Shortcut-S the ultimate keyboard for heavy duty Photoshop users?

Photoshop belongs to the almost every days tools I use and I admit that I am a keyboard junkie.

Keyboard junkie and Photoshop in one sentence? Yeah – that’s hardcore! 

I bet that every heavy duty Photoshop user had a moment of “WTF?!!” occasionally while working with keyboard shortcuts because Photoshop has several hundreds of them.  Did you notice something?

Yes, even if you use a German keyboard, which consists of at least 105 keys, that is a multitude of available keys, so you have to type key combinations with up to 4(!) key presses (e.g. Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E to merge all layers into a new layer or, an easier combination: Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the colors). Apart from some few people with extra long and bendable fingers, I know nobody who can use any of those without 2 hands. This means that you have to move your hand from the mouse or drop the pen of your tablet, press the keys, grab the mouse again etc. pp. which each time costs you at least 2s extra time (I wonder how many hours I have burned this way).

Some people in Romania (Transylvania – yes, Dracula’s castle is nearby, so watch your back for bats) thought that it would be a good idea to ease up the live of the stressed creative people and invented a keyboard that is special tailored for Photoshop. This is what it looks like:


Every shortcut is just one finger-press away. All of them are sorted in logical groups – similar to the menus and palettes in Photoshop to which the keys correspond – and with the fitting icon, so that you see at one glimpse what what key does.

Now comes the bad part: You can not buy it (yet).

It is a kickstarter project – and if it is something you have been looking for for a long time, just head over to support them:


I personally would like to use that keyboard too, but  my  desk is full with what I call “creative chaos” (mostly paper, pens, CDs, phones, …) and a 2nd keyboards would not fit on it, especially if it is  as big as the Shortcut-S.  They should really think about integrating a standard mechanical keyboard with MX-blue switches (or better: those of the IBM Model 2 – buckling springs are still the best, so keep on click-clacking  :D) at the bottom too …


… but may be I find someone who builds me  a dedicated desk for that – or I’ll do it by myself. Who knows … 


PS: This is no advertisement. I am not affiliated in any way with that project, I only thought that it could be fun to have or useful for some people.

11 replies on “Shortcut-S the ultimate keyboard for heavy duty Photoshop users?”

  1. [img][/img] Wooooooo! Speaking of Creative Chaos … the Shortcut-S Keyboard might be that.
    I use Photoshop, but not anywhere enough to need that Keyboard.

  2. From the looks I wouldn’t say that the Shortcut-S is chaos. To me it looks very well organized and I am tempted to back the project – despite that I will have to tidy up my table to place it 😀

    Yes, when it comes to hardware I can be quite geeky, I love stuff like that. 😀

  3. Oh, I mean, yes, they ARE organized, but with there being sooooo many keys, it looks like it’d be difficult to learn where everything is. Heck, it might even scare 747 Jumbo Jet pilots.

    I don’t know. I’d have to see it for real and see what all is on it.
    I have a wall immediately to my left here about a foot away. If I were to actually get one of those Keyboards (which isn’t going to happen), about the only place it could go would be to hang it on that wall.

  4. I think it is simple: Just look at the left side, that is the standard tools menu completely unfolded. The same goes for the other menus too. The groups seem to be logical for me, e.g. the green block in the middle for the color adjustments – left sub-block: minus, right: plus. – etc.

  5. Ahhh Okay, I do see the standard tools menu on the left. But, beyond that, my eyesight isn’t good enough to make out much of anything.

    Did I imagine it, or did you mention here or somewhere else that you had and liked a Tracker Ball Mouse? I have one of those that someone gave me years back. I can’t stand that thing. I only use it on some rare occasions when for whatever purpose, I have to have both my computers on. I don’t have a reliable regular Mouse for the 2nd computer, so I plug in that dreaded / hated Tracker Ball Mouse.

  6. Yepp, I use a trackball because I had developed a “mouse shoulder” RSI syndrome due to heavy mouse usage. I completely remodeled my work place: Now the keyboard is in the right height, the trackball in in the optimum position (for me) and my chair supports an upright, but mobile sitting position while it still allow for some swiveling in all directions. All in all very comfortable and now I can sit for hours at the computer without any problems, if I must. (I am up and jumping around if there is no real reason to stick to the computer)

    The human I/O devices are often neglected by people when they buy a new PC, but since the RSI (which luckily healed to 100%) I do not only look for the highest processing power if I buy a computer, but for really good quality of the devices I interact with, meaning:
    A good monitor that I can calibrate to perfect colors, a good keyboard (very important!), my good old trusted trackball (In the meantime I repaired it 3 times. The new ones have a different form that doesn’t fit that well into my hand) – and [i]silent[/i] fans and HDDs.

  7. Do you use your thumb for Left Click on that Tracker Ball?
    I think that’s what I’ve reluctantly, uncomfortably and clumsily done on the very few times that I’ve used my Tracker Ball.

    Otherwise how do you execute a Click & Drag?

    While I haven’t done in recent times, in the early 2000s I used to do a lot of work with Windows Paint. I got very good and fast with it, creating a lot of very detailed illustrations. And I definitely remember there was a LOT of [b]Click & Drag[/b] involved. I can’t envision myself having been anywhere remotely near as good, accurate and fast with a Tracker Ball.

  8. For my liking, about the only thing worse than a Tracker Ball would be that Finger Pad thing on Laptops. Wooooooo! I absolutely detest, loathe, HATE those things. Good thing I have very very rarely had to mess with them.

  9. Yepp, thumb and little finger to click left or right, index and middle finger to roll.
    For drawing I prefer a decent wacom tablet and a pen. Have you ever tried to place your hand written signature in a document with a mouse? 😀

    btw: My wife loves the trackpad on her laptop.

  10. I just about got a cramp in my little finger just thinking about the thought of using it to Right Click. I believe I use my ring finger to Right Click on those rare Tracker Ball uses.

  11. First rule: “Thou shallt not clicketh with thy fingertip” 😀

    I more use the the palm to right click while my hand is lying relaxed on the trackball case. I don’t know if that is still possible with modern trackballs, but mine fits perfectly into [i]my[/i] hand, so that stuff is easy for me. There is no such thing like “one size fits all”, when it comes to input devices like mice, trackballs, keyboards etc. so it might depend on the size of the hand which input method is relaxed and which is not. I can span 25cm (about 10″) with my hand, so for my taste most of the mice are too small, they simply vanish in my hand 😀

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