Adjust your brush size

A quick and easy way to adjust your brush size

If you want to adjust your brush size in Photoshop you can do that with the slider in the options bar. But the problem is that you do not see the effect while you're adjusting.

So you'll find your self constantly moving your mouse (with the brush tool) from where you're working in your image to the option bar and vice versa.

Another way to adjust your brush size is to leave your cursor where it is and right-click in the image. A panel appears where you can adjust the size of your brush as well as the hardness.

Adjust your Brush size
Adjust Brush size and Brush Hardness

This way your cursor is still near the position where you need it.

Using Keyboard shortcuts to adjust your brush size and brush hardness

An other way to change your brush size is the use of keyboard shortcuts:

Use the bracket keys ( ']' and '[' ), so you can immediately see the effect.
[ to decrease and
] to increase

Adjust your brush size in Photoshop
Change your brush size and hardness with these keyboard shortcuts

This works for several tools, like the Quick Selection Tool, the History Brush, the Clone Stamp, the Pencil Tool and the Dodge -, Burn - and Sponge tool.

This also works in Lightroom.

To adjust the hardness use the same keys while holding down the Shift key.

So if you want to know some more about keyboard shortcuts, please read the last part of the post Keyboard shortcuts for zooming.

When you're an Apple user, check Mac keyboard shortcuts to learn some useful keyboard shortcuts.
Windows users best read Keyboard shortcuts for Windows.

Zoom in and out

Keyboard shortcuts for zooming

Working with Photoshop is much easier with these helpful keyboard shortcuts for zooming.

If I'm working with Photoshop, I find my self constantly zooming in (to work precise) and out (to have overview). I rather leave my left hand above my keyboard and leave my right hand in place (holding my Wacom pen in the right position). Therefore keyboard shortcuts for zooming are very useful.

For zooming, these are the right keyboard shortcuts:

Press Command (Apple)
or Ctrl (Windows)
and hold and press
1 to zoom in to 100% (1: 1) and
0 (zero) to see the whole picture (fit to screen)
+ To zoom in,
- To zoom out.

Keyboard shortcuts for zooming
Photoshop zoom in and out with keyboard shortcuts

And you know what? These same key combinations also work for most browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer and some other applications like Adobe Acrobat Reader. Just try it and see what happens...

Obviously, there are many ways to zoom in Photoshop, such as press and holding the Z-key and click-drag to the right (zoom in) or to the left (zoom out). Or with the Navigator (Window>Navigator) or simply with the zoom tool (Z).
More posts to follow where these ways are discussed in more detail.

A few more words about keyboard shortcuts.

A keyboard shortcut is a fast way to do 'something' without the need to move your mouse. If you're working on a picture, eg. do some local retouching, you rather don't want to move you're cursor all the way to the system menu.

Keyboard shortcuts can be only one key (B for slecting the brush tool for example) or a combination of keys, mostly two, some times three and some times even four.

If the shortcut consists of multiple keys, there are always one or more so-called modifier keys involved.

In Photoshop the modifier keys are:
Command (Cmd)
Control (Ctrl)
Option (Alt)
Shift ()

Where Apple users use the Command Key, Windows users use the Control key.

To use a keyboard shortcut, press and hold one or more modifier keys and then press and release the last key of the shortcut and finally release the modifier key(s). For example, to  use the command Save As, the shortcut is Commad-Shift-S (Control-Shift-S for Windows), press and hold both the Command key and the Shift key, then press and release the V key, then release the other keys.

When you're an Apple user, check Mac keyboard shortcuts to learn some useful keyboard shortcuts.
Windows users best read Keyboard shortcuts for Windows.