This is always a fun one to use. When you’re working in Photoshop, you always have a tool selected; often it’s the Move tool. Say you need to switch to another tool really quickly, but need to go back to the previous tool afterwards. Let’s assume you need the Lasso tool. You could click on the Lasso tool (or better still, tap the L key), make your selection, and then press the V key to go back to the Move tool. That’s not bad, but we can do better.

With springy keys, all you need to do is hold down the key for the tool you wish to use. For example, with the Move tool active, hold down the L key, make your selection with the Lasso tool, and as soon as you release the L key, you’re back to the Move tool. The tool you want to use will only be active while you’re holding down the key corresponding to that tool and, upon releasing the key, the tool selection will spring back to the previous tool.

There are two caveats, however: First, you need to stop using the tool before you let go of its key; and second, you need to learn the key command for each tool (but you should really learn that anyway.)


This tip originally published in the Photoshop Tips column by Colin Smith, in the September, 2017 issue of Photoshop User magazine.