Mac Photos Editing Shortcuts

The photo editor in the Mac Photos app includes a lot of shortcuts that can help speed up editing, especially if you need to make adjustments to a range of photos. You can enter and exit editing mode quickly, move between photos without leaving the editor, jump to different editing modes, and compare the original to your adjustments easily. You can also fine-tune cropping and rotations.

Comments: 20 Responses to “Mac Photos Editing Shortcuts”

    Max
    7 months ago

    Is there any way to set Photo’s background to grey or black when viewing photos as you could a few versions back?

    7 months ago

    Max: Not currently. But hopefully maybe we’ll get that in a future version as part of a Dark Mode update, maybe.

    Jim
    7 months ago

    You were in “Photo” when you demonstrated these shortcuts. I don’t maintain a photo library on my Mac, but I would like to use the same shortcuts in “Preview.” Is that possible?

    7 months ago

    Jim: No, these are for Photos. But Preview has some shortcuts too. For the most part, the editing tools in Preview are called “Markup” and you can find some shortcuts listed in the menu Tools, Annotate.

    Mary
    7 months ago

    Hi
    How can I delete duplicated photographs easily
    Thank you

    7 months ago

    Mary: Choose View, Photos so you are looking at your library, not a special list or album. They are sorted by date, so duplicates will be next to each other and easy to spot. Scroll through and spot any duplicates and delete them. There is no easy shortcut that won’t put your valuable photos at risk. Also, figure out why you have duplicates and make you don’t repeat the mistake in the future.

    Joan
    7 months ago

    Hi Gary, re: Mary’s question is there an easy way to determine the size of duplicate files? Once I happily deleted a bunch and found they were full size and I left the thumbnails.

    A second question – I love the right/left arrow tip. Does this copy the adjustments to the next photo? Is there a way to do that for a bunch of similar files? Thank you.

    MaryAnne
    7 months ago

    Gary, THANK YOU for this tip on finding duplicates.

    7 months ago

    Joan: Yes. For the first image, choose Window, Info or use Command+i to bring up the picture info. You can see the file size there and picture dimensions, etc. Leave that info window open and you’ll see the info change as you move through the images. It is then easy to tell inferior copies to originals.
    While the arrow keys won’t automatically copy adjustments between photos (that would be a big problem if it did!) you can use Image, Copy Adjustments and Image, Paste Adjustments to do so. Use the keyboard shortcuts for them to make it quicker.

    Dave H
    7 months ago

    Right click (two finger click) over the ADJUST menu brings up a menu which includes “Copy adjustments” and “paste adjustments ” – quick and easy to get to.

    Caroline
    7 months ago

    Another super-useful video, Gary. I’ve edited hundreds, probably thousands of photos, and I’d never realised those shortcuts existed! Will be saving me loads of time from here on in. Thank you! :)

    Joan
    7 months ago

    Thank you Gary and Dave for the tips! The combination of Cmd-Shift-C and Cmd-shift-V to copy and paste adjustments plus the awareness that you can scroll between photos with the photo strip on the bottom is awesome! Thank you! Will share this one with our Mac group!

    Lynda Farabee
    7 months ago

    WOW Gary. Those are tremendous tips. I had no idea that versatility existed. Thanks you for sharing with us. Love shortcut keys. Have previous found it tiresome to clicks through those steps that the shortcut keys took care of so easily.

    Tom
    7 months ago

    My–Oh–My time savers I never found! Reading documentation “… do this to do this …” is not always intuitive to me. Why do I want to do that? Video question: How did you get the photo tray under the edited picture? I finally found Option-S in the Photos help menu under Keyboard Shortcuts. I never was able to figure out what it did in other modes, or if it even worked.

    Karl
    7 months ago

    Gary, is there a way to name pictures so you can find them easier later on?

    7 months ago

    Karl: There are many ways to do this. When in Photos or albums or moments view you should see titles or filenames under the photos. If not, choose View, Metadata, Titles. Then you can click and edit the names under any photo. You can also use Window, Info to view information about any selected photo and edit the title there, and also add a description and keywords. These will all be factors when searching. Keywords can be used to create a whole system of organization (https://macmost.com/using-keywords-in-photos.html).

    Karl
    7 months ago

    Gary, this can only be done after the picture has been taken and saved to your Mac, it can’t be done in iOS on your iPhone, correct? Thanks

    7 months ago

    Karl: These are keyboard shortcuts for a Mac. You don’t need keyboard shortcuts for iOS, as it is all touchscreen anyway.

    Dennis D
    6 months ago

    Sometime in the past, two of my Sharpen options (edges and falloff) got saved to a default setting and are automatically applied to all new photos. How do I get rid of the old settings and add new defaults.

    6 months ago

    Dennis: I’m not sure what you mean. There is no way to have editing options automatically applied to photos like that. Do you mean that you see 0.00, 0.22 and 0.69 as the settings for Sharpen when you first look to edit a photo? That’s the default for everyone. The 0.22 and 0.69 mean nothing if the Intensity is 0.00. They are just there so you can adjust the Intensity and see results. Notice if you try to adjust, say, Edges, then the Intensity changes to 0.81 automatically so something happens. These are just there for convenience.

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