I gotta quicken the pace. Shit!
#5: Ctrl+1,
#51: 2,
#52: 3 to switch channels.
Hell yeah, I’m counting those as three!
Here’s another one:
#53: Ctrl+tilde for full-color composite.
#54: Ctrl+L for Levels,
#55: Ctrl+M for Curves,
#56: Ctrl+B for Color Balance,
#57: Ctrl+U for Hue/Saturation.
#58: Add Alt to bring up the last settings.
#59: Mash your fist on Ctrl, Shift, and Alt and press B for Black & White.
#6: In Levels and Curves, Alt-drag that white slider triangle to preview the clipped highlights
#61: Or that black one for clipped shadows.
Want to duplicate an image? Don’t choose this [Duplicate];
#62: Just click here [Create new document from History state].
#63: Press Ctrl+W to close an image.
#64: Y to save changes,
#65: N to abandon them.
#66: On the Mac, that’s S and D.
#67: Either way, it’s Esc for Cancel.
You know, Esc. C’mon, Esc!

Time 02:48.36

#68: Press Ctrl+T to invoke Free Transform.
#69: Press Enter to apply or Esc to skip it.
#7: Ctrl+Alt+T transforms a copy.
#71: Ctrl+Shift+T repeats the last transformation.
#72: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T plays a transformation sequence.
#73: Press a bracket key to change the size of a brush.
#74: Press Shift+bracket to change its hardness.
#75: Caps Lock for precise cursors.
#76: Alt switches dodge to burn and burn to dodge.
#77: The comma and period keys cycle through gradients.
See this tool [sharpen]? Worthless. Look at this. You want this? Worthless!
Yes, that’s a tip: Don’t use the tool!
#78: Bang, there’s another one!
#79: Ctrl-click a thumbnail in the Layers, Channels, or Paths palette to load a selection.
#8: Press slash to lock a layer’s transparency.
#81: Press tilde to hide the image while viewing a mask.
#82: Press backslash to view the layer mask.
#83: Ctrl+Backspace fills the background color;
#84: Alt+Backspace: foreground color.
#85: Add Shift to fill just the opaque pixels.
#86: Press Shift+Backspace to get the Fill dialog box.
Hey, look at that!
#87: That’s trans lock’s opposite [Behind mode]. It locks opacity.
What the hell is it doing here?
#88: Ctrl+bracket moves layers forward and back.
#89: Add Shift to go all the way.
#9: Alt+bracket selects layers.
#91: Press Shift to select multiple layers.
Press Ctrl+Shift+A to select all layers.
#92: That’s wrong. It’s Ctrl+Alt+A!
I don’t even know what Ctrl+Shift+A does.
It doesn’t, Adobe, it doesn’t do anything! I don’t think it does anything.
#93: But Ctrl+G, that groups layers in a folder.
#94: Ctrl+E merges selected layers.
#95: Ctrl+Shift+E merges visible layers.
#96: Ctrl+Alt+E stamps a layer onto the one below.
#97: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E merges everything on a new layer.
#98: Ctrl+Shift+C copies a merged version of the layers.
#99: Ctrl+Shift+V pastes an image in a selection.
#1: Alt-click here [Add layer mask]
#11: Or here [Cancel to Reset]
#12: Or here [trash without warning]
#13: Or here [color ramp to switch background color]
#14: Or here [eyeball to hide all others]
#15: Or here [horizontal line to make clipping mask]
#16: Or here [color swatch to delete].

Time: 05:08.16

Holy crap, I just went over! 16 tips! No! No, no, no.
[to off-screen director]
You should’ve stopped me, you should’ve let me know. That’s your fault.
[to viewer]
That’s his fault. I do not fail. Remember, I do not fail!
Alt-clicks out. I want them all out. Gimme that time back!

Time: 05:27.92

[clock rewinds]

Time: 04:56.73

Okay. Nicely done, me. For those wondering why I left out your favorite tips,
#1: Like Tab to hide all palettes
#11: Or Shift+Tab to hide just the right-side palettes.

Time: 05:00.00

I didn’t! Ha ha! I just mentioned ’em. Works for me!

Next entry:My Videos Reach an Even Ten!

Previous entry:Podcast on “Handy Bridge” at The Digital Story


  • cool


    i like the video and the song.

  • Great Job!

    Very entertaining and informational!

