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Essential Shortcut Keys in Affinity Photo

Photo editing helps you perfect your photos and prepare them for various publishing mediums. As much as you would like to skip this step, it isn’t possible. Therefore, to become a better photographer and spend as little time as possible processing your images, you need a straightforward editing routine. Start by defining the steps of your routine, and then learn the shortcut keys for each action. Shortcut keys save you a lot of time and help you focus on photo adjustments instead of browsing through menus. Of course, you also need an advanced photo editor, and Affinity Photo may be a good choice. Here are the essential shortcut keys in Affinity Photo you might need for your editing routine.

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Shortcut Keys for Image Management

Learn the shortcut keys for the most frequent actions you do. The set of basic actions includes opening and exporting an image, resizing an image, creating panoramas, and stacking images. Affinity Photo shows the shortcut for each command in the menu, near the name of the command.

ActionWindows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Open an imageCtrl+OCmd+O
Create a panoramaCtrl+Alt+Shift+POpt+Shift+Cmd+P
Start image stackingCtrl+Alt+Shift+OOpt+Shift+Cmd+O
Export an imageCtrl+Alt+Shift+SOpt+Shift+Cmd+S
Resize documentAlt+Ctrl+IOpt+Cmd+I
Resize canvasAlt+Ctrl+COpt+Cmd+C
Rotate 90° ClockwiseCtrl+Alt+Shift+UpOpt+Shift+Cmd+Up
Rotate 90° Counter-clockwiseCtrl+Alt+Shift+DownOpt+Shift+Cmd+Down

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__CONFIG_colors_palette__{“active_palette”:0,”config”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“name”:”Main Accent”,”parent”:-1}},”gradients”:[]},”palettes”:[{“name”:”Default Palette”,”value”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“val”:”var(–tcb-color-4) “,”hsl”:{“h”:46,”s”:0.87,”l”:0.58}}},”gradients”:[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__

Shortcut Keys for Tools

Tools are something you’ll be using a lot, and Affinity Photo knows it. Therefore, the shortcut keys for tools have only one key. It’s usually the first letter of the name of the tool. Affinity Photo shows the shortcut of each tool in square brackets after its name.

Shortcut keys for tools will be the first ones you’ll learn. Among the most frequently used tools are the View Tool, Move Tool, and Zoom tool.

ActionWindows shortcutmacOS shortcut
View ToolHH
Move ToolVV
Zoom ToolZZ
Crop ToolCC
Freehand Selection ToolLL
Dodge, Burn and Sponge Brush Tool cycleOO

Shortcut Keys for Photo Adjustments

Any photographer will need at some point to adjust white balance, exposure, contrast, or color parameters (hue, saturation, tones, etc.). Affinity Photo uses individual layers for each adjustment you make. To create a new adjustment layer, you can use the Adjustment panel, the Layer -> New Adjustment Layer menu, or use the shortcut keys. The shortcut keys are much faster.

ActionWindows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Black and white conversionCtrl+Alt+Shift+BOpt+Shift+Cmd+B
Develop Persona only – White Balance ToolWW
Develop Persona only – Overlay Gradient ToolGG

For RAW editing and fine-tune adjustments, Affinity Photo has the Develop Persona, a dedicated workspace with all the tools that you need in one place. The Develop Persona has its own set of tools, which, like all Affinity’s tools, have one-key shortcuts. All the rest of the adjustments are available in easy-to-use panels.

Shortcut Keys for Layer Management

Any advanced photo editor provides layers and masks. They help you produce non-destructive edits, apply local adjustments, overlay textures, and create unique images. Affinity Photo uses several types of layers, from fill layers to mask layers and adjustments layers. It also has a different type of layer for applying filters. You can find all the layer-related commands in the Layer menu and Layers panel.

However, managing many layers at the same time may be difficult. Therefore, Affinity Photo provides shortcut keys to help to access faster the commands you need.

ActionWindows shortcutmacOS shortcut
Create new layerCtrl+Shift+NShift+Cmd+N
Delete a layerBackspaceDelete
Duplicate selectionCtrl+JCmd+J
Merge downCtrl+ECmd+E
Invert a layerCtrl+ICmd+I
Show all layersCtrl+Shift+Alt+HOpt+Shift+Cmd+H
Merge all visible layersCtrl+Shift+Alt+EOpt+Shift+Cmd+E

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__CONFIG_colors_palette__{“active_palette”:0,”config”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“name”:”Main Accent”,”parent”:-1}},”gradients”:[]},”palettes”:[{“name”:”Default Palette”,”value”:{“colors”:{“62516”:{“val”:”var(–tcb-color-4)”,”hsl”:{“h”:46,”s”:0.8692,”l”:0.01}}},”gradients”:[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__

How to Customize the Keyboard Shortcuts in Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo tried to deliver logical and easy-to-use shortcut keys. However, they use the English language as a reference. If you are not satisfied with the provided shortcuts, you can customize them to match your native language or keyboard preferences. All you have to do is go to Edit -> Preferences (or press Ctrl+, for Windows / Cmd+, for macOS) and choose Keyboard Shortcuts. Affinity Photo allows you to change the shortcuts for all the commands in the menus and tools in the dedicated workspaces (Personas).

Concluding words

Using shortcut keys helps you speed up your editing workflow and focus on the things that matter. Like anything else in life, it’s a learning curve. Create an editing routine and stick to it as much as possible. Affinity Photo displays the shortcut keys near the name of the command or tool, which makes things easier for you. In time, using shortcuts will become second nature to you.

Do you want to learn more about Affinity Photo?
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How smooth is your editing flow? Do you use the shortcuts provided by Affinity Photo, or have you customized them? Let us know in the comment section.

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