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News & Insight

Shortcut-S: A Photoshop Dedicated Keyboard Promises to Speed Up Workflow

By Hanssie on February 10th 2014

Shortcuts. When 3 weddings, 5 portrait sessions and 4 album designs are staring you down, a shortcut is a lifeline to making sure that you are not enslaved to your computer and maybe have a chance to see the outside world at least for a few minutes.

I have nary to find many photographers who loves the editing part of the job. In fact, for me personally, I’d rather endure a roomful of crying toddlers or face an army of fire ants than sit in front of my laptop with Lightroom or Photoshop and hours of editing ahead. Sure, Photoshop has lots of shortcuts, but I have to remember all these shortcuts and the older I get, the less my brain holds information like remembering what Command+Shift+N does for me.

[REWIND: Example of Culling-In Workflow in Lightroom]

So, when a Kickstarter project has told me that I can speed up my workflow by 30%, my ears perk up. The Shortcut-S Keyboard is a keyboard specifically for editing in Photoshop. Grouped by color, the Shortcut-S keyboard looks intuitive and easy to navigate.

ShortcutS-kickstarter-1Creator Sorin Neica has promised that if the project is funded, that they will develop more overlays for popular programs such as Corel Draw, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Illustrator, Final Cut, Lightroom, etc. You can vote now on their website for the graphics program you want them to develop next.

[PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT: To speed up your Lightroom workflow check out our Lightroom Organization and Workflow Workshop v5]

Shortcut-S is truly a shortcut, allowing me to use one finger (not three keys with one hand and the mouse with the other), and press any of the 319 keys for the most important tools, functions, and filters. There are also 20 customizable keys.


Here is their Kickstarter video below for more information:

They have 48 days to raise $185, 280 to reach their goal and begin production on this project, so if you think that this would help you speed up your editing time, check out their Kickstarter page.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Chuck Eggen

    I have enough trouble using a regular keyboard. This would slow me down even more but hey, maybe it works for some people.

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  2. Johnny

    Well… i’m a fan of customizing what i use the most, not having to hunt through a huge list. If you have an iPad, the Actions app will let you do exactly what this thing does, but you set your own buttons, color code them, choose icons, group them etc for anything in Photoshop, lightroom, safari, anything on your computer that accepts key commands, and you can set up specific launchpads for it as well. And it’s wireless. Under 10 bucks i believe.

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    • Joe

      Johnny beat me to it, but the Actionsapp is hands down the best and most productive add on/app I have ever used and or purchased. It’s $10 or under and I would actually shell out more if I had to. I can set up any workflow between ANY APPLICATION on my computer and assign the shortcuts to an easy to use interface on my ipad. Definitely worth every penny and then some.

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  3. Drew Pluta

    Too many little flat buttons! When you attempt to solve complexity with more complexity, you’re probably going to fail. We already went through this in the late 80’s and 90’s with music gear. They figured out that having a bunch of flat surfaces with a gazillion cryptic touch buttons was maddening for the user to navigate. I wonder if this guy actually uses Photoshop or if he just saw someone else using it and thought “someone should just make a button for all those tools.” Great price point though. I’d probably warm up to it if it had a track ball with some really nice clicky buttons and was wireless.

    On the other hand, hardware control is awesome and the steps toward using MIDI controllers is probably the real answer. You get to select the right layout for the way you work and have real hardware with tactile properties. There is no end to the amazing stuff out now to use as a control surface.

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    • Johnny

      You ever seen the Pfixer midi controller? It’s basically software written to interface two different Behringer midi controllers so they’ll work with every property and slider in Lightroom. They’ll work with any midi enabled controller, but behringer was the target bc it uses endless rotaries, which suprisingly, most midi controllers don’t use. I set up small strips of one side of velcro under specific knobs i use the most which lets me navigate the entire controller by feel as i adjust my photos.

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