Home » Photoshop

Turbo charge your workflow in Photoshop

5 March 2004 24,548 views No Comment

Photoshop’s actions are most often used to provide relief from repetitive operations such as applying effects to layers, or batch converting files from one format to another. For many years I’ve been using actions in a totally different way.

The set of actions that you can download below, maps commonly used functions to the F keys in an intuitive and easy to learn way. By taking the effort to learn them, you should notice that your workflow will speed up by a factor of two or three. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if people start looking over your shoulder in amazement at how fast you’re operating!

Layers (F2 – F7)

To make it easy to remember, the layer actions are assigned to the keys F2 through to F7 in increasing "severity" of operation. It starts off with F2 being "Add New Layer", going all the way up to "Delete Layer" at F7.

Sets (F8 and F9)

Set operations come next, and F8 and F9 both allow you to create a new set, but F9 creates the set based on the currently selected linked layers.

Transforms (F10 – F12)

These three keys are mapped to commonly used transformation operations. F10 and F11 allow you to flip the current layer or set, and when combined with the Shift key, will rotate the layer or set clockwise and anti-clockwise respectively. F12 is the resize key, and it will bring up the resize image dialog, while Shift+F12 will bring up the canvas resize dialog.

Duplicate Image (Shift+F2)

Finally Shift + F2 will bring up the duplicate image dialog.


Click on the image below for a diagram showing the complete functionality for the F keys.

Keyboard template

The download below contains the above image as well as a full resolution PDF file of the template, and of course, the actions file for you to load into Photoshop.

Download: LayerActions.zip (49 Kb)

If you enjoyed this tutorial you can make an entry in the guestbook or you can express any concerns or questions by using the contact form here. Thanks!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.