With the mega pixel count on cameras getting higher and higher, and the display resolutions on monitors and televisions increasing to suit, the image sizes we now work with are significantly higher than they ever used to be. This can bring with it a few navigation issues when you are trying to fine tune an image, zoom in and out and move between specific points quickly. Here’s a few shortcuts and tips to help out.

You probably already know that in Photoshop you can use Ctrl and plus to zoom in and Ctrl and minus to zoom out, but this zooms in on the centre of an image and doesn’t help you position the cursor and zoom close in to specific details.


You can employ the mouse to zoom in and out by making use of the Ctrl/Space keyboard shortcut. Just move the mouse cursor to where you want to zoom in and then hold down the Ctrl key and the Space bar at the same time, and while holding them down drag the mouse to select the area of the image you want to zoom in. Now let go of the Ctrl and Space keys and the selected area will be instantly brought up for you. No more messing around with the menus to zoom in and out of images.

The hand tool is also useful for quick selections of view. Notice that when you select the hand tool from the left hand toolbar, at the top of the screen Photoshop will now show you three quick shortcut buttons for the Actual Pixels, Fit to Screen and Print Size options. Very handy. Holding the space bar at any time will temporarily bring up the hand tool, which is often very useful for left clicking on the mouse and dragging your view window around a zoomed image.

As well as zooming in, it is sometimes useful to isolate one layer from the others, just to view it on its own for a moment. Don’t spend time hiding all the other layers one by one, you can do it in a single click by holding down the Alt key and clicking the small eye icon at the left of the layer you want to view on its own, this will hide all the layers except for the one you clicked on. Even better, you can then unhide all the other layers by holding down Alt and clicking on the same eye icon again next to the layer you just isolated.

It may seem unfamiliar at first using keyboard shortcuts like this in Photoshop, but get used to them and use them habitually and it will save you a lot of valuable time when navigating and viewing images.

[Image via Russ Payne]