Saturday, September 24, 2005

Homemade Keyboard Shortcuts

The previous post inspired me to share some of my favorite macros/actions/shortcuts that I've created or discovered over the years.

Adobe Photoshop CS

F5 and F6

I have set two keys to rotate left and rotate right, respectively. I have a ergonomic Microsoft Natural Keyboard (a late ‘90’s model--I hear the newer ones break easily) and it splits between the F5 and F6 keys which make pressing them a tactile function instead of a visual.

F2 (Recorded Action)

This action adds two (hence F2) adjustment layers to a document (Curves and Hue/Saturation/Brightness). Being a photographer, I color correct frequently. My default for the HSB layer are a 15+ increase in Hue. You can create these individually with Ctrl+L and Ctrl+M though.

F3 (Recorded Action)

This key changes the image resolution to 300dpi (hence the F3 key) and converts the image to CMYK mode. Every print designer should have a shortcut that performs both these, especially since you have to de-check the “Resample Image” box at the bottom of the Edit/Image Size dialog. I don’t know what Adobe was thinking when they decided to make this the process for changing an image’s resolution.

Microsoft Word

Alt+S PasteSpecial (Macro)

I use this Macro at least 20 times a day. It is great for grabbing text off the Internet, because it removes all formatting from the copied text. Who wants to keep text formatting from a web page (especially with tables)? Record a macro that uses the command Edit/Paste Special…>Unformated Unicode Text.

Alt+X Xenter (Macro)

This may seem silly to some, but I use Alt+X to press enter when copying multiple web pages into a document. Why? The Alt+S PasteSpecial Macro will paste the unformatted text and right below it on the keyboard is the “X” key. Press Alt+X a few times to separate the blocks of text. Then, Alt+Tab back to FireFox (or your internet browser) and select more text with your mouse and copy it to the clipboard (Ctrl+C). Not having to press the enter key means you can keep your left hand closer to the Ctrl/Shift/Alt region of the keyboard and your right hand on the mouse. Although, I’m not sure what lefties should do.

*Note on Alt commands in Word (on a PC):

The Alt key highlights an application’s menu bar (Example: Alt+F selects File, Alt+E selects Edit, Alt+V selects View, etc.). This allows you to go to Print Preview by pressing Alt+F+V for example. The best though is Alt+Space, which selects the application’s drop down menu. This allows you to move an application window by pressing Alt+Space+M and using the arrow keys or Alt+Space+N to minimize a window.

With that said, when you record a macro assign it a place on the toolbar and edit the text of the button with an "&" before the letter you want to use in combination with the Alt key ("paste&Special" or "&Xenter" for example).

--Stephen M. James


Post a Comment

<< Home