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Tip of the Week: Spring-Loaded Shortcuts

This InDesign tip was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on February 28, 2019.

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Most of the tools in the Tools panel have single-key keyboard shortcuts you can use to select them. For example, pressing V will get you the Selection tool, A gets the Direct Selection tool, T gets the Type tool, and so on.

Even better, these keyboard shortcuts are “spring loaded,” meaning that if you press and hold the key (instead of tapping it), you can use that tool temporarily so when you release the key, you spring back to the tool you were previously using.

For example, say you’re creating a series of frames to hold pictures and captions. You can press F to select the Rectangle Frame tool and drag out a picture frame. Then press and hold the T key to drag out a text frame for the caption. When you release the T key, you will spring back to the Rectangle Frame tool and can immediately start drawing your next picture frame.

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher. Co-author of The Photoshop Visual Quickstart Guide with Nigel French.