  • Great job…

    Some cool tips thanks for making the video


  • Fun, Fun, Fun

    Great Job and so much fun to boot. The transcript is the jewel, Thank you!

  • Deke, the King of fun

    Again, I’m amazed at how entertaining and fun Deke is to watch. He’s so cool. Even his emergence into the music video / instructional video / entertainment world is as creative as all the rest of his videos. Great going Deke. I’ve kept your first two dekePod videos for over two years hoping for another. You’ve come through at last. Consider me your very first and most dedicated groupie/fan.

  • wow, hey great to see you’re

    wow, hey great to see you’re coming up with interesting ways to help out us photoshoppers. instead of blah blah you really did it in such a unique & creative way.



  • 101 photoshop tips

    Hilarious, cool, and informational all at the same time. Amazing.

  • 101

    You’ve still got it!


  • Woohoo

    Great tips! Thank you!

  • A True Inspiration!!!

    Deke you are a legend!

    Great to be able to let you know at last.

  • 101 tips

    Thanks, love the vid, very useful!

  • WOW, great job!

    Great job, this made me laugh at work, who cares if my boss should walk by and ask what the heck I’m doing, I’m saving time by learning new shortcuts is what I’ll say.

    in other news, I might not have a job, do you have any openings?


    Again, great job!


  • Cool

    WOW! That’s a lot of tips in no time flat. Loved it. Just don’t give up your day job. wink

    -Derek =)D:

    I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

    -Douglas Adams

  • Print Tips?

    Great instructional and fun video. Any chance those 106 tips can be put in a printable format so we can all take advantage of the few (many?) we don’t already have memorized?

  • no apple key on the mac

    at least not on the new ones…


  • sigh…..the man still rules, A#1


    You had me at “Yes, you’re welcome…”

    In the poll, could there be an option of “use the clone tool on himself (obviously in the privacy of his own LAB color adjusted home) and do more of all of them?

    In the words of Smash Mouth… “I can’t get enough of you baby”

    Love ya as always!


  • I will keep coming back for more!

    These type of resources save you so much time and are so practical that I feel like buying the writer a drink!

  • Re:

    Really informative post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Nice!

    This may be suitable for framing… well maybe not… now laminating

    ... hmmmm


    My toys! My toys! I can’t do this job without my toys!

  • wow really cool tips . i

    wow really cool tips . i was not knowing many of the above mentioned tips it will be greatly beneficial for my work thanks a lot .

    Zermatt hotels || Calorie counting

  • Hi

    Great job. Keep it up

  • really very good tips ,

    really very good tips ,  greatly helpful.

  • Channels & Masks palette for CS4

    I just installed the Channels & Masks palette on my iMac (v. 10.5.6) per the instructions in Channels & Masks book. However, all I get is a blank panel and a spinning beachball. I have uninstalled the extension but wonder if there is another avenue to installation as I really like the palette. Thanks for a exceptionally well-written book.

  • Wow totally awesome!

    Wow totally awesome! online roulette  poker site  online blackjack  video poker  divx movies  horse betting  iphone games

  • 101 Tips

    101 photoshop tips are really amazing. I am not sure, if I would be able to complete in 5 minutes. But, definitely, I would try. All shortcuts, would definitely help professionals who work with photoshop. These tips were also, entertaining for new learners. Cheers..

  • I’ve just started working

    I’ve just started working with photoshop and these are the best tips i’ve found today. “Must read” type. It was fun and entertaining too.

  • Amazing stuff

    Amazing stuff. Thanks for the free tips provided. I planned to invest money on learning those stuff, but read this article at right time. This article would be useful for both beginners and experts. Readers pls make the most of this article.

  • Very useful tips

    Very useful tips, thanks for providing those tips that too in a good sequential manner. I would say that this is a one stop tutor for adobe Photoshop. Just amazed by the keyboard short cuts available in Photoshop.

  • thanks man, your information

    thanks man, your information is useful for me…

  • well defined explanation,

    well defined explanation, especially thru video.  By the way, how to make slight spot adjustments in just the dark areas of an image?

  • Great Tips

    Fantastic tips - these will save me a lot of time.  I’m still a newbie to Photoshop, and these tips are brilliant.

  • This page has turned into a magnet

    For spam posts. So I’m shutting down commenting here.

    Thanks for the legitimate love—much obliged!

